Searching for a new look?

If it’s time for a change and you want something dramatic – try a new hair colour!

Changing your hair colour is never an easy decision. Usually clients will be looking through a plethora of magazines to find that one look that you think will suit you. Once you have found the look your after, the one question left is do I go to a salon or can I do it myself with a bought hair dye?

Changing your hair colour is a big decision especially if you are chasing a dramatic change like going from a brunette to a blonde. The change might be so dramatic that it will take multiple sittings in a salon to bring your hair from one colour to the next. Get it right and you will be full of confidence, self esteem and will look forward to showing off the new you. But get it wrong and you would probably go straight into a salon to fix the damage that has been done to your hair at a far bigger cost.

In the salon we are asked so often to help fix a client’s hair who has tried the box dye and it has not come out as they have expected. The truth is that colouring hair is an art, taking years of practice. What works for one person will not necessarily work for another.  The condition of the hair will determine how the dye will take and it is rarely ever the same with every person.

The Colour Wheel

There are many different brands of tint available and usually they are just one stand alone colour. The colour that you have selected combined with your current hair colour may throw gold instead of blonde. Hairdressers use the colour wheel which is a graph that shows how to balance out colour. For a person that has too much gold you would use purple to compliment the gold – this I why there are many purple shampoos on the market now. This colour wheel is also used when applying makeup. If there is a red tint to the skin you can use green foundation to dilute the red colour.  But how many of us have a green foundation sitting on your shelf at home or a purple shampoo and conditioner?  

Your Hair

Our hair has various functions. It helps to keep us warm, provides an aesthetic function, protects our body.  Hair is made up of the protein keratin which gives hair it’s strength. (Fingernails are also tightly compacted keratin cells.) The hair has many layers but three primary layers; one, the medulla which is the core of the hair shaft, usually containing only a small amount of pigment (The thin fluffy hair is called vellus and has no Medulla). The cortex, which insulates the medulla, and the hair cuticle. There are about another 7 layers, on top of the cuticle.  

The cortex is where the bulk of the pigment lies in our hair and is made up of very tightly packed elongated cells. For hair dye to work it needs to penetrate the 7 outer layers of the hair follicle to reach the cortex. The outer layer of the hair will slightly influence the colour until it reaches the pigment rich cortex layer. The colour that you place on the outer most part of your hair may be different to the actual colour defined in the cortex. 

How do dyes work?

To change the colour of your hair the alkaline solution ammonia is added to the hair which opens the cuticle and allows colour to penetrate the cortex and plays the role of a catalyst when the permanent hair colour comes together with the peroxide. This process can cause your hair to swell and ultimately damage your hair. Even when hair dyes are used as directed there are about 25 different chemicals at play which can cause different reactions on your hair. The most notable being PPD which can cause skin irritation even burning. 

Can using Dyes damage my hair?

In short, yes it can. The combination of ammonia and hydrogen peroxide can weaken the hair shaft making it susceptible to breakage, the more that you dye your hair the increased risk you have of breaking your hair. Another interesting fact is when you combine ammonia and hydrogen peroxide it can actually weaken the hair and loosens the hair when it is in the telogen resting stage which can lead to your hair falling out.    

Box Dye

Box Dye or supermarket packet dye come in one colour and they are pre-mixed to a certain strength which may work for your hair. However, depending on the quality of your hair, and the colour that you are after, this may either strengthen or weaken the mix. You have limited, or no control over the result. 

You choose a colour from the sample colour provided and when finished applying the colour you realise that it has not turned out the colour you hoped for.  These concentrations may work perfectly for one person but may cause damage to the next. 

The Salon Difference.

A qualified hairdresser is able to interpret the overall condition of your hair and select the correct amount of colour and activator that will give you quality coverage including eliminating greys.  Hair is never just one colour, it is many colours so a box dye will leave your hair one colour and one dimensional. Very rarely in my experience do these leave the client with a hair colour they are happy with.  A salon can do many layers of colour to suit and with the risk of over processing reduced, you are less likely to have the hair breaking and even falling out. 

Every day I see clients walk out of our salon with spring in their step full of confidence and self-esteem feeling amazing. 

Then there are the other clients arriving at our salon stressed and uptight because they gave the Box Dye a go with disastrous results.   

Don’t despair.   Give us a go!   


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