September 30, 2011

6 Crucial Factors Affecting Your Hair Color Result

How To Evaluate those Factors at Home
killer cuts colors103
This is the area I know many of you struggle with. I’ve stressed these factors individually but now I am going to review them all together. Now if you are trying to assess your hair in preparation for YOU to color it for the first time …this is the article for you.
6 Imperative Factors to Know Before, ANY Hair Color Procedure
  1. Existing Hair Color
  2. Virgin Base Level
  3. Percentage of Gray
  4. Ethnic Background
  5. Porosity
  6. Texture
The results of your haircoloring, I promise you, will only be as good as your analysis of these 6 points. Hair Colorists who do this day in and day out…should be held to that same rule. If your hair colorings continue to come out wrong. Always revert back to this page. Print it out. Keep it in your cupboard where you have stored your hair color tools. If you don’t have any, get them ! Don’t do hair color with home products, when your goal now is to have your hair look professional. Its not hard to do a good analysis, you just have to know what to look for.
I’m telling you, it would be so simple to print this page out….or simplify to how it makes sense to you (keeping the important parts). Each time you go to “change your hair color” you use the sheet. Answer all 6 questions.
1.) Existing Hair Color >? I have found in our Group that this is the most misunderstood step. You need to answer honestly to yourself whether you have put hair color on your hair is the last 12-18 months. If you have it alters what you can do profoundly. Don’t lie to yourself. Hundreds of people everyday sit in chairs and lie to hairstylists. . . they don’t think we can tell and we can. We want to see if you are going to be honest or not. So remember this. Once you have applied any type of hair color that uses developer  to your hair there are so many options that become impossible to do. So think about this the nest time you feel like running out to the drugstore and applying, quickly, some boxed haircolor , because those are the worlds hardest colors to get out. Don’t do it, if you ever want to have nice hair color.                                                                              If you do have hair color determine what level that color is.There are different plans to think about if your present hair color is
  • lighter…………than your ‘desired’…you will pre-pigment or fill
  • the same level as your ‘desired’…...this is easy – smile
  • darker ……….than your ‘desired’… will remove color (Vanish)
2.) Virgin Hair Level – Determine Your Virgin Level by parting the top of the hair down the middle. Doing it to yourself? Use bathroom so you can look up close take the end of a tail comb (tail comb) take a copy of any 1 of the 2 dozen Level Charts on this Blog I have given you, with you. Pull the hair up near the part, gauge it from there. NEVER THE ENDS. If your not sure ask a partner, ask a family member, ask a friend.
wella KP 2010 chart138     
3.) Determine the % of gray – Gray hair is basically hair with no pigment. Haircolor looks different on gray hair than on any other color. The reason? If gray has 0 pigment
  • Level 10 blonde - 10% pigment
  • Level 9 blonde - 20% pigment
  • Level 8 blonde - 30% pigment
  • Level 7 dark blond - 40% pigment 
  • Level 6 Light brown – 50%pigment    
  • and on down the line till you reach Level 1 – with 100% pigment
Gray is not on that chart at all. It has “0” pigment. With no pigment it has nothing the hair color can latch onto, so therefore when you color without using the tricks to covering gray….it will cover but in 1-2-3 weeks the gray will begin to show its ugly head!
