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Haircoloring Introduction to Color....

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Claude View Drop Down
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    Posted: February 20 2006 at 8:34am

Can someone STICKY this post for people who might have questions about HairColoring?

In order to fully understand the Art of HairColoring, the first step is to understand the basic law of color.

Optically, color is a reflection of light. When a beam of white light strikes a prism, it is seperated into six different colors that can be seen with the naked eye. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet.

Those colors can be divided into 2 groups.

Primary Colors : Yellow, Red, Blue

Secondary Colors: Orange, Violet, Green....these 3 colors are made by combining 2 primary colors in equal amounts.

In addition to the 6 colors there are Tertiary Colors.

Tertiary Colors: Made by mixing primary colors with their neighboring secondary colors. An example of a tertiary colr would be blue-violet or yellow-orange (gold).

All HairColor is tertiary, however, it's extremely important as a colorist to train your eye to identify the dominating primary or secondary color within the haircolor. Once a colorist can identify the dominating color and fully understand the Law of Color, even the most severe corrective work becomes a system of logical steps.

To control or correct any color, simply add the complementary color. To control orange, add blue. To control yellow, add violet, and to control gold(yellow-orange), add blue-violet. These rules are called the Law of Color.

continued in next post.....

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The most important detail for a HairColorist to remember is when a natural haircolor is the desired end result, a balance of the complementary or counteracting colors is necessary. The color brown is what your results will be every time you combine two colors directly opposite from each other on a color wheel.

Primary Colors: Red, Blue & Yellow - By mixing any 2 of the promary colors we create the secondary colors.....Orange, Violet & Green.

Blue is opposite Orange, Yellow is opposite Violet, Blue-Violet is opposite Yellow-Orange & Red is opposite Green.

Natural Haircolor contains the 3 primary colors. The primary colors mixed in varying proportions create brown. Therefore, all natural haircolors are a shade of brown with a dominating tone.

For Example:

A blonde is simply the lightest brown - with a dominating yellow

A redhead is brown with a dominating orange

Black hair is the darkest brown with dominating blue.

Remember that all haircolor is brown. It is important to understand the presence of primary & secondary colors in haircolor, then to combine that knowledge with the basic law of counteracting or complementary colors. The result is a logical formulation choice, with the optimum haircolor result for each client.

Mixing opposite colors the result is a neutral brown.

Violet neutralizes Yellow

Blue neutralizes Orange

Blue Violet neutralizes Yellow Orange

Colors that lie opposite each other are commonly referred to as counteracting or complementary colors.....

To be continued....

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Continuing on here I'm going to talk about THE LEVEL SYSTEM....

A level system is comprised of two areas: numbers which denote the degree of the lightness and darkness, and letters which denote the shade of tone of the color.

I am going to use Goldwell as an example for the purpose of this post. Other color lines might vary in levels but the principal is the same.

Goldwell uses a European level system to determine the depth of color (measurment from dark to light) with Level 2 being the darkest and 10 being the lightest blonde. Every haircolor, natural or color treated can be categorized between those levels 2-10 when using Goldwell Color.

Goldwell Levels

  1. -
  2. Black
  3. Dark Brown
  4. Medium Brown
  5. Light Brown
  6. Dark Blonde
  7. Medium Blonde
  8. Light Blonde
  9. Very Light Blonde
  10. Extra Light Blonde

Continued on next post....

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Claude View Drop Down
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Shades & Tones - Goldwell Master Palette of Color

Many people can have the same level of hair, without having the same haircolor. For example, one head of hair might be a natural level 6 with red highlights, and another may be a natural level 6 with no red or warm highlights. Goldwell uses a lettering system to determine the shades and tones found in the hair. The letter relates directly to the base color within the shade. These shades each have a special function, explained below.

N - Natural Tones - The base of the natural series is a natural brown made from a combination of yellow, red and blue at each level. Therefore the darker levels have more blue, and the lightest levels have less blue, causing tellow to be more dominant. However they still appear as lighter and darker browns. The natural tones fulfill a very special task; they give optimum grey coverage.

