July 9, 2009

Crib Colorists Consider Crazy (Hair) Color Categories

Takes More Than a few Words to Clarify Haircolor Categories 

 Categories of hair color: what would you guess is the primary defining characteristic of categories of Hair Color?

 How Long the Color Lasts  -  is the answer............sounds simple, huh? That is where the simplicity ends.

There are 5 main categories of hair color: Temporary, Semi- Permanent, Demi-Permanent, Permanent and Bleaches / Lighteners. We will review the first 2 today. There is such horrible misrepresentations out there in the aisles of Sally's, Target, Walmart and every other place that sell the inexpensive "crap-in-a-box" Haircolor Kits. If I could choose how to best help the public in home hair coloring it would be to teach them what each of these hair color categories are, so they know how to avoid them and learn not to support these companies that are leading you down these paths of hair destruction. So many women contact me with horrific stories of hair destruction, so please if you don't understand, ask questions in the comments section so this can be solved and for all to see. 

I understand how thousands - no millions of people every single day - look at a box of haircolor that has "Semi Permanent" printed on the box, and purchase it with the thought that it will NOT be permanent, that it will NOT make a demarcation line, that it will gradually and thoroughly shampoo out and then it doesn't do any of those things. This problem is not the consumers, it is NOT YOUR mistake . . .it is the mistake of the company that sells these products. Maybe some people shrug me off  . . . and say " there are so many more serious problems out there"....but I know from up front experience that these problems lead you... the consumer...to 1) depression 2) anger 3) insecurity... and that is only the top 3 issues.

So many times it happens to teenagers, who many times purchase their 1st box behind the parents back, and we all know how fragile a teens emotions are. We've all done things like that with our hair......but the point is, what is printed on the outside of that box, NEEDS TO BE EXACTLY WHAT IS "INSIDE" of IT -- PERIOD.  I am taking a huge risk here as the large shampoo manufacturers actually advertise on my Blogs here which you will see all around this page here. . . . they may pull their ads with this article.... I wish I was wealthy enough to, not care. . . . but I'm not. We will see, I am not against these companies. . .  I just want them to treat the consumer fairly. I have dozens of people all the time in total tears and breaking down because of the mess the "Crap-in-a-Box" Kits and cheap hair color purchased at Sally's are used. 
I want to start by teaching as clearly as I can "what" each category of hair color means. Maybe the large manufacturers will read this, you just never know nowadays whose reading your words  ;-)

It wasn't until very recently, when they came up with a new line of hair color that actually has permanent Krazy Kolors, did I decide that I don't really want any hair color to be truly, totally, permanent. A company name PRAVANA was born, by a man who worked for about 20 huge hair company's over his career, he invented a true permanent  > Krazy Kolor palette. From all accounts given to me by others - these Crazy Colors were coming in with reports from everywhere that they were rock solid> Permanent. Maybe this sounds good to some, as it first did to me, mainly because Krazy Kolors are the first colors to fade, no one has ever been able to get them to last bold and vivid as first applied.. . but think about it, HOT PINK > screaming YELLOW in your hair forever -- until you cut it out ??!?  The concept started to bother me, I put a lot of thought into a totally permanent hair color & if I really would want one, the decision was a resounding NO. 

Truthfully, most people only want bright colors in their hair for brief periods of time, and it wasn't until this new hair color revelation that I started picturing a fully permanent hair color and the disadvantages - of. Its fun, its unique

Having used one of my KC quotes for years on this topic" there is no such thing as permanent hair color - even permanent fades"-- permanent hair color  -- shampoo-fades, sun-fades, hot tool-fades,  on & on, therefore, it is not truly permanent in my book, nor should it be in yours. Don't ever think it will be so permanent nothing can be done to change it.  If you haven't heard of VANISH yet, please look in the LABELS on the right-hand Sidebar, under Decolorize. Read the posts, which is how Celebs change hair color safely and frequently - its is very expensive - but at least it exists.

It reminds me precisely of the problems that go hand in hand with the Crap-In-A-Box (boxed hair color) Kits, the way the hair color seems pasted or GLUED in the hair - it doesn't budge at all. For those of you that I have gone through the long - Rejuvenate &  Decolorize Your Hair -trek with ( years of Dark Boxed hair color stuck on your hair ) - some have needed up to 10 boxes of VANISH to get it all out.  

