Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Red and Copper hair colour for summer.

Regular postings of fresh new topic's a place to share thoughts post comments and idea's on matters relating to hair colouring skill and techniques and anything industry related.
copy right pending.

Hot Reds, fiery Copper, Brunettes.

For so many the thought of going Red is very scary.
Reds be they hot or cool can really change your appearance your skin tone the right choice can make your eyes Pop look like swimming pools.

Because our hair has so much red pigment that changes into orange as we lift it getting that perfect shade is a chemical decision it is that process of lift and deposit it is that balance of shade depth tone the more vibrant the colour wanted the more of the hairs natural pigment we bring out to play But even this is a balance to much lift  re remove the red and orange to little and we control that vibrancy.

The Red Molecule is the largest of all colour molecules so hardest to get into the hair, but will also have a tendency fade quicker. finally once in the hair it can prove quite difficult to remove.

When we have a natural level 7 it can be Blonde with a undertone slightly gold its very easy to go Copper. When going tone on tone or darker it is not necessary to use permanent colour.
In fact when going Red or copper level 7 and above the more or higher volume of peroxide the more copper the colour, you are adding orange to the hair with the lift.

For level 6 dark Blonde and level 5 light Brown again consider whether you need to lift and expose more pigment in the hair at level 5 and 6 10 volume will be enough to bring out extra red pigment.

Green eyes works with red hair as can cool skin tone it's a question of getting the shade right so it compliments skin and eye tone.

Different shades can be played with to create tone and dimension, it is possible to go from copper to red to brunette and back it you think the process through!
I have intentionally shown the same model for most of the shots in an effort to show that change of colour and style is possible. with out over processing the hair.
 As you can see it is easy to move between shades from quite dark brunette through to warm tones, they do effect skin tone and eye colour but not in an adverse

All of these colour have been done with  10vol for root lift and Demi Deposit the darker shades Demi only remember tone on tone or darker does not require lift.
A choice of high volume of peroxide will warm up your chosen colour.

Above this rich copper colour is sectioned out into Zulu knots and four different shades of red and copper have been applied.

Above this Level 5 natural level 10 vol peroxide enough to bring out the red pigment but not enough for more lift to bring out orange would make this cool red more brown.
Enjoy have fun experiment: So many shades of reds and copper to experiment with.
looking forward to thoughts and comments Mike B2MR

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Summer time Blonde. Autumn tone down.

Back2myroots : A place to share thoughts and grow idea's. B2MR


Summer perfect time to be Blonde: But?

Last weeks of summer. The perfect time to consider that blonde look. That sun kissed look we have loved over the summer months whilst enjoying  those long hot summer days.That hot holiday hair colour we long for to match that fun summer tan.
If you have had the need. Have had the desire to brighten up your hair style with a fun blonde look?
now we have to consider the autumn and maybe introducing some low lights so those roots don't get out of hand!
It doesn’t matter how dark or light your natural hair color is or if you have dark or pale skin tone, there is always a shade of blonde hair to suit you.
Blonde is still the most popular hair color choice for most women! Of course if you have already coloured your hair then you will have to take this into consideration when thinking about a shade or discuss with your stylist whats possible.
Here are some fun ideas if you want to let that inner blonde out to play for a while.

If you have shoulder length hair in a brunette tone. Skip going for over-all blonde color. Instead apply some rich caramel highlights throughout your style. Focusing on the crown and where the part lands. Your textured waves combined with the rich highlights will reflect the sunlight and create an eye-catching look. This will maintain you on the road to staying blonde with out over processing and leaving you with some texture and tones in your hair caramel. burnt honey. beige. These can all be added with a Demi formulation so deposit only very little chemistry zero lift on hair that has already been lifted.

Long hair
If your long hair is damaged or dull, purchase a good color protecting shampoo and conditioner to use before, during and after you color your hair. Treating your damaged hair from roots to ends is an important factor in maintaining colored styles. For very long hair highlights are a better form of colour than an all over application and help prevent root-re growth issues.

