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Healthy Hair Lengths

When you are looking at a color retouch client's hair, take note: You are probablly

seeing a "root"..This is the hair at the scalp. It emerged from the client's scalp

between the last color application and today. Unless other chemical services were

applied to this hair, you are seeing the natural hair color, percentage of gray (if any),

AND are seeing the hair at its "healthiest" best.


When you observe the "line of demarkation", which is where the "never colored" new

hair meets with the hair that has been previously colored or lightened, always

remember that you are now seeing two very different types of hair condition. The previously

colored or lightened hair has been penetrated by a chemical which has altered -

(even if only very slightly), the hair's structure. When the hair lengths are lighter than the

new "root" color, the lengths have been exposed to an alkaline substance.


A number of newer permanent hair color products include a "contains no ammonia" definition. This means that an ammonia substitute was used so that the product could create

LIFT -- the ability to lighten natural hair color. For color or bleach to lighten the hair, we need

an alkalizer and we need oxygen.


Several ammonia substitutes are MEA and AMP. I am certain that even newer alkalizing agents are being developed. The chief issue attached to ammonia was its unpleasant fragrance. Newer 'ammonia-containing" permanent color brands have eliminated this

negative aspect, and continue to use buffered ammonia as the alkalizer.

Chemists have shared that, in their opinion, ammonia remains the best alkalizer for

providing superior results attached to permanent hair color performance.

The decision regarding the brands you enjoy remain 100 percent up to you.


Just remember this: Part of your responsibility as a professional colorist is protecting and

especting those sensitive hair lengths. Don't beat them up! My advice: to refresh lengths

(due to fading in between color appointments), choose a sheer, mild demi liquid

or gel mixed with very low volume developer... OR, you might "color condition" the hair at the sink by alternating color refreshment via application of a very effective color conditioning shampoo and/or conditioner like CELEB, Luxury Gemlites or Viral, EVO Fabuloso Conditioner, Overtone, Moroccan Oil Conditioner or Rusk Color Conditioner... There are many on the professional market now.

professional market now..

These are YOUR CHOICE. Choose a refresher formula two levels lighter, and perhaps a BIT warmer than the result you expect to achieve.


In the past, beauty schools and manufacturers had not invented these products, so we were instructed to add shampoo, filler or warm water to our "root" formula.. and to use this to refresh the hair lengths. ..... That permanent hair color formula was ALKALINE.. regardless

of what we added to the bottle. I contend that there is a better, gentler and more beautiful way to refresh faded hair lengths... But, that's just "me". As a career colorist, it's great to consider alternatives. Remember, always, that I respect your opinions. If you are happy with

how YOU PREFER to color hair... that is your professional choice. Let's explore and share our thoughts when I see you in class! B

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