A - Ash Tones - The base of ash is blue. Blue is used to counteract orange. Alone, the ash tones will not cover grey, but they can be mixed with the natural series (N) for grey coverage. Whenever maxiumum control or orange is desired, the strength of a blue-based ash will counteract the orange, creating natural looking brown. The use of a blue base gives the best control of orange tones without producing an undesirable greenish cast, common with green or blue-green based ash tones.

NA- Natural Ash - These shades are a combination of the natural and ash tones. They are combined in an approximate 2 parts N to 1 part A seires. The NA series cuts down on mixing and controls unwanted warmth, while covering up to 60% grey.

P - Pearl Tones - Pearl tones are a blue-violet based series. They are responsible for controlling the common problem of unwanted gold or brassiness in blonde hair. Gold is a tertiary color of a yellow-orange base. Yellow-Orange and Blue-Violet are directly opposite each other on the Color Wheel. This means they counteract each other, creating a natural, neutral or beige tone. The pearl series are used when lifting to Levels 8 - 10 to prevent color from being too warm.

NP - Natural Pearl - These are a combintion of the N Series and P Series 2 parts N 1 part P. These shades cut down unwanted gold tones, while blending grey at lighter levels. The NP Shades are also useful for low-lights, or tint backs when the other controlling colors could be too mattening.

G - Gold Tones - The base of the Gold Series is Yellow-Orange. Gold tones will not optimally cover grey alone. The gold shades are fashion colors with iridescent tones of gold. They add brightness and vibrancy to almost any shade.

GB - Gold Beige - 2 parts Gold to 1 part Beige. Levels 9 & 10 GB are excellent for use as toners. The GB series privides a natural looking golden-blonde highlight. When lifting 2 or more levels and using the GB series the gold will become much more predominant.

B - Brown Tones - This is a brown based color with more warmth than the N series and is more of a fashion brown than the natural tones. The brown tones typically are used to brighten up natural haircolor without a dramatic chance. These shades are brown with a minimal amount of red & gold added for shine. These brown tones should be mixed with the N series for optimal grey coverage.

K - Copper Tones - The base of copper is orange. They add rich auburn tone, to any base level. The K tones look natural, much like a natural redhead would look. The copper tones should be mixed with the N series for optimal grey coverage.

KG - Copper Gold tones are 2 parts copper 1 part gold. The KG tones are strong, exciting fashion tones which deliver vibrancy and brightness, The copper-gold tones should be mixed with the N Series for grey coverage.

RB- Red Brown tones 1 part red with 2 parts brown. It is ideal for adding reddish brown highlights to dull hair. The RB shades should be mixed with the N series for grey coverage.

R - Red Tones with a small amount of blue added to prevent the finished result from becoming too warm. The end result will be a rich, cool based red ideal for clients with olive skin tones.

V - Violet tones are violet based and an ideal toner after bleaching to control unwanted yellow. The violet tones should be mixed with natural tones for grey coverage.

Continued on next post....

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Claude View Drop Down
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Forumulation Guidelines....

Before you color your hair you need to properly analyze your hair. This will help you select the proper shades and proper techniques for haircoloring.

  1. Consider the texture of the hair - Fine, Medium or Coarse. Typically coarse hair can take longer to color while fine hair will color quicker.
  2. Consider the Health of your hair - Normal, Resistant, Porous, Permed, Previously Tinted, Lightened or Bleached. Never perform a chemical service on your hair if it's damaged as it could only damage it more
  3. Consider yourself - Eye Color, Skin Tone, Preference, and Personality.

After completing the evaluation use this blueprint for Forumation to determine your formula. This blueprint process never changes. You can follow the identical sequence on virgin hair, corrective work or tint-back procedures.

