Hair Coloring 101: What You Need to Know About Dyeing Your Hair

Hair coloring is a staple in any respectable hair salon in Singapore that most people don’t think twice anymore about undergoing the process. Besides, today’s hair dyeing products are much safer and easier to use than most dyes used before. But what exactly happens during a hair coloring process and what are the ingredients in today’s hair dyes? Knowing all these can make your next trip to the hair salon much easier because you’ll know what to ask for when you speak to your stylist.

History of Hair Dyeing

Unknown to most hair dyeing enthusiasts, people have been changing the color of their hair since ancient times. The first recorded use of hair dye to hide graying hair was in ancient Egypt. The ancient Greeks and Romans too used permanent black dye extracted from plants, which were in fact highly toxic. Since then, people have continuously searched for safer ways to color the hair. It wasn’t even until centuries later, since the Greeks switched to fermented leech in lead vessels for 2 months, until other colors besides black were used. Hair dyeing also symbolized a person’s status in society, such as the decree of the Roman Empire to have prostitutes dye their hair yellow. Saxon and Gaulic warriors, on the other hand, wore bright colored dyes to indicate their high rank while on the battlefield.

It was not until in 1863 that the chemist William Henry Perkin accidentally discovered a safer way to dye hair when he was actually looking for a cure for malaria. The result was a synthesized dye the color of mauve. Later, August Hoffman used the mauve dye as a foundation for most modern hair coloring products. Today’s methods still used in most beauty parlors worldwide, including all hair salon in Singapore, is considered antiquated and even dangerous.

Ingredients in a Hair Dye

Most hair dyes used by the ancients were made from natural ingredients and herbs, unlike the commercial hair color developed in 1909, which is based on paraphenylenediamine. Most hair dyes used in hair salon today, particularly the permanent hair color, contain two basic ingredients that make colors last longer. These are hydrogen peroxide and ammonia. The former is used as an oxidizing agent or a developer that begins the color-forming process. The hydrogen peroxide removes the sulfur found in hair, resulting in light but hard hair strands. Before getting your hair colored, make sure that your stylist at your chosen hair salon in Singapore uses only a developer not more than 30% in volume so that the damage to your hair is minimal.

The other major ingredient, ammonia, is used to lighten the hair and acts as a catalyst for the dye by separating the cuticle. As a result, the hair dye used at a great hair salon shop in Singapore penetrates to the cortex of the hair strands so that it stays there for as long as 8 months.

In a sense, your stylist at the hair salon isn’t applying pigments on your hair when dyeing, but is using a concoction of chemicals to begin dye formation. The brown color, for example, is not a mixture of three different dyes like the principle used in mixing colors for art. Instead, it is made up of two colorless chemicals, that when mixed, produce brown. One of the chemicals that creates the color is the paraphenylenediamine or PPD, which reacts with hydrogen peroxide. There are no known substitutes for PPD, except its derivative p-aminophenol, which is valued for its oxidative reaction.

If you’re skeptical about these potentially harmful products, ask your stylist at the hair salon for other natural hair coloring products that don’t contain ammonia, lead acetate and coal tar. The best hair salon in Singapore have colorists that specialize in various natural hair coloring products that don’t dry or damage your hair.

Permanent and Semi-Permanent

Permanent hair coloring refers to the process of opening the shaft of the hair to add color, while semi-permanent hair coloring is the adding of color only. Permanent hair dye is sometimes called color treatment or hair dyeing, while semi-permanent dye is referred to as hair gloss. Semi-permanent doesn’t even change the color of your hair, but adds a shiny and colored layer on the cuticle without opening the shaft. As a result, permanent dye lasts longer than semi-permanent and provides more coverage for faded or graying hair.

Permanent color is used to darken, lighten, add or change hair color and must be mixed with a developer-activator for it to be effective. Semi-permanent hair color doesn’t need developer-activator and there is no need to mix the color because it can be applied directly to the hair.

Points to Remember Before the Procedure

The best hair salon in Singapore will usually give a consultation before the stylist can recommend which color will suit you best. You might wonder if you need a single-process or a double-process color. The former refers to the application of color to the hair one at a time, while the latter is the bleaching of the hair and then the toning of color.

Before the procedure, remind the hair stylist not to wash your hair so that the natural oils can help protect your scalp. Moisturizer and petroleum jelly must be applied around the hairline so that the chemicals don’t irritate the skin. The hair salon might also recommend a keratin treatment so that color stays longer on your hair.

Your stylist at the hair salon will give you instructions on how to take care of your newly-dyed hair. The best hair salon in Singapore will also recommend hair care products that will keep the color shiny and your hair healthy. One of the most important is the use of color-treated shampoo and conditioner made specifically for colored hair. You will be advised as well to limit your exposure to direct sunlight because the UV rays can make the color fade faster. That is why you will need to use a UV spray every time you need to go out. You might also need to go for scheduled touch-ups when the color starts to fade.

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