When you have gray you must come up with an estimate of how much gray you have, this can be a little tricky at the beginning. So let me give you a couple tricks. 10% gray means one in every ten hairs is gray. Many times it is the first impression that makes me decide. Remember all of these factors go back to number 1 – do you have color on the hair already. If so, you are doing this estimating on the “base” (roots) ……….. {roots is such a God-awful word they came up ‘base’ –much more appealing…try to use it}. So there are many different situations you may find yourself in. Close your eyes……….open them, does your hair look more gray than natural? Than you are over 50%….and vice versa. If you are coloring your own hair  you will be able to play with a professional I feel you should know exacts before you ever start hair on clients.
Below in the picture of a chart on the right hand side….it shows 25% gray – 50% Gray & 75% Gray…………..
wella KP 2010 chart137
With this color Series I am going to go through coloring all the way. Not leaving things out with hopes of a book. That will never happen, so now you will get the entire color Instruction and in order. You will be taught the Sassoon method of how to cover gray, and everything else.
4.) Ethnic background – I put this in here because I feel most publications (and my training left it out as a distinct category. It is deeply studied in the European part of the world and they have magazines and books that deal only with ethnic hair.
> Afro American hair tends to be very curly and darker and coarser, on average, than Caucasian.                            > Asian hair tens to be coarse , very resistant , very dark and straight.
So those….. and I have written a wonderful post about ethnicities & their hair but all hair on all people has most of the same properties. The properties from one ethnicity to another will most definitely be different so that subject does not really affect this post.                                        
5.) Porosity Resistant hair is slower to accept haircolor. It’s funny out of all these steps……I have found both in the group –and- in all of the Consultations I have done  . . . everyone knows whether or not their hair “takes’’ color well or not. Isn’t that funny??  I think that is super unusual. Every single hairstylist out there must be saying to themselves as they takes the foils out or I have always scratched the color off with my fingernail to see if the color is taking fast or not – that every single one of you KNOWS the answer to that question !!! Well, THAT is the porosity of your hair. You were born with it.
Overporous hair processes quickly and may require more warmth in the formula and a weaker developer ( and possibly ‘filling’ or they used to call it pre-pigmenting).
Then there is normal porosity….means a slightly raised cuticle – just barely lifted. No adjustments need to be made and most of you have this porosity.
I feel porosity affects a lot more than most give it credit for… you will see in following posts.
6). Texture of Hair – Most people have medium texture so no special considerations are needed.
For extremely fine and “might'” have to pay attention to…. the “quote goes 9 out of ten people are medium texture” so most people don’t have to worry. I find that quote a little off with all the ethnicities here now and with all the cross marriages…lots of beautiful new textures are popping up.
What you will want to be careful of is the fine hair around the face some people have. If that is you ….there are a couple tricks …but I will give you the 2 easiest. Because to me there are 2 kinds of face frame hair….one is super find one is medium fine. The only difference is in timing – I was this picky – maybe you don’t want to be.
  • Super fine….3-5 minutes before end of processing time (save a bowl of color – always) apply color. Rinse that part last.
  • Medium fine … just apply color on whole head then apply last ( this way it has 20-25 minutes.!)
Killer Chemist