  1. Identify the existing Level or levels in the hair - Determine the existing level. It is important to know the existing level and base shade, so a starting point can be determined and if the target color can be achieved in a single or double process.
  2. Determine the Target Level of your desired color. Answering this will determine the proper developer to use for the optimum results. 10 Vol - Tones, 20 Vol 1 lvl of lift, 30 vol 2 lvls of lift, 40 vol 3 lvls of lift. 40 vol with Blonding Cream 4 lvls of lift. Blonding Cream typically gives 1/2 - 1 level of additional lift to developer.
  3. Determine the Target Color - Choose a desired shade....gold, red, brown, etc.
  4. Determine the grey percentage - to allow for maximu coverage.

To be continued on next post.....

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Claude View Drop Down
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Natural Underlying Pigment

To develop a better understanding of how natural underlying pigment will influence color results, haircoloring can be categorized into two categories: Addition coloring or Subtraction coloring.

The easiest type of formulation is addition coloring. This is because targeting the same elvel of going darker, the removal or natural pigment if very minimal. Therefore, the warm underlying pigment is not exposed. Simply use the standard 20 Vol. Topchic Lotion with your desired shade. If your target color is more than 2 levels darker than the existing level, it is considered a tint-back procedure and pre-filling may be necessary.

Subtraction coloring refers to haircoloring which requires the diffusion of the natural pigment before depositing new artificial pigment. Anytime hair is lightened, some of the natural pigments are diffused. When hair is lightened from darker levels, the dominance of blue pigment is removed, exposing a blend of other primary colors (red & yellow) which together make orange. At the lighter levels, more red and yellow are removed. Also at lighter levels, yellow dominates over the red, thus creating the tertiary color yellow-orange or what is commonly referred to as gold. Lightening hair always contributes warmth to the end result. Considering this, a logical choice can be made as to whether to use the natural underlying pigment to add warmth and brightness to a fashion color, or to control the natural underlying pigment using a counteracting or complementary color. It is necessary to use some counteracting color is a natural tone is desired.

The following chart shows the natural underlying pigment which is exposed at each level. If the target color is a warm or fashion tone, no control is necessary. The underlying pigment will contribute brightness and vibrancy to the final result. If a natural tone if the desired color, simply use the appropriate counteracting color to control unwanted warmth (orange or gold). The result will be a more natural target color.

Underlying Pigment Chart....

  1. -
  2. Black (none exposed)
  3. Darkest Orange
  4. Dark Orange
  5. Medium Orange
  6. Light Orange
  7. Extra Light Orange or Dark Gold
  8. Medium Gold
  9. Light Gold
  10. Extra Light Gold or Yellow

Yellow may appear as the underlying pigment on Level 10 when the hair is bleached. In this case use 10V (violet) as the controlling color.

For levels 2 - 7 the controlling color is Blue (Ash Series) & for Levels 8-10 the Controlling color is Blue Violet (Pearl Series).

Additional Tips...

Remember that counteracting color used for control is determined by the Underlying pigment at the target level you are trying to achieve....not the starting level of the persons hair.

Consider that the darker the existing natural level (starting point) is and the more levels or lift you are targeting, the greater the proportion of counteracting or contol color you will need. Never let the controlling color you are adding exceed more than 25% of your color formula. If that does occur it will become a dominating color and the results will be disasterous.

That's it for now folks.....more lessons on ligtening the hair soon.....

REMEMBER! NEVER! NEVER EVER!!! Put haircoloring over previously colored hair. It will not lift the artificial pigment from the previous haircolor you did on your hair and the end result will only be darker and you will be disappointed and discouraged.

G'luck

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KellyH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2006 at 9:46am

Thanks so much, Claude! This is some awesome information!

Hopefully, some of the newbies won't have to go through trial and error like so many of us do-it-yourselfers have.

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I have a question regarding the underlying pigment chart?

Say a person has a lightest golden brown virgin hair color?  What would the underlying pigment be?  A Light orange/yellow or orange/red...

How about a lightest ash brown hair color?  What would that underlying pigment be?

Thanks for any info!

Rebekah

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kooky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2006 at 2:48pm
WOW!!  Thank you Claude!!  I'm going to really digest this one for a while.

Just one quickie,  your write "...never put hair coloring over previously colored hair."  Do you mean strip it or bleach it first?  (like for a correction or more specifically to lighten a level or two?)