We expect hair color to fade somewhat, otherwise how would you go lighter in the Spring and Darker in the Fall, if it didn't fade somewhat ? You wouldn't. How would you get that wonderful refreshment that comes with that Touch-up every 6 weeks ? You wouldn't.....not if Permanent Hair Color didn't fade a tiny bit. Think about that the next time you choose the category of hair color you choose. Most of us really do like to change our hair color a little bit within a single year....for that we should use Demi permanent + Permanent Hair Colors, not any of these new weird strains of hair color that are popping up. Here is a chart from Sassoon and therefore from England where Advanced/Master hair cutting,styling and hair coloring got its roots and which most countries recognize as the leader in hair - all facets. 

5 Categories of HAIR  COLOR ,
Temporary Hair Color .- Water-based, coats the hair shaft, becomes longer lasting with heat.  Includes: Rinses, Colored Tinted Shampoos & Conditioners, Colored Styling Products.  .......Deposits Color ONLY, coats the hair strand temporarily. Does not  Lighten or Lift,  uses No Developer, No Activator as long as it is 1 bottle, you are safe. 
Semi-Permanent Hair Color .....Deposit-Only hair color - designed to last Haircut to Haircut, originally. No Developer, No Catalyst, No Activator - again - no nothing - that's how you can tell if it is a true Semi Permanent or not. Semi Permanent  color is more penetrating than temporary but should not leave a L/D (Line of Demarcation). On normal healthy hair semi-permanent colors should eventually fade with shampooing.
Demi Permanent Hair Color......All Developer/Activator/Catalyst under 20 Volume, so 19 Volume and below. The common versions are 10 & 15 Volume + in the Color Touch Line : 6 & 13 Volume are the 2 EMULSIONS supplied with that line. If you take a tube of Koleston Perfect ( which is permanent hair color) and use it with 10 Volume developer, that turns it into Demi Permanent Hair Color.
Permanent Hair Color.....All Developer 20 Volume and above. 20 Volume Lifts 1-2 Levels and Deposits. 30Volume Developer Lifts 2-3 Levels and Deposits
Lighteners/Bleaches -  lightening the hair

1} Temporary Hair Color
Temporary haircoloring products are designed to last shampoo to shampoo. Temporary color is what many of us use at Halloween, it can be sprayed in and shampooed out. The pigment molecules in temporary color are large and therefore don't penetrate the cuticle layer, allowing only a 'coating action' ... that may be removed by shampooing. We use these haircolors in the movie business frequently, when a Stunt man or woman doubles an actor, you are chosen by your height,weight & talent. Wardrobe and hair can be altered very easily which makes for an almost perfect visual double, the last act is either wearing a wig ( no one can stand) or tinting our hair with a temporary hair color, at all times I kept 5-10 temp. "ROUX" colors on hand.
READ the label - remember how important your hair is to you.  Lasts only until you shampoo out, it rains, swim. Do not get too careless with this category....or it can stain very porous hair. May be called a "rinse".    Temporary products color the surface of the hair, superficially. They are formulated to prohibit penetration of the cuticle; high-weight tint molecules that cannot pass into the cortex are used. The labels of temporary hair color may list acid dyes, basic dyes, FD&C & D & C dyes. Because the molecules are so large - if overused - they reduce natural shine. When I was using these a few times a week in the Stunt business - my hair felt like straw....so be very careful. There is NOTHING like a HEALTHY HEAD of HAIR.
This type of hair color only makes a physical change not a chemical change in the hair shaft. Not very many people lay claim to using this type of hair color, but I have and I can say when used frequently they don't damage the hair but they do dry it out... I wonder how it would work for victims of oily hair....?
Temporary haircolors are available in a variety of colors & products, such as:
  • color rinses applied weekly to add color
  • colored mousses & gels used for slight color/dramatic effects
  • hair mascara
  • special effects
  • color-enhancing shampoos/conditioners : the red/brunette/blond boosters so prevalent right now 