September 28, 2011

Hair Color Basics From The Boss

Messages from Members Motivate Me : Time To Review Hair Color Basics
In speaking with many of you lately, and just this morning someone in the group, made me feel some Posts on the BASIC OF HAIR COLOR were due. Everything has been written about on this Blog in years past but, like you, I get tired of looking back & through years of Posts on Blogs I read – so I get it.
First I want to talk to you about the different categories of Hair Color. I am going to put in my 2 cents to the very boring and bland manner in which this topic is normally discussed, so hang on to your hat!
The lines between the categories of color used to be sharp now they are not only foggy, they don’t really mean much to well-trained Colorists. We can almost always find a way around the way the color is supposed to be used. I feel it takes  more than 1 term to describe the hair color products of today.IMG_1080
For decades the 4 basic categories were:
  • Temporary (the oldest) - shampoos out, here today/gone tomorrow. Rinses, Roux, Root Touch-up mascaras/wands, color shampoo, etc,
  • Semi-Permanent- lasts haircut to haircut (meaning 4 weeks). A diminishing category sadly. I feel there is a lot of room for expansion here, provided category is used properly NO DEVELOPER. Large color manufacturers have mislead public putting: ”Semi-Permanent” on boxes of hair color that included developer : which is completely WRONG and misleading. The minute Developer is used, it changes the manner in which hair color works, it then imparts that line of demarcation something not achieved when using a ‘true’ Semi Permanent Haircolor. This category is wonderful for refreshing color it emparts more shine than any other category, but sadly the large manufacturers feel we don’t need this – when WE DO!
  • Demi-Permanent (the newest) – 1/2 way between Semi & Permanent is what they aim for Demi to be.  Various companies define it differently, Deposit-only, very Gentle on strands, for the Killerstrands gang : the perfect hair color application is to apply Permanent haircolor on the roots/new growth…Demi-Permanent on the lengths. Demi imparts VIVID color results, a knock-out for shine, covers mild gray (under 25%), refreshes Permanent color,deposits Tonal changes, corrective coloring and reverse-highlighting.
  • Permanent – Oxidized haircolor. This is the Grandaddy category for some reason. You have the choice of 10 Volume thru 40 Volume developer and everything in between. Developer (hydrogen peroxide) is mixed w/ haircolor and remains in strands till new growth of hair. Used for covering gray (#1),lightening, matching previous hair color. The 1 & only color that performs the complete magical act of Lifting color and Depositing color at the same time. Think about that! All companies ‘claim’ this category of their hair color is permanent. When in fact it is not. All HAIR COLOR FADES except Bleach / Lightener / Oil Lightener. Please read on for those of you weary of this category…I have a surprize for you….
Lets look at the definition of “Permanent”:  existing perpetually; everlasting, especially without significant change, long-lasting or non-fading(!)
Had a good laugh?  I’ve applied Permanent haircolor on over 10,000 Heads, not 1 of them had the same haircolor 5-8 weeks later & these are folks that all used Sulfate-free shampoos and the finest hair products in the land (my Salon was in Malibu) and followed 10,000 HEADS really really well..
bonnet dryer 020203
Many of you are freaked out by the sound “Permanent Color”, I really would like everyone to get over that. If you don’t believe me, ask your relatives-friends-moms-daughters-boyfriends….there experience with “permanent haircolor”. Remember I am talking properly applied professional haircolor in colors lighter than Level 2. The only color you don’t want to be permanent is the only one that is…Level 1 black.  It takes at least 4 boxes of VANISH to fade Black….no one wants to have black hair for very long. Its harsh & not flattering on anyone’s complexion.
Every single haircolor fades......permanent, semi-permanent, temporary and
anything else anyone has made up.
Its the nature of the beast. If you have ever had permanent hair color – I already know where it comes from. Applying boxed hair color on top of itself about 20 times – then its permanent. It also looks like dull-dry-ugly SHOE POLISH with that method.  I am glad there is no “technically-permanent” haircolor, the only people who wish there was are clients with lots of Gray although there is a problem with that idea. The new gray roots will always be there, we cannot do anything about your new growth and you wouldn’t want us to.
Embrace permanent color, because - - - as long as you are using any hair color with a developer @ any Volume level you deal with the same issues and I promise there is across the board flexibility (same with every single haircolor brand). 
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           Scientists are funny. They sit in their labs at these Color
Giants.....and they develop hair they figure out 1 hair
color and if it goes through a couple washes it is almost the exact
same color. Think about this........they are MEN. Now did everyone
Have you ever asked your "man"  - -  if he loves your new hair
color??? 9 out of 10 don't know if you went form blonde to black.
When women would be in my chair and they would be nervous about their man’s approval in changing haircolors that "they" wanted and I agreed would look
I would ALWAYS tell them, "he will never even notice"......not
once in 15 years did I have someone come back and tell me their man
was mad.......
they really don't care what color our hair is.
So that is why I really don't think much of the "MEN" who sit in these
They are still men
Wella Koleston Perfect 4444As long as I have been doing hair I have never run into one haircolor
that truly was permanent, as I said…I think they are ALL misnamed and the Permanent should be Demi and so on
down the line....
Bleach/Oil-Bleach Lightener  is truly the one & only color process
that is permanent.

