Hair color


HAIR COLORING is the practice of changing one’s color of hair. Today, hair coloring is immensely popular, with over 75 percent of American women coloring their hair.

The color of hair depends on the type of light sent to our eyes; light is necessary if we are to have any perception of color at all. A hair is “colored,” as stated above, because of the light it reflects. In essence, due to the electromagnetic spectrum, certain colors of differing wavelengths are absorbed into an object and what is reflected or “transmitted” is what we see. So, an apple appearing red is reflects red light to our eyes but are really absorbing violet and blue light rays at that very moment.

White light from the sun contains all the possible color variations. Yet, the human eye can only respond to certain colors and wavelengths, and not everyone sees the same colors or exactly the same shades of a color. We are capable of seeing color because our eyes have light and color-sensitive photoreceptors on the retina. These receptors are called rods (receptive to amounts of light and movement providing our peripheral vision) and cones (sensitive to colors and fine detail).

Being able to see color is a sensation, just like smelling a pie fresh out of the oven or tasting your favorite meal. Different foods smell and taste different to each person, and likewise, no color is seen exactly the same by any two persons because each person’s rods and cones vary with these varying wavelengths or visible light.

Once you look at a label, the FIRST # BEFORE the coma is the HAIR COLOR level. The FIRST # AFTER the coma is the MAIN TONE and the SECOND AFTER the coma is the MINOR TONE.

Example :5,56 would be a [Light Brown, Acajou Red]

Hair Color Level

– Level 1, Black


– Level 2, Darkest Brown


– Level 3, Dark Brown


– Level 4, Medium Brown


– Level 5, Light Brown


– Level 6, Dark Blonde


– Level 7, Blonde


– Level 8, Light Blonde


– Level 9, Very Light Blonde


– Level 10, Platinum Blonde



– 1 Ash


– 2 Iris


– 3 Gold


– 4 Copper


– 5 Acajou


– 6 Red



Listed above is the standard L’Oreal denomination which I follow. Other brands may use a different denomination especially the non-professional color.


Home kit

Home kit hair coloring are fundamentally not so bad.  The product on itself is usually decent but probably not the latest technology. The 2 main problems are how the consumer picks and uses the color; the choice of color is usually never right and the application never properly done …As a stylist, it’s hard to fix a disaster.  Keep in mind the first rule of coloring: a permanent color CANNOT make another color lighter!

So, the only way to fix too dark a color would be by applying a color remover or highlights. Most salons have a special price for color correction due to its time consuming nature.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Your shampoo shouldn’t be done before the process since the natural sebum of your scalp will protect you against itchiness.
  • In terms of your hair, you should never look at your color under bad yellow light especially with mirrors that magnify (bathroom), for this is not representing the actual color of your hair. It’s best to view your colorwith natural light or white light.
  • Two weeks after the hair coloring process, don’t freak out if you have 5 mm roots … its just the natural growth!
  • If after 2 or 3 weeks there’s so much gray regrowth that you cannot hide it any longer, maybe you should think of going lighter or better yet just accept your natural beautiful hair.
  • Never try to do your own highlights! You’ll most likely be really sorry and you’ll wait a long time for that orange and fried hair to finally grow out.
  • Get a color that complements your skin tone.
  • Never apply permanent color to hair that has already been treated with permanent color except if you want to go darker. In other words, don’t use the same formula to refresh the ends that you used to color your roots and/or cover those grays.
  • Always use a non ammonia toner that’s semi/demi-permanent to refresh the color of your (pretreated) ends.
  • Always deep condition your hair weekly, especially longer hair.
  • Always protect and/or cover your head in the sun if you don’t want your color to fade.


A big city (like NYC) will request between $70 to $100 for a color treatment in the salon.


Semi-permanent(or demi)

Demi-permanent hair color is permanent hair color that contains an alkaline agent other than ammonia, and while always employed with a developer, the concentration of hydrogen peroxide in that developer is lower than used with a permanent hair color. Since the alkaline agents employed in demi-permanent colors are less effective in removing the natural pigment of hair than ammonia these products provide no lightening of hair’s color during dyeing. As a result, they cannot color hair to a lighter shade than it was before dyeing and are less damaging to hair than their permanent counterpart. The result is also shinier than permanent color. Demi/semi-permanent color covers up to 50 to 70 % of grey hair . I would recommend this rather than regular color for anybody who doesn’t want to get lighter and have less than 50% grey hair.


Ammonia opens the hair shaft pores so that the dye can actually bond with the hair. Permanent color can lift your hair color up to 2 to 3 tones The oxidant use for color use is usually 20 vol to 30 vol. Normal hair color formulas will go inert after 30 minutes, so it’s nearly impossible to “over-process” them.


Hair bleaching works similarly to regular haircoloring in that it uses a developer of 10 vol to 40 vol to soften and raise the cuticle of the hair. However, the similarities end there. Instead of depositing a color into the hair shaft, the bleaching agent penetrates the shaft and disperses the color molecules that are already there. The more color molecules that are dispersed, the lighter the hair becomes. It’s important to note that bleaching the hair is a very harsh process Hair bleach will remain active as long as it has moisture and the longer it processes, the more damaged the hair will become. Likewise, the lighter you take the hair from its natural color, the more damage will occur (usually can stay active as long as one hour) It’s very important to understand you cannot go from black to a platinum blonde in one bleaching process and only will be able to lift to around a 4 to 5 level . When the hair is exposed to a lightening product such as bleach, the blue pigments are the first to begin breaking down and the red and yellow pigments gradually break down after.

Color Removing

Never do any color removing yourself! Removers are used with peroxide that act like bleach, so again, careful using it. It removes the tint revealing the underlying base from which the natural color has been removed in the hair coloring process. Unfortunately, no color remover will restore hair to its original, natural color.


High-lift color

High-lift colors are pretty much hair colors that have some lightener in it. It basically strips some of the natural pigment in your hair and then deposits the color.



Ultimate Hair Guide