Hair Color Tips

Hair Color Tips

Tips for Hair Color


Hair color is the pigmentation of hair follicles due to two types of melanin: eumelanin and pheomelanin. Generally, if more eumelanin is present, the color of the hair is darker; if less eumelanin is present, the hair is lighter. Levels of melanin can vary over time causing a person’s hair color to change, and it is possible to have hair follicles of more than one color on the same person.

Particular hair colors are associated with ethnic groups. The shades of human hair color are assessed using the Fischer–Saller scale. The Fischer–Saller scale, named after Eugen Fischer and Karl Saller, is used in physical anthropology and medicine to determine the shades of hair color. The scale uses the following designations: A (light blond), B to E (blond), F to L (blond), M to O (dark blond), P to T (brown), U to Z (dark brown/black) and Roman numerals I to IV (red) and V to VI (red blond).

Changing your hair color can go wonderfully right―or horribly wrong. That’s why so many people put their heads in the trusty hands of a hairdressing professional.

Your Hair’s Surface?

When scientists talk about the surface properties of hair, they’re basically talking about whether hair is chemically treated or virgin. When hair is colour, relaxed or permed, its natural conditioning layer, which is made up of one tiny layer of protective fatty acids, also known as the F-layer, is removed, affecting the hair structure. The F-layer acts as a sort of raincoat for the hair strand, so when this layer is removed, hair no longer has its protective raincoat, which explains why colour treated hair structures and other chemically treated hair structures soak up water like a sponge. When wet, colour treated hair can increase in weight by up to 200%, whereas virgin hair increases in weight by only 12-18%. The F-layer is also responsible for keeping the cuticle smooth, which is what makes hair reflect light and shine. That’s why chemically treated hair can often look dull and drab, unless it’s cared for with a conditioning regimen designed specially to work for coloured hair.

Thick or Thin?

For a single hair fiber to be deemed thick or thin depends on its diameter (the width of a circular or cylindrical object). Human hair diameter ranges from 15 microns (very thin) to 170 microns (extremely thick), with the average diameter of scalp hair being between 60 and 110 microns. Of course it’s possible to have a lot of very fine hair on one’s head, but the true determination of whether hair has a thick hair structure or a fine hair structure is its diameter – not the amount of it. The diameter of your hair has a significant impact on how you can style your hair. The thicker a hair is, for example, the more likely it is to be rigid and frizz prone. Conversely, fine hair structures tend to be straighter, far more flexible, and struggle to hold onto a created style.

Preparing to Change Color

Be conservative – don’t choose a color more than 2 shades darker or lighter than your natural color.

Let your hair get a little dirty before you dye. “Don’t comb or brush vigorously before colouring either,” she adds. “You don’t want to start with an irritated scalp.” If you’re a swimmer, use a lot of styling products in your hair or have been colouring for a long time and your hair lacks shine, consider using a clarifying shampoo a couple of times leading up to the week you want to colour.

Dry, brittle hair is more porous than healthy hair and absorbs colour more readily. A strand test is a big must so you know how long it’ll take to develop the shade you want, but also consider deep-conditioning hair beforehand.

Although it’s possible to handle almost any colour situation at home, sometimes it’s more efficient—and effective—to let salon experts take control. Such situations include drastic colour changes, such as going from dark brunette to pale blonde as well as going from pale blonde to brunette.


Only re-color your roots, your hair will become brittle and patchy if you color your whole head every 6 weeks.  Comb color through all your hair just prior to processing completion.


Common tools used for hair coloring are:  Paintbrush (1 1/2 – 2 inches wide); Bowl ( mixing dye); Clips (to hold hair back); 2 dark towels (protect clothes); alcohol based toner or other product for clean-up and a timer to measure processing time.