Thanks so much for all the info.  It is reeeeeeeeeeeeal helpful!
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Originally posted by kooky kooky wrote:

WOW!!  Thank you Claude!!  I'm going to really digest this one for a while.

Just one quickie,  your write "...never put hair coloring over previously colored hair."  Do you mean strip it or bleach it first?  (like for a correction or more specifically to lighten a level or two?)

Thanks so much for all the info.  It is reeeeeeeeeeeeal helpful!

No I mean lets say you are already coloring your hair and you want to lighten your hair to a lighter color. You can't just put a lighter color on your already colored hair because haircoloring does not lift the artificial pigment from your previous haircolor service. The end result will be that the color will not lift and it will only get darker regardless of the color you put on it. If you hair is previously colored the only way to lighten that haircolor is bleaching to lift that artificial pigment out of your hair.

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Hi Claude:  Thanks for the great information.  You consolidated information that took me a long time to gather through reading multiple posts and scanning lots of sites.  What a super resource for all of us.  I look forward to your answer to Rebekah's question - she and I have seem to have similar base virgin hair colors.  Thanks, Maria
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Claude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2006 at 9:02pm
Originally posted by Rebekah Rebekah wrote:

I have a question regarding the underlying pigment chart?

Say a person has a lightest golden brown virgin hair color?  What would the underlying pigment be?  A Light orange/yellow or orange/red...

How about a lightest ash brown hair color?  What would that underlying pigment be?

Thanks for any info!

Rebekah

Rebekah Ash can be as light as Pastel Ash Blonde but if it's light ash blonde on the Goldwell Chart that is a Level 8A. The underlying pigment of level 8 is Medium Gold. To control that you'd want to use a little 8P to prevent the color from pulling too warm.

For Golden Brown that is Level 8 or 9 and the underlying pigment is medium gold to light gold so the controlling color would be 8P or 9P depending on the target level color desired. You would use the same level P series to control that unwanted warmth.

Anytime you ad a controlling series to your formula it is to help you achieve a more natural looking haircolor. That controlling series should never equal more than 25% of your color excluding the developer. For example if you are using 40ML's of hair color and 40 ML's of Developer....the controlling series shouldn't be more than 25% which in this case would be 10ML's of the 40ML's of haircolor. That's 25% and anymore than that will be too controlling. The other 30ML's would be your target color as an example let's say 8A was the target color.

Hope that answers yer question.

When using controlling series you need to use the controlling series for the level you are coloring the hair to and not the existing level of the hair originally. For example going from a Level 6 to a Level 8 you would use 30 Volume Developer for 2 levels of lift....plus the target color for example 8A....then because you are lifting 2 levels or more you need to add a controlling series of color to the formula so it doesn't pull warmth and for levels 8-10 the controlling series is P Series so you would use 8P up to 25% of your color formulation to prevent that unwanted warmth and brassiness.



Edited by Claude
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oops!  



Edited by Rebekah
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rebekah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2006 at 9:54pm

 

Originally posted by Claude Claude wrote:

"For example if you are using 40ML's of hair color and 40 ML's of Developer....the controlling series shouldn't be more than 25% which in this case would be 10ML's of the 40ML's of haircolor. That's 25% and anymore than that will be too controlling. The other 30ML's would be your target color as an example let's say 8A was the target color."

So let me see if I understand this correctly.  I want the color to be a level 8 ash, but I'm having a problem at the level 8 level of pulling a little too much gold, so I want to use a little bit of violet to counteract the ash and make the color look more natural? 

Hope I have this correct.  Thanks so much for your comments, I really appreciate the informative post by the way! 

I know of someone who has a level 7 ash colored hair.  She wants her hair a level 8 neutral blonde.  Her formulation is 3 parts ash to 1 part violet.  Her color looks quite natural. So it does seem to work.

I believe my hair is an ash level 6.  If I wanted a natural looking ash level 7 hair color, I'd need to use a level 7 ash with a 1/4 of violet to counter the underlying pigment that will be exposed at level 7 when lifting with 20 vol.  Is this correct?

