Natural human hair colour is melanin, a pigment that the human body produces that makes up a person’s complexion. Everybody has a variation of pigment colors, and it’s these combinations that make up the hair, skin, and eye colors differently for every single person.
Hair color is also an important element in every hair style, and so if a hairstyle is the frame around a person’s face, hair color is the type of frame, the material, texture and color that compliments the picture (a person’ face, eyes, complexion).
Hair color thus further individualizes each person, haircut, style, and look.
Artificial hair color can be described as anything foreign that is used, applied, processed on the hair that will either, stain it (Henna), cover the outside (Temporary Color), chemically alter it internally (using chemical reactions between molecules, pigments, ammonia and peroxide, knows as permanent Hair Color).
Bleached hair or as it’s better known, lightened hair can be achieved using natural bleaching agents such as vinegar, lemon juice, and even UV light that will lighten pigments inside the hair shaft.
Using Bleach and peroxide to lighten hair is okay when done by a professional, this is where the bleach oxidizes the melanin pigment making it colorless. It’s always the larger darker melanin molecules that oxidise first (dark browns, reds, orange, and finally yellow) and is why untoned bleached hair will always look golden yellow in color.
Yes, well almost anybody.
Chemical lightening has improved dramatically in the past 10 years, meaning that people that start off with natural dark hair colours, and where the hair is in good enough condition have a very high chance of their hair colorists turning them into blondes.
Now if your hair is in bad condition, is color processed already, you may not be able to go blonde. You should check with a professional hair colorist first.
Light hair can suit anybody, even people with darker, olive skin complexions so long as it’s the correct tone of blonde.
Just as people’s complexions are warm and cool, blonde hair colors need to stay on the same side of the spectrum or the same tone to suit them.
For example, a person with a fair, cool complexion should stay away from warm tones like golden blondes, copper tones, and instead have artic blondes, beiges, and ash blondes.
Balayage is a highlighting technique that does not use foils, instead this is where a colorist will hand paint color or bleach directly onto your hair, creating a more natural and blended effect.
Painting hair color directly onto usually dry hair, allows the colorist to add splashes of colour just as an artist would on canvass, seeing where the hair falls naturally, this way being sure to add hair color where it’s needed to compliment a person’s features, or a specific haircut.
Ombre hair color technique is where the hair is blended from one color hue to another, usually where the hair will start darker at the roots and then gradually get lighter right to the very ends.
The definition for Ombre is the French word for “color that is shaded or graduated in tone.
One advantage to Ombre hair color is that if your roots are dark, you will not see a regrowth, or need to commit to regular roots touch ups as the Ombre effect already appears as a grown-out hair color.
Millions of dollars have been spent in research and development and then advertising alone between all the competing hair color companies, and naturally they will tell you that their hair color is superior to their competitors.
Some will claim their dye has low ammonia, is organic, safe, will cause less damage to your hair and so on.
The truth of the matter is that most hair dyes that you can purchase online or from a store, and that is manufactured by a big reputable brand, is safe and okay to use.
The risks however are that it depends what condition your hair is to begin with, and then what you are hoping to achieve by coloring your hair in the first place?
As a rule
- Semi-permanent hair colour won’t damage your hair as there is no ammonia, peroxide, or oxidation of your hair pigment molecules. Note that this also means that you can’t lighten your hair.
- Natural colours such as Henna, Coffee basically stain the hair and the color will wash away over time, however beware, these types of hair colors can cause problems with other color or hairdressing treatments.
- Reputable permanent hair colour is fine if you are doing a root touch up, covering grey hair, sticking to hair colors that are close to your natural hair color.
My recommendation is to always seek any hair color advice from a professional hair colorist, particularly for anything where going lighter, or using permanent color is concerned.
Blonde highlights in hair can be described as small slices, pieces, wefts of blonde hair that interweaves and creates a contrast with your other hair color that is normally darker or brighter.
There are many techniques used to create blonde highlights in hair and some of these include;
- Foils, where hair is weaved using a tail comb, separated, color applied to the hair on foil, and then left to process without changing the hair colour outside of the wrapped foil.
- Balayage, where hair color or bleach is painted directly to the hair using a tint brush, usually in slim vertical strips.
- Streaks and frosting were all the rage 20 years ago, where a plastic or rubber cap is placed over your head, and then using a croquet hook, a small weft of hair is pulled through, and bleached lighter. Once the desired color is achieved, excess color is rinsed away, the cap removed, and the hair now has two colors.
- Ombre, where bleach is applied in time intervals starting from the ends to the mid lengths.
To get purple hair you need to start off with a light base color, if you are a natural blonde then lucky you, otherwise you will first need to bleach your hair as light as possible (for more vibrancy), and then you will need to add the purple hair color dye.
There are a few purple hair colors on the market, but most reputable ones will be very similar in results that will fade and wash away overtime.
Red hair color is always fashionable year to year. What you will find however is that hair color companies through their marketing and advertising departments like to push red hair tones more in the fall as a seasonal thing.
Sometimes they will launch a collection of deep mahoganies, chestnuts, and other times they will go with warm reds.
The important thing here is that a red hair color is chosen that will suit your complexion.
Platinum blonde hair color has been popular ever since Jean Harlow, one of Hollywood’s biggest move stars back in 1911 made it popular.
There have been periods in the last 110 years where trends saw the tone change slightly to
- Artic blonde
- Beige blonde
- Honey blonde
- Strawberry blonde
- Ash blonde
However, Platinum blonde hair remained strong throughout these periods in time, and still today is as popular and as mesmerising as ever.
Platinum blonde hair color is blonde, lightened hair that has had all warm, yellow tone pigments removed through hair coloring, bleaching, and toning.
The “term” platinum blonde was apparently invented by Howard Hughes in reference to Jean Harlow as a nickname.
There are two elements important to achieving a great platinum blonde hair color,
- The hair must be lightened to a level that oxidises (makes translucent) as much yellow pigment as possible.
- The hair then must be toned with a cool shade of color such as silver, ash, pearl, (blue pigments that counteract gold and look PLATINUM)
There have been many famous platinum blonde females in the past 100 years that have had a variety of talents, contributed to society in many ways, but that all had one thing in common, that is how their platinum blonde hair colour made them stand out from the crowd. Some of these include
- Jean Harlow
- Marilyn Monroe
- Lana Turner
- Mae West
- Grace Kelly
- Jayne Mansfield
- Brigitte Bardot
- Goldie Hawn
- Dolly Parton
- Debra Harry
- Pamela Anderson
- Lady Gagga
- Gwen Stefani
- Reese Witherspoon
- Kim Kardashian (really bad platinum blonde)
Balayage hair color is a technique that will work on anybody with any starting hair color, be it dark brown, red, or blonde hair.
Blonde Balayage is lighter blonde ends that gradually get darker right down to the roots, and so if you are starting off blonde, then you will need to make the ends even lighter and less gold (hair naturally goes gold when it lightens) for the ends to appear blonder.
Strawberry blonde hair color is really blonde hair that has some red, a little blue, and not much gold tones through it.
It is extremely rare for people to have strawberry blonde hair naturally as most people have an abundance of gold pigments, and so their hair often appears more copper gold (some people call this strawberry blonde mistakenly).
Strawberry blonde hair color is applied either as a full color to light shade hair, or as a toner where adding a smidgen of blue, gives the red hues a cool appearance, just like strawberries.