Yes they look good for 1-2-3 weeks but after that well it goes out the
window....I still feel FUDGE COLOR'S are OVER AND ABOVE the best Krazy
Kolors on the market.....MANIC PANIC & the 3 brands you speak of ARE
SOLD IN THE MALL....anyone and their mother can buy them..Haircolor
has different levels of quality...
which is why you can buy haircolor in Sallys and you might as well
pour that out the window as you drive home.
Again haircolor is made by men....and I don't want anyone to get me
wrong, I love MEN, they are my favorite hobby...
Men should NOT be making haircolor for all of these companies.
To make haircolor you must be a Cosmetic Chemist...........that
society has about 98% MEN. Now you know why haircolor is not “more permanent than it is, why there aren’t more colors to choose from.  All in a nutshell.
So, you young women out you know what occupation needs
help...  take it from me, it is a blast as well. We need women in the industry in all facets. One needs a degree in Science, then a Degree in Cosmetic Chemistry.
I’ll be waiting for you….
KC  Killer Chemist
September 11, 2011

Hair's Anatomy - Understand Those Hair Strands

THair Anatomy
This is something I should have discussed a long time ago, but hey, who knew I would still be going. I'm also going to wrench it up a notch with this discussion and start going into a bit more of the scientific angle, I am finding a lot of you are interested in the more technical talk and the more specific answers - so this will be a little more in-depth explanation of how the hair on your head is formed. I use these words so frequently, maybe if you understood them more completely it would help you relate what I am saying.
Hair is composed of protein that grows of cells originating within the hair follicle (why I stress the importance of protein in your daily diet). This is where the hair shaft begins. 
As soon as these living cells form, they begin their journey upward through the hair follicle. They mature in a process called keratinization. As these newly formed cells mature, they fill up with a fibrous protein called keratin, then move upward, lose their nucleus and die. You will see many products use that buzz word - keratin. I have performed many experiments with pure keratin, and truly did not notice any difference when it is added to the hair strand itself.  Compared to the tests with any oil by nature....the hair loves and adores anything oil based.. I even found some oil-based keratin from New Zealand that I played around for a few months and had a little luck, the problem ended up being if I wanted to use it in a product, it would cost me a fortune to get it delivered from New Zealand, so I had to scratch that idea. I tell you all this so you can watch for certain names in the thousands of hair products out there.
By the time the hair shaft emerges from the scalp, the cells of the hair are completely keratinized and are no longer living, but the root is still alive or it wouldn't grow. The hair shaft that emerges from the scalp is a non-living fiber composed of keratinized protein. Hair is a cylinder of impacted keratinized cells, I have included a simplified model of a single hair shaft (photo) and other various close-ups for you to refer to for the discussion of hair anatomy. A cross section of the hair shaft shows you the 3 major structures of a fully mature and keratinized hair. The central-most layer is the medulla, the next layer is the cortex and the outer layer is the cuticle.
MEDULLA - this section of the hair contains melanin granules and is present only in very thick terminal hair - generally only thick coarse hair contains a medulla( all male beard hair contains one) its quite common for very fine and blond hair to entirely lack a medulla. Notice the medulla is very deep and the very inside core of the hair, it is also the least important as far as hair care.
CORTEX - a fibrous protein core formed by elongated cells containing melanin pigment, about 90% of weight comes from the cortex. The elasticity and the hairs natural color begin here. Most of the changes to the hair shaft - such as those related to permanent color (oxidative coloring), semi permanent, chemical straightening, curling hair, permanent waving all occur in the cortex of the hair, the major component of the hair shaft. The cortex consists of elongated cells containing monofilament rich in cystine, this composition gives hair its great tensile strength.
CUTICLE - the integrity of the hair shaft is maintained by the cuticle. The cuticle consists of flattened cells along the hair shaft arranged like shingles on a roof. The overlapping is extremely tight, preventing damage to the underlying cortex. This is the part of the hair I refer to the most, I hope you can remember these scales, they are important in many references I will make over time. When the cuticle is intact, the scales are smooth, reflect light, and provide a shiny, healthy look to the hair! 
A healthy intact cuticle is the hair's primary defense against damage and this is the layer that really takes the most abuse. Lets just say > your cuticle hates your flat iron.