Finding the right shade
Before you decide on a shade of blonde. Take into consideration your skin tone and eye color. Also consider your current hair color for it certainly plays a part in choices and possible out come of the new colour you are working towards. consider tones that will work for you over the coming months as the tan fades and the sun gets lower. Think of the trees and the colours of the leaf as autumn takes it's hold.
If you currently have bleached blonde hair, you may want to opt for a deeper, richer shade of blonde.This might require putting some pigment back into your hair if bleached very light. If your skin tone is very pale, you may want to keep your blonde shade a bit lighter.

Dark brunettes. A deep honey highlight throughout your style might be best, you are then working with your hairs natural pigment rather than fighting it. Try to avoid bleaching as this just damages your hair.
Choose your colour carefully consider all your options. You may need to seek professional advise. Remember combining a fun new blonde hair color with a new cut can completely change the way you look and feel about yourself and the way others look and see you!
Layering colors
Applying a variety of blonde hair colors throughout your hair on various areas of layering creates a very striking and unique look. If you have a light brown base then highlights to lighten the top sections keeping your layers underneath dark this gives dimension and a great two tones look . This type of coloring looks particularly good on straight, medium-length hair with short or longer bangs.
A few Examples of Blonde looks:

These are just a few thoughts and ideas for those interested in creating a new blonde hair color try to do something different and new with your blonde hair this season.Blonde hair in small or large doses is a good way to update your appearance and help lift your mood!

Shades of Blonde with texture:

In the Fall or Autumn with a demi application we can go darker with out any ill effects or possibility of damage. 
You can still be Blonde with a touch of controlled tone down less root issue more dimension and texture. Have fun
Mike B2MR


Sunday, 21 August 2011

Demi permanent colour uses applications

Back2myroots : A place to share thoughts and grow idea's. B2MR

What is Demi colour? How does it fit in with permanent and Semi permanent colour?

Demi permanent colour is an opaque hair colour it will generally last about 6 weeks

It main design and application would be for modern Grey coverage and refinement of under tones, also adding richness and shine has a slightly satin finish.
Ideal for tone on tone colouring to create depth and shine.Ideal for use when taking lighter hair darker and no lift is required.
Remember when going darker you only need tone on tone deposit you don't need lift and unwanted warmth!

It will not lighten the hair's natural pigment when mixed correctly with right developer.
It Penetrates the cuticle layer to deposit the new artificial pigment in the Cuticle and to some degree in the Cortex. 
Note: Although not a formulation to lighten the hair over use or constant over lapping will over time lighten the hair slowly, due to the fact that the developer has a low level of peroxide normally less than 5vol. 

As stylist we have many things to consider when dealing with issue of Grey hair.
The options available to us are many the techniques the formulations the products.
The most important tool we have have is knowledge and education this is what enables us to make an informed decision as to what might be the best way to proceed.
The choices should it be permanent or semi or Demi application ? You must be able to explain options from a clients point of view with so much hype on the Tv the choices endless what colour should it be  It really is a minefield of products shades all claiming that  home colours can change your life make you look and feel young.
The quick fix especially those 10 minute colours contain more pigment than peroxide so they oxidize really quickly and can over deposit in some cases going black! They also  can have very high levels of alkaline although ammonia free!

Formulation:  For professional colour on stubborn Grey hair.
Pre-pigment sometimes called softener: Having established the natural level of the hair select a neutral shade Mix one part permanent colour with one part water leave on for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes  mix your selected target colour with chosen volume of peroxide suggest the lowest volume possible apply directly over pre-fill a Demi application formula is ideal for this

Points to Consider rule of thumb when mix a formulation for Grey hair the formulation should contain as much of the Neutral series as their is Grey! { mistake often made poor assessment of this} 40% Grey 40% N series at desired level.

If you really have to use high volume of peroxide you can adjust your formulation to deliver more pigment to control the warm undertone you are going to expose.
Instead of standard formulation mix equal parts 1x Colour to1x Peroxide { normal formulation 1part colour to 1 1/2 developer}

If your working with a client who has a history of using over the counter colour then establish what the product was!
In some case a stand test might be advised. so of the colour's now days have oil and silicone this can build up in the hair may effect deposit.
So in closing consider all options when dealing with Grey issues remember this.

To get the very best results consider you options always try and go with the least chemistry possible keep accurate records of formulations and results. This way formulations can be adjusted until perfect balance is reached.
Mike B2MR

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Alkalinity Ph and the hair colour process.