2} Semi Permanent Hair color 
Semi-permanent haircoloring was first conceived to blend gray, and to give those hesitant to color their hair the first time a sample go-round. It evolved into a great haircolor for men, same day color for Relaxer'ed ethnic hair + perfect color for damaged hair. Semi-permanents are ideally suited to these tasks because they only DEPOSIT , there is NO lifting - NO Lightening in a true S/P. I still can remember to this day, that our very first attempt at real hair color in Hair Academy was Semi-Permanent which we performed on each other. It was such a cool feeling to change hair color for the first time and with a true semi-permanent it gives the most dynamic shine I had ever seen..it was mind-blowing. Semi Permanents typically blend low percentages of gray while demi-permanents blend or cover more gray.
What becomes a huge problem for everyone and most specifically the consumer - YOU - is there is no rules or laws to protect you from buying the correct product. As I tell my clients constantly, "there could be battery acid in that color you bought and it would not be against the law" !! That is very true, and very scary.
Semi - Perm is color formulated to last through several shampoos, depending on the hairs porosity. The pigment molecules are small enough to partially penetrate the hair shaft and stain the cuticle layer, but they are also small enough to diffuse out of the hair during shampooing and thus fade with each shampoo. If it is truly a semi-permanent it will last only 6 - 8 shampoos. It cannot lighten hair, so the change is minor and it does not require the maintenance of "new growth". It is formulated without AMMONIA and is generally as gentle to the hair as shampoo.
True Semi-Perm haircolor is used straight out of the bottle, if the color requires an activator-developer-processor-peroxide ---> "of any sort at all"  that moves it to a different classification (demi-permanent). The reason they use the term "activator" instead of "developer"  is to confuse the consumer, most will not know that a true semi-permanent should not be mixed with  A N Y T H I N G!   Check whatever you are purchasing, if it says "SEMI-PERMANENT" it should have a tube or bottle of hair color and NOTHING else - PERIOD! That way you can be assured of no, line-of-demarcation, once it begins washing out of your hair.
If they want the color to do something else, change categories - re-name it and follow the "unwritten & written laws" about it, so no one gets hurt. The problem here is the improper use affects millions of people not just a couple dozen.
The activator develops the color pigments within the formula and helps to swell the cortex and open the cuticle for color penetration
Semi Permanents are completely incapable of LIGHTENING, I have seen a number of kits that claim they are semi permanent blonding kits. That is an oxy moron there is no such thing as a semi-permanent that lightens hair, to lighten you would need a "bottle of peroxide" I hope this is becoming crystal clear to many of you.
Clairol has at least 10 infringements on this term . . . . I cannot even stand to read them,  they are so far from the truth. It is downright blatant FALSE advertising of a chemical  procedure a person applies to their own body, I feel just horrible that it is done to people every single day. The only way I can see to help is by educating the people that read this BLOG. There is no way I can go to a magazine, a TV show, even a newspaper with this info. Not one of them will print it. WzZhy? The company that owns Clairol is the number 1 advertiser in the entire USA, no one in their right mind would jeopardize how they bring in the most revenue. PLEASE do your own policing .The funny part of this is.......they also are the only ones to have the best Semi Permanent on the planet (the BEAUTIFUL Collection) . . .we use it at Vidal Sassoon Academy, I still use it today - I wouldn't use any other brand.! ? ! ? ! ? !
Demi's and Permanents are next. Hold on.
 For those new to Killer Strands . . . my number 1 recommendation for everyone is to go back to the beginning of the Posts . . Skim through them - read the ones pertaining to you. There is a lot of information here in no particular order, I have been telling new readers this for a year........every person I relay this too. . . Thanks me.    It will be the truth in Hair Care wide open for all to see. Enjoy.

Killer Chemist

12 comments on "Crib Colorists Consider Crazy (Hair) Color Categories"
  1. This is an AWESOME post, KC - I have never really understood the difference between demi- and semi- until now! Thanks!

  2. Hi Sweetie,
    You mention that "If you take a tube of Koleston Perfect ( which is permanent hair color) and use it with 10 Volume developer, that turns it into Demi Permanent Hair Color."

    Would this turn it into a ColorTouch level product?


  3. DH,
    Yes mam
    > You have nailed it on the head
    > the categories of hair color have to do with how long it lasts on your hair

    > Truthfully, you could take a Color TOUCH (demi-permanent)color and mix with 20Volume developer and make it a Permanent Color.

    > its 'chemistry' . . . mixed up with 'marketing' that makes it not seem like that could not be possible

    .................but it is.

    make sense?

  4. Wow. This is so informative. I LOVE your blog.

    Questions regarding semi-permanent application such as BEAUTIFUL Collection.
    1. Would you add Gleam to it?
    2. Would you use In-Depth after an application?

    Thanks so much.

  5. DH,
    Now, you are one "great" Crib Colorist, and have a great handle on Color knowledge.
    Bravo, girl, Bravo...
    Tough question, To Part 1:
    I would guess not....as a true semi permanent it has no ability to go into the hair strand, it just stains the outside. Gleam may actually work against the color in this way.
    This type of color is not an oxidative color - there is no developer to open the cuticle of the hair - no staining of hair. . .there fore no out-of balance pH factor.
    THAT BEING SAID. . . .
    Many KS's use IN-DEPTH (including, yours truly)as a daily conditioner, I have mounds & mounds of tangles - very long hair - so I alternate IN DEPTH with EColy TRI WHEAT Detangler. Both are super reasonable choices - moneywise - and both have the proper ingredients .
    hope that helps, KC

  6. i would love for you do a post on Red hair.
    the absence of almost anything to do with red hair (natural or chemical) saddens me.

    please give us some pro insight into the beautiful color that red is.