Hair is approximately 91 percent protein. 91% ! Now when I stress that PROTEIN -- PROTEIN -- PROTEIN must be burned into the back of your brain every time you go to eat, you can now see a hint of "why". The protein is made up of long chains of amino acids, which in turn are made up of elements. The elements that make up human hair are carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and sulfur. These five elements are also the major elements found in skin and nails (remember > I find so many similarities in skin and hair - my basis for how THRIVEN was conceived) are often referred to as the COHNS elements. Table 8-1 shows the % of each element in normal hair.
The amino acids, the units of structure in protein, are linked together end to end like Mardi Gras beads. the chemical bond that joins amino acids to each other is called a peptide bond . A long chain of amino acids linked by peptide bonds is called a polypeptide chain. Polypeptide chains intertwine around each other in a spiral shape called a helix.
The 4 most important hair characteristics that affect its function and appearance are density, elasticity, porosity and texture. Which is an entire Department or D-E-P-T its initials.
DENSITY : measures the number of individual hair strands on one square inch. It indicates how many hairs there are on a persons head. Hair density can be classified as low, medium, or high ( or thin, medium, or thick-dense). Hair density is different from hair texture in that different individuals with the same hair texture can have different densities and vice-versa. Some individuals may have coarse hair texture (each hair has a large diameter), but low hair density ( a low number of hairs on the head). Others may have fine hair texture (each hair has a small diameter) but high hair density ( a high number of hairs on the head). Hope that isn't too confusing, this is an important fact for those of you working with me on hair color consultations.     The more info like this that you can break down and explain to me the more "right-on" we will get with your own personal hair color formulation.

The average hair density on 1 head > about 2,200 hairs per square inch. Hair w/ high density ( thick or dense hair) has more hairs per square inch. The average head of hair contains about 100,000 individual hair strands. the number of hairs on the head generally varies with the color of hair. Blondes usually has the highest density and redheads ( boo-hoo) have the lowest.

POROSITY: If only I could stress the importance of this characteristic, I would be able to assess some of your hair so much easier. Porosity is the ability of the hair to absorb moisture. The degree of porosity is directly related to the condition of the cuticle layer therefore healthy hair with a compact cuticle layer is naturally resistant to penetration. Porous hair has a raised cuticle layer that easily absorbs water.

Hair with low porosity is considered resistant (see photo) . Chemical services performed on hair with low porosity require a more alkaline solution than those on hair with high porosity. Alkaline solutions raise the cuticle and permit uniform saturation and processing.
Hair with average porosity is considered normal (see photo) . Chemical services performed on this type of hair will usually process as expected, according to texture, which is why if I know this about your hair I can gauge more accurately your outcome, so I encourage all of you to figure each of these characteristics out about your own hair, its good information to have for life, I feel.
Hair with high porosity is considered overly porous and is the results of previous over processing (see photo).Over porous hair is damaged, dry, fragile and brittle. Chemical services performed on overly porous hair require less alkaline solutions with a lower pH. This will help over processing.(Yes, I realize we need to go into the whole entire pH story, which we will very very soon - it is hard to decide whether to start with the chicken or the egg in explaining this - its ALL necessary).