Back2myroots :
A place to share thoughts and grow idea's. B2MR

When it comes to understanding the chemistry of hair colouring. Get educated not mislead!                         

As Hairdressers when considering doing  hair colour . We owe it to our selves and indeed the client to do the best job possible, but more than that give the best service and advise possible, suggesting colour that works with skin tone and eye colour. Work with the best products available, understand the chemistry of the product how it works reacts with hair, what condition with it leave the hair in.

Many hair colours today claim great condition no Ammonia. However claims of no Ammonia does not always mean great condition, some times we sacrifice one evil for another. When no Ammonia is present in permanent colour another alkaline is introduced as a replacement or substitute.There has to be a presence of an alkaline for the colouring process to work
We are talking permanent colour.  The process is not the Semi Demi but they to can be misleading in their chemical makeup! So always get informed read the black stuff ask questions.

It's all so complicated. Education, technical knowledge, a greater understanding of the products that you are using is essential. Understand what MEA is another favorite derived from Ethanolamine. Alcohol Denatured. Do you know what this is? It's alcohol derived from fermented grain used as an Alkaline can be very drying but because a grain by product marketed as being natural! Very misleading
Why does Ammonia get such a bad wrap just because it smells ? The damage it can cause depends on the strength being used and the way applied timing, heat, temperature,


High lift Blondes have an extra kick! Most hair colour lines have high lift blonde range, these again have an alkaline from some source however it may be that extra lift is promoted. In many cases companies also add  Ethanolamine to their high lift colour to open the cuticle more! They don't normally advertise or disclose this fact it's disclosed in the small print on the instructions on the paper work inside the box .
So why is MEA  such an  innovation? MEA now promoted to replace Ammonia can any one enlighten me?
MEA Monoethanolamine:
Can be used as a selective absorber and plays an important role in the production of Ammonia! MEA Monoethanolamine obtained from the reaction of ammonia and Ethylene. Ethlene a bio fuel so we are back to grain Alcohol! but derived from grain so natural! does this make it ok ? Would you think that good for hair?


Alcohol denatured:
A general term for organic ingredients that contain the OH (hydroxyl) group. Alcohols differ substantially in their properties ranging from water soluble solvents like isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol.
Sounds good too!

An alkaline ingredient used in some permanent hair color. Ammonia is an ingredient that results in a chemical action that decolorizes the hair. A colorless, pungent gas, NH3,  first step in the nitrogen cycle.

Ammonia is generated by fish urine and by the decay of dead fish and plant material. 
Many professional hair colours have 0.4 to 1.2% Ammonia be aware some companies have levels way above this quite low level of working alkalinity.

The choice dead decaying fish or fermenting Grain both really a natural source.

As we can see although some companies portray natural less harmful chemistry it is not always the case. adding natural oils or waxes to protect scalp to make application easier are all part of this process.
This is why knowledge research are key and empowering when it comes to colouring hair and the choices we make on products must go beyond what the sales rep or promotion material say.
I am not trying to scare just inform encourage thinking research!

                                                         Regular postings of fresh new topic's.

I think that we also need to cover the important role that understanding Ph chart and the role that it plays in the hair colouring process and indeed the chemistry of all chemical services performed on the hair.

review of  aPh balance chart.
A little help with Ph balance chart:

When we do any chemical service on the hair be it. Colour. Perming. Relaxing. We have to create an environment that enables us to get below the surface layer the cuticle layer of the hair ,
This is the outer layer that serves to protect the inner structure from both damage and moisture loss,
the inner layer being the cortex and Medulla.
Once we have decide on the service we are going to perform in this case colour. The formulation we choose will dictate the amount of deposit the more we open the cuticle the deeper the deposit.
So understanding Ph, lift, deposit, are key to being able to perform outstanding colour services.

Three layers of the hair structure.

