The average person has no idea how hair works, much less how hair color works. They tend to think that it’s literally just a dye that covers the outside of the hair but the truth is that it is much more complicated than that.
This is something that you will learn at cosmetology school, but for now, we’re going to start by discussing what hair is, how it works, and we’ll finally move on to the permanence of the hair color and of course how it is going to affect you.
What is Hair and How Does it Work?
In a typical mammal, hair manifests itself in one particular way, with two different parts. Let’s take a look at the two different parts and how they work.
Shaft – This is the first part of the hair, which you will see protruding above the skin.
Root – This part is sunk in a follicle or a pit that resides right below the surface of the skin.
Something important to remember is that most of the hair is already dead, apart from the cells growing at the base of the root. The follicle itself is a pocket of the epidermis, shaped like a tube, and its purpose is to enclose a section of the dermis at its base. Essentially, hair is formed when cells at the base divide and are pushed upward. They are then hardened, and pigmented, giving us what we see as the hair on the average person.
A Look at Hair Color
There are many different types of hair color, though to be honest, when most people think about it, they’re thinking about the type you buy at the local drug store, in the box, but there is so much more to it than that. If we’re going to be blatantly honest, there are three different levels of hair color, each with a different purpose. Let’s talk about them, as they can become an important part of your affordable cosmetology school education.
This is the type of hair color that you would typically see at a drugstore, and while it does alter the appearance, it is not a drastic change. The hair color injects color molecules into the cuticle, but it doesn’t interfere with the natural pigment. Eventually, because they are so small, they exit the hair shaft, though it will take several shampoos for this to happen. In most cases, these colors will last for 6 to 12 shampoos, so be ready to use it again once it wears off.
This is a bit longer lasting, and you’ll see it through about 24-26 shampoos. Depending on how often you wash your hair, you might see it last up to six months, and in this variant, pre-color molecules penetrate the cuticle, entering the cortex, and evolving into medium-sized color molecules. They’re larger, so they take a lot longer to wash out, making them one of the most obvious choices for those looking to completely change their hair color. The best part is that it covers up gray hair.
Finally, if you’re looking to really change your hair color, any good school for cosmetology is going to tell you that permanent color is the way to go. So, how does it work exactly? There are several levels, assuming how far you want to take it. Let’s say, for example, that you want to take your hair or anyone else’s from black to blond – obviously, you can’t do this with drugstore hair color, so you’ll want to look into double process blonding. This is a professional procedure that makes use of ammonia and peroxide.
The molecules penetrate all the way to the cortex, ultimately reacting and expanding to a size that does not wash out. No matter which color you choose to go with, the end result is going to be a combination of your natural hair pigment and a shade that you have chosen. Remember – hair grows monthly, meaning touch ups are going to be a necessity, even with permanent hair color.
In cosmetology school, hair color is a very important factor and procedure – one that you must learn and administer to clients regularly. Know the basics, and know how to fix mistakes – particularly those made by other cosmetologists.