The Texture of the hair is not an indication of its porosity. Different degrees of porosity can be found in all hair textures. Although coarse hair normally has a low porosity and is resistant to chemical services, coarse hair can also have high porosity as the result of previous chemical services.
Here is a nifty trick . . you can check porosity on dry hair by taking a strand of several hairs from 4 different areas of the head ( the front hairline, the temple, the crown, and the nape). Hold the strand securely with one hand while sliding the thumb and forefinger of the other hand from the end to the scalp. If the hair feels smooth and the cuticle is compact, dense and hard, it is considered resistant. If you can feel a slight roughness, it is considered porous. If the hair feels rough, dry or breaks it is considered overly porous.
ELASTICITY Is the ability of the hair to stretch and return to its original length without breaking. Hair Elasticity is an indication of the strength of the side bonds that hold the hair's individual fibers in place. Wet hair with normal elasticity will stretch up to 50% of its original length and return to that length without breaking. Hair with normal elasticity holds the curl from wet sets and permanent waves without excessive relaxing.

Hair with low elasticity is brittle and breaks easily. Hair with low elasticity may not be able to hold the curl from wet setting, thermal styling ( curling irons ) or perms. Hair with low elasticity is the result of weak side bonds that usually result from over processing. Chemical services performed on hair with low elasticity require a milder solution with a lower pH, that solution minimizes damage and helps prevent additional over processing.

Check elasticity on wet hair by taking an individual strand from four different areas of the head ( the front hairline, the temple, the crown, and the nape). Hold a single strand of wet hair securely and try to pull it apart ( see photo - elasticity). If the hair stretches and returns to its original shape without breaking, it has normal elasticity. If the hair breaks easily or fails to return to it original length then it has low elasticity.

TEXTURE is the thickness of diameter of the individual hair strand. Hair texture can be be classified as coarse, medium, or fine and differs from individual to individual (see all photos). Hair can also vary from strand to strand on the same person's head! It is not uncommon for hair from different areas of the head to have different textures. Hair from the nape (back of the neck), crown, temples, and front hairline of the same person may all have different textures - just to confuse matters even more.
Coarse hair texture has the largest diameter. It is stronger than fine hair, for the same reason that a thick rope is stronger than a thin rope. Coarse hair also has a stronger structure. It usually requires more processing than medium or fine hair and may also be more resistant to that processing. It is usually more difficult for hair lighteners, hair colors, permanent waving solutions, and chemical hair relaxers to penetrate coarse hair, so that is why this subject is relevant in the overall scheme of hair .
Medium hair texture is the most common and it is the standard to which other hair is compared. Medium hair is considered normal and does not pose any special problems or concerns.
Fine hair has the smallest diameter and is more fragile, easier to process, and more susceptible to damage from chemical services than coarse or medium hair. Finer hair is hair that one should choose the least amount of time for chemical services possible, as a safeguard. With bleach you will be leaving it on quite a bit less than coarse hair. See why these characteristics are so very very important ? If you figure them out about your hair you can take them into account when coloring your hair the first time and therefore you can avoid any disasters from happening.
Hair Texture can be determined by feeling a single dry strand between the fingers. Take an individual strand from 4 different areas of the head -- the front hairline, the temple, the crown, and the nape -- and hold the strand securely with one hand while feeling it with the thumb and forefinger of the other hand. With a little practice you will be able to to feel the difference between coarse, medium and fine hair diameters.
These 4 major characteristics of the hair shaft, Density, Elasticity, Porosity & Texture (dept.) -- will affect the overall permeability of hair to chemicals and liquids of all type.Therefore how shampoo affects it as well.
Texture and Porosity are judged together in determining the processing time. Although porosity is more significant, texture is also important. Fine hair, having a small diameter, will become saturated with wave lotion more than hair with a large diameter if both are equally porous. Coarse hair that is very porous, however will process faster than fine hair that is not porous. The hair texture will also contribute to its elasticity. The stronger the hair shaft, the greater its elasticity.

Whew! that was a mouthful and page full but its something I have wanted to get said. So I am glad it finally is. This is just the beginning of how the hair structure pertains to shampoos,color and hair care products, which is all forth coming so just hang on.

Killer Chemist