Healthy hair should have a Ph of 5 to 5.5  when we introduce an alkaline be it Ammonia which comes in many different strengths the stronger the more it will open the cuticle. The same can be said for other colour drivers MEA, Dealcoholised grain products. All serve the same purpose to manipulate the Ph of the hair to create an environment for performing any chemical service. The stronger the product the more the cuticle will be opened and the more damage can be done.
It is essential after a process to re balance the hair and close the cuticle and restore that natural balance of 5.5.
This can be done with a chemical balancing product these normally have a Ph of 2.5 when introduced to the hair it will close the cuticle and restore the ph balance of the hair to 5.5.
Always be aware to consider the hair condition and assess during consultation before deciding on any chemical service knowing and understanding the Ph of hair is key to keeping it healthy and allowing colour retention or retaining moisture after the perming process.
Part of the consultation process should address the condition, porosity, moisture level. issues of fading. colour retention. These are all things effected by the hair's Ph level being at a correct level.
It is also during this consultation process to not only assess the hair both by touch and visual inspection. but through communication getting a fully in depth history of past products used and indeed products being used at this time.

With so many products that manipulate our Ph mantle opening the cuticle to deposit anything from stains to silicone based products that over time will build up in the hair, note they can cause issues when trying to get even deposit in the colouring process.
This is why it is essential that as stylist's we have a good all round knowledge of products and how they work on the hair during any chemical process. 
In closing it was brought to my attention by someone who sent me a question via a hair site about Ph saying that they could not find any information on the subject, I thought this very odd but having looked through the NVQ the offcial guide [Hairdressing foundation] I have to say  i find it very odd that this topic is not covered in some depth.
If you want information on topic's to ask question go ahead use the section on the Blog.

I hope this is found useful


Monday, 15 August 2011

The Blunt lines of a scissor cut

Back2myroots :  A place to share thoughts and grow idea's. B2MR

Created as a source of advise education knowledge skill experience a place to share thoughts post comments and idea's on matters relating to hair colouring skill and techniques and anything industry related.

I  raise this question with all these variation on the Bob shape. Why is it when really short  up to the hair line Bobs are created are the lines so harsh?  In so many cases these cuts look like a line has been done with a pair of Clippers why such a harsh blunt line? What ever happened to softness working with growth pattens, considering hair growth so it does not look lop sided  stick out as in grows back?

What ever happened to considering jaw line does the client have a neck can she ware this blunt look. In so many cases little thought is given to.  How this look would work with any given client it's a mass produced look. Without much consideration for. The clients hair. Her face. Her size!  yes can she carry it off will it look good? Is it an advert for your creative skill and talent????????

A line can be blunt dramatic but still have some softness and texture to  it. We need to consider the texture of the hair the way it grows and how it lies.
 How will it look on the client can they carry it off ?
Why not push your self. Challenge your creative talent with those shears scissors or that razor we are blessed now days with so many techniques and amazing tools that we really can push the envelope
of creativity.

Not only do we have at our disposal amazing tools. We also have and creative skill the techniques we have the freedom. A freedom that allows us to explore  hair as a medium to create shape from and texture

Maybe it's time to up grade those. Scissors. Shears or that Razor. Maybe it's time to up date those skills push the envelope. Really learn how to play with hair create some amazing natural free form shape maybe it's time to take a course learn something new and exciting! 

Be brave be bold but consider that shape. How it moves how it falls. Create a shape that stands out, for the hair cut is your walking bill board! your client is your future your success, give them your best
Mike B2MR

For links to groups. Blogs. Help advise. check out my web site

Nano Keratin System and technology

Regular postings of fresh new topic's.
A place to share thoughts post comments and idea's on matters relating to hair colouring skill and techniques and anything industry related.
Some of this is a re post on the Keratin topic.
But I feel now some time has passed salons and stylists have had time to use these products.Clients have had them applied and in many cases loved the effects.
The flip side of this is health warnings. Some negative client reviews.
I have spoken to stylists who think the health warnings are a waste of time for the clients want the products. The stylists like the process and the fee they can charge.
I have spoken with a stylist who spent a week in hospital in an oxygen tent having had breathing issues related to breathing in the toxic fumes created when some products are heated to high levels.
So lets review .
This is a long article so please be patient.

I had the good fortune recently to have a discussion with some one from Nano keratin systems who was kind enough to reply to my E-mail asking question about the product and it's hair straightening properties.
The new trend name for this process is the Brazilian Blow Dry: I find this a tad generic.