  7. Hallo, it's me again.

    Regarding a true semi permanent color:
    is the level system the same as with an oxidative color?

    For example if a semi permanent level 3 was mixed 50:50 with a level 7, would that result in a level 5? Or if a level 4 was mixed 60:40? with level 7 would that result in a level 5?

    Your the best. Thanks very much.

  8. Adem,
    That's funny, I never realized there isn't one post on red hair. . . till now.
    I know the numbers. Less than 2% of the population has real - true red hair....when doing these things you try to appeal to the majority as opposed to the minority...its just easier.
    But you are right.

    I was born a redhead, it was a tough life - being made fun of my entire youth. . . .most hair stylists love red hair, I have a different perspective, for obvious reasons.

    I'm slammed building the new store but will add RED HAIR to my "future Posts" list. Soon I will get to it.

    Thank you,

  9. Just wondering if Rogaine for women would help speed up hair growth?


  10. If you use Pravana on level 12 platinum blond hair it is not permanent. It washes out fairly quickly. There may be a hint of pink but if you want the color to last you must reapply and get a buildup of color.

  11. Hello!

    I've been following your blog very closely... moving through the archives like an online course! SO, I have a question though...

    Now, this may seem
    roundabout, but I'm wondering about haircolor and dreads (or locs, as
    I call them). My question is two-fold.

    1. Is there something useful that you can tell us about hair (it's
    construction and condition and the use of your products) that would improve it's ability to lock,
    and it's health when locking?

    2. Is there any advice you can give me for coloring locked hair?
    Special procedures, extra steps... recommendations for how to do a
    strand test....

    I'll be sure to relay your answer to nappy hair outlets all around...

  12. Sorry for going off topic here but i couldn't find a 'contact' link anywhere.

    I have been reading your blog for a little while because of the issues I've had w/ my hair. I found a link to your blog through Google. I certainly don't really fit in on this blog since I'm someone who's NEvER owned a blow dryer or curling iron her whole life. I also don't have any styling products period. I am a firm user of large claw clips or cotton scrunchies.

    I used to color my hair for a bout 10 years. I am a natural brunette and went blond for 10 years from ages 13-23. At 23 I said enough already and let it just grow out. I now have no color treated strands on my head. My daily routine is shampoo, condition, brush and maybe tie it up or just let it fly free. I don't get out in the sun much either so I don't really have sun damage on my hair and mostly when I'm out I wear a cotton hijab so my hair still doesn't see the sun.

    My thing is that I've always shed a lot of hair. I'm serious. For about 5 years now I've had to clean out my shower drain on a weekly basis or the tub would be clogged. My hair brush has to be cleaned out every other day because it has so much hair in it. My hair is everywhere and on everything. I'm worse than a long haired cat or dog I swear. Even my poor vacuum has suffered the consequences of having me as an owner. I am a mom of 3 ages 5 to 7 months. I know that during pregnancy my hair doesn't shed nearly as much but at around 4 months post-partum it sheds like crazy. My issue is that my hair is so different now than it used to be and it's also falling out too much. I am only 26 years old and I have a TON of gray, well white, hair. Very contrasting on my naturally 'espresso' colored hair.

    After reading your blog I thought maybe it was the sulfates. I switched around researching (within my budget) for SLS and ALS free shampoos. I even used a few that you had recommended in your comments to other posters. I have had absolutely no luck. I have tried that new EverPure sulfate free line and I hate it, I have tried Organix the coconut and the tea tree lines to no avail and I have tried Kiss My Face and Burt's Bees. They all basically give me the same results. They do nothing to the amount of hair that I have clumped in my hand after rinsing or during brushing and they leave my hair totally frizzy and dull looking and sometimes rough. I made very certain to get ones that 'claimed' to be PH balanced. I use both shampoo and conditioner. I have many fine strands of straight hair. I am white and have always had long smooth and shiny hair even after all the years of dying my hair I still had non-frizzy almost oily hair that was long and shiny and straight. Now I have kinky, frizzy, dull hair. I have been sticking with moisturizing/hydrating brands and some offer a smoothing and repairing line as well and I've tried them all to no avail.

    I don't have a big shampoo budget. I know $15 on a bottle of shampoo may not seem like much but for a mom of 3 who isn't working it's about $8 more than I can afford. And there is absolutely no way I can try your Thriven and secret supplement because I simply can't afford it.

    Do you have any shampoo/conditioner recommendations or any other suggestions that may help me.

    Thank You So Much
    Mary Ann


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