Thanks

Rebekah   

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Claude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2006 at 10:30pm
Originally posted by Rebekah Rebekah wrote:

 

Originally posted by Claude Claude wrote:

"For example if you are using 40ML's of hair color and 40 ML's of Developer....the controlling series shouldn't be more than 25% which in this case would be 10ML's of the 40ML's of haircolor. That's 25% and anymore than that will be too controlling. The other 30ML's would be your target color as an example let's say 8A was the target color."

So let me see if I understand this correctly.  I want the color to be a level 8 ash, but I'm having a problem at the level 8 level of pulling a little too much gold, so I want to use a little bit of violet to counteract the ash and make the color look more natural? 

Hope I have this correct.  Thanks so much for your comments, I really appreciate the informative post by the way! 

I know of someone who has a level 7 ash colored hair.  She wants her hair a level 8 neutral blonde.  Her formulation is 3 parts ash to 1 part violet.  Her color looks quite natural. So it does seem to work.

I believe my hair is an ash level 6.  If I wanted a natural looking ash level 7 hair color, I'd need to use a level 7 ash with a 1/4 of violet to counter the underlying pigment that will be exposed at level 7 when lifting with 20 vol.  Is this correct?

Thanks

Rebekah   

The Blue Violet counteracts the underlying pigment so the color isn't too warm. It counteracts the underlying pigment that will be exposed when you lighten the hair. For level 8-10 the controlling series is Pearl.

For lower levels 2 - 7 the controlling series is Ash because the underlying pigment is darker in color. Going from a Level 6 to a Level 7 is only 1 level so you wouldn't really need a controlling color unless your hair is very porous and pulls warm...then a pinch of Ash because you are only going to a Lvl 7 wouldn't hurt.

The controlling series to counteract the underlying pigment of the hair.



Edited by Claude
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Longhairdreams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2006 at 11:24pm

Great job claude

I vote this thread to be sticky

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Thanks Claude 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aubergine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2006 at 11:57am
Claude thanks for this thread - very useful.  I'm sure you can ask a moderator to get this sticky'd on a different board.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pasdebourre Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 03 2006 at 3:14pm
Thanks so much for this thread -- I have been wanting to learn more about hair color.

One question: is your color's level defined by the formula your colorist used or by what your color turned out to be? For example, my colorist used a Goldwell perm formula in 5a, which I understand to be a light ash brown, but the resulting color is a very dark ash brown that is almost black on the tips. So is my level the Goldwell 5a or 3a?

Thank you again for the time it took to post all this helpful information for us novices.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Claude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 05 2006 at 10:37pm

Originally posted by pasdebourre pasdebourre wrote:

Thanks so much for this thread -- I have been wanting to learn more about hair color.

One question: is your color's level defined by the formula your colorist used or by what your color turned out to be? For example, my colorist used a Goldwell perm formula in 5a, which I understand to be a light ash brown, but the resulting color is a very dark ash brown that is almost black on the tips. So is my level the Goldwell 5a or 3a?

Thank you again for the time it took to post all this helpful information for us novices.

OK well first things first....your natural haircolor has a specific level if your using Goldwell it would be from Level 2-10 with 2 being the darkest and 10 being the lightest. The tint of the hair is letter that is next to the number indicating the level of the color. Tints can be Ash, Copper, Gold, Gold Beige, Brown, etc hope that helps to give you the general idea.

Well Goldwell 5A is technically listed as Light Ash Brown but Goldwell's level system goes from 2-10 so as you can see that 5A is very dark. In the goldwell colors Level 5 is where you begin to see black shades in the haircoloring until you get very dark Level 2 which actually looks like shoe polish black and probably not something you'd ever want to put on your hair. When your stylist applied the haircolor did they do your roots first then pull everything thru from midshaft to ends for the last 15-20 minutes of processing or did they apply it right thru the hairstrands? Sometimes the ends of the hair are pourous and absorb color more quickly which is why you pull it thru after you've done the roots throughout the whole head first.

Hope that helps to answer your questions.

G'luck

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