Molecules of current size are limited in their ability to penetrate the hair shaft have been limited to the delicate game of chemical invasion by way of perms and colors. Shampoo and conditioning products have historically performed their job topically and have had limited ability to do much else.
Nano technology has been an engineering break through in the hair industry for a while reducing the molecular size of colour pigment to now reducing the keratin Molecule thus making it possible to perform services without having to overly open the cuticle.

Having a basic understanding of keratin and the role it plays in the hair's structure proved to be most helpful in understanding the Nano keratin System product.
The Nano keratin system is an innovative development at the forefront of technology that utilizes Nano-molecular keratin. The name Nano keratin means. Nano-molecules of keratin. A substance that successfully repairs the core of damaged hair. The Nano-molecules of Nano keratin penetrate hair follicles and repair each strand. Nano keratin system is a microscopic substance and each Nano-molecule is 1/1000 of 1/1,000,000 the size of an original keratin molecule particles are so minute that millions of them can be gathered onto a pin head!
Minute traces of  product and vapor with extraordinary penetration capabilities enter and completely fill damaged hair with Nano-molecular keratin particles. During the next step those Nano-molecules are locked into the hair as additional vapor is infused, thus creating permanent, non-soluble keratin, just like natural keratin!
Regular conditioners and hair treatments sometimes contain protein molecules, but these are too large to penetrate the core of your hair or to be precise. They naturally over the course of time are rinsed out each time you shampoo.  Anything with a larger molecular weight cannot be readily absorbed through the cuticle in to the hair many products try to attain this by changing the pH of the hair in an effort to open the cuticle more! even keratin derived from natural sources such as animal, vegetable or mineral will only lie on or coat the outer shaft of the hair they are to large to be absorbed.
Professional hair care products have always relied on the process of opening up the hair shaft chemically, facilitating the color or perm process then "neutralizing" or stopping the chemical process thus halting the action.
The chemical process has always had the downside of "blossoming the hair shaft - causing what we see as frizz conditioners smoothing products, and moisturizers help to smooth the cuticle layer, but never fully return it to it's previous pre-chemical luster.
As the world of professional hair care products evolves, we will see nanotechnology play an ever increasing role. Minimizing chemical damage while maximizing health and shine. feeling healthier and easier to style The Nano keratin System appears to revitalizes hair.
The process:

The Nano keration method utilizes the same protein that is found in your hair, keratin, but in its most minute size, thus it is locked into the hair strand where it repairs and nourishes hair immediately. Nano keratin is simply the most advanced technology – the fastest and most efficient method in the world to repair, revitalize and care for your hair. All hair types can benefit from this innovative technology, but the results are particularly impressive in cases of severely damaged hair.
Nano keratin is an innovative, advanced technology that was developed for those men and women who are interested in straightening their hair. Nano-technology has also been successfully applied to the deposit of hair colour molecules the red molecule is the hardest to get into the hair due to it's size nano Technology has helped  hair scientists and chemist improve success and deposit of the red colour pigment molecules greatly
Nano keratin  is the basis of the innovative hair straightening method called Nano keratin system this method utilizes a Nano-molecular substance. Nano keratin, which penetrates hair follicles and completely coats your hair. Hair stylists perform the process using an innovative hair straightening device. This tool allows the Nano keratin Nano-molecules to penetrate, coat and repair the damaged hair core and ultimately straightens the hair strand.
In our discussion i equated this process to having a slice of Swiss cheese and spreading cream cheese over the top thus filling all the holes I then equated the heat and flat iron process as smoothing down the cuticle whilst hardening the keratin i presume the dissolving substance to be an agent that also closes the cuticle and restores the ph to the hair?
Once the hair strand is coated with a layer of Nano keratin molecules, a dissolving substance is vaporized through an additional process. At the end of this process a
reaction called polymerization occurs, filling the hair fissures and making the hair both durable and flexible.
Who is suitable for  it is suggested any one as i understand more i will share and inform you with more

I really can't imagine any manufacturer of professional hair care products not embracing this technology in the near future. Molecules that measure a mere billionth of a meter will result in products that are infinitely more capable of doing the job intended.
Nanotechnology will undoubtedly bring better and broader lines. The marketplace will fill every niche we could possibly imagine as the world of professional hair care products moves from the world of pH balanced formulations that we all came to know and love.
Well we have introduced the keratin products and the technology behind them but now to be fair we must look at how they work the good the bad the pro's and Con's oh and some of the health warnings that have been associated with some these product's the full spectrum.
Keratin the key component if the structure of human hair it gives the hair strength shine along with the 19 Amino found in hair moisture playing a hugely important role in the overall condition along with the Ph .
             So lets take a look at some of the NEW Exciting Keratin hair products:
Ideal for treatment for control and smooth hair:
They are designed  to control and smooth out hair get rid of the frizzies make it more manageable :

Well it's seems like the market in the Keratin based hair products is growing in leaps and bounds it also seems that in a effort to gain market attention the chemistry of these products is in state of constant change  each company claiming more natural less harmful formulations.
blown out and ironed.
After the initial interest in the Brazilian blow dry then came the first warning about formaldehyde and the fumes given off with the use of high heat flat irons.
Some of the reviews I have read are far from favorable as to results attained, having said this to be fair i have had some very positive and open feed back the people at Nano Keratin very open about the product and how and why it works explanation of the process.
The main problem seems to be that having replaced the stabiliser formerly Formaldehyde the search was on for new ingredients that did not produce toxic fumes but also allowed for the cuticle to be opened and softened prior to the application of the Keratin. 
So how do these products work quite simply you are opening the cuticle slightly introducing a conditioning product applying a layer a veneer of keratin and then ironing it flat with a hot iron that a simple explanation.
The much bigger explanation is that the products are all slightly different the source of keratin the products used to stabalise and change or manipulate the ph prior to the Keratin application.
I read many reviews on the social sights and blog postings as people report their experience some good some bad some just not really that impressed.
This is the topic that started me asking questions:
It not all doom and gloom and on a positive note i wrote an article on the Nano Keratin Technology  a very interesting keratin product that can be read at.
Another product was highlighted this week in the HJ  Brocoto they market their product as being a
Curl interrupted smoothing system.
So how does this product work this product does not contain formaldehyde,  
The main point of difference they claim are as follows System does not contain any formaldehyde or give off any type of gas it is very gentle for hair and health.
They have a two step system, the first phase is a gel which softens the bonds in the hair,the ph of the smoothing gel is 6.85 ,( key ingredient ammonium bisulphite ) with the cuticle now relaxed and slightly open this is when any colour would be added prior to the Keratin application 
Then the keratin product is added when the bonds are pliable and elongated therefore easily absorbed with gentle heat.the keratin spray is 4.5 to 5.5.
This product cannot be over used as the keratin is buffered with other natural ingredients such as acai oil, macadamia seed oil etc. This does not effect other chemical processes
The colour does last longer when sealed after ironing with keratin spray.
The colour we recommend to use at the same time as the service is an ammonia free demi colour , which does not affect the Ph, my question is demi colour does have an alkaline driver so we are opening an already open cuticle?

The keratin is manufactured.  
pre any treatment
So my questions yet to be answered
So the Ammonium Bisulphite is the alkaline certainly sounds like it could be a alkaline but if naturally produced  source it may be called natural! used to open the cuticle so to what level of Ph?  Your Keratin what is it's source given that hydrolised human hair keratin has the smallest molecular weight of all the naturally sourced keratin's? or is your manufactured ie Nano?
Once you add the heat to the Keratin and it hardens giving the hair a shine not unlike a coat of varnish.
Does the colour last longer due to the flat cuticle? when applying colour having already changed the Ph with the Ammonium Bisulphite does this overly effect the fact that most professional colours already have an alkaline in them so to some it might seem we are over processing by opening the cuticle to much given the effects on the Ph of the hair!  Many questions sorry but when educating products or writing about then i like to have as much information as is possible, i used a keratin based  product some 12 years ago so have some understanding of the technology.

In closing 
It sounds like a product that works but really has not been around long enough to know what the effects long term are to hair and health or how well it will be received by stylist and the pay client. 
New innovative products that can give us tools to improve the daily lives of our clients are always so exciting and bring with them hype expectation motivation these keratin based products are all that new and exciting.
As always i hope this has been informative it is a re visit to the topic for me as more information has come to light.Mike B2MR

Sunday, 14 August 2011

The structure of hair

Welcome to BACK2MYROOTS B2MR:             
Regular postings of fresh new topic's
                          Understanding hair structure:
To be a good hair colourist we have to know so much! understanding how the  hair structure works what role it plays is key to  successful colouring.
 In order to understand the dynamics of hair colour we need to look at the hair's inner structure and understand how it is affected and changed in the colour process.
 The Cuticle:
The protective outer layer of the hair shaft the Cuticle is made up of Translucent overlapping layers of keratin protein.
Each layer completely encompasses the hair shaft.
imagine a stack of paper cups that might give you a visual image of the Cuticle.
Just as you might be able to bend a stack of cups without pulling apart the structure of the hair has the same pliability.
The cuticle affords the hair about 25% of its strength.
When the Cuticle is healthy it will lie flat against the hair shaft light will reflect of the translucent layers allowing the hair to appear to shine.
When we perform a chemical service on the hair perming or colour the Cuticle has to be opened to allow any chemical process to penetrate into the cortex to do this one has to change the natural Ph of the hair to do this we have to use an alkaline.
In the past ammonia has been the main driver of this part of the colouring process but it has always been though to cause damage and tends to smell.
Recently most of the major hair colour companies have been promoting healthy all natural products personally i find this marketing misleading now the catch words are herbal, organic, natural, unfortunately the products now driving the colour are MEA and Denatured Alcohol are they any less drying and damaging to the cuticle ? you decide! they all serve to open the cuticle they are all an alkaline.  personally i would rather know the strength of the ammonia in a colour rather than work with an unknown many professional hair colours did have quite high levels of ammonia i can live with ).4% up to2%.
Many Colour companies have replaced having bees wax as a buffer in hair colour with oil and silicon,
naturally after any chemical service the the correct Ph level must be restored to close the cuticle and restore that natural looking sheen a chemical balancing product is good for this it will restore the hair back to a pH of around 5.5.

The Cortex:
The Cortex makes up the bulk of the hair shaft the Cortex is composed of Keratin protein and 19 Amino acids. Keratin is a natural fibrous protein cross linked by sulfur bonds in the cortex the inner structure of the hair is known as the helix. we also find covalent and ionic bonds these are also effected by chemical services.
keratin is another well marketed product it it's naturally in the hair then added to products it must be good most hair products that have Keratin in them have a source derived from animal, vegetable, or mineral, Keratin from these sources will only lie on the out side of the hair with over use can make the hair slightly brittle so given the cost restrictions most companies opt for the cheaper source although these can and will give the sheen and make the hair look healthy they do not penetrate through the cuticle layer of hair. { molecular size is to Big 500}   The only keratin able to penetrate into the hair has to be hydrolyzed human hair Keratin.{molecular weight 150-300 able to penetrate the hair}
Fact {Hair is 89%protein and 10% moisture} so the only keratin that really can help the hair on an internal level is sourced from human hair.
On right healthy shining highlighted hair with Multi tones:
The medulla:
The medulla is the inner layer or center of the hair shaft, it is made up of softer Keratin protein than in the cortex it could be best described as being like raw sponge part of the  Medulla function is linked to the bodies excretory system.
Understand the roles of the above layers is key to performing good chemical services on the hair.

 The Above facts are well worth having in your tool kit of knowledge when performing Chemical services on the Hair!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Home hair colour. Choice sand consequences!

Back2myroots : A place to share thoughts and grow idea's. B2MR

One of the biggest dangers that consumers face when heading down to. The supermarket . Chemist. Drug. Store .Searching the hair color aisle is a daunting process and sometimes impulsiveness.

Lack of knowledge. To much choice. To little direction and helpful information.
Don't assume that because the biggest print on the box says Ammonia free all natural that it's safe!
Pictures of half an Avocado, suggesting health and shine.

If it's permanent colour with no Ammonia it has something else doing the same job be that MEA or De alcoholised grain extract. So its buyer beware get informed!  

               (Image of models on the boxes promoting that look that natural colour the healthy shine!).

Celebrities and advertising gurus have heavily promoted the idea that if you change your hair color, you instantly transform your life.

While that concept may potentially be true in some cases, any home hair coloring projects undertaken in haste could result in months of growing out regrets.

Is it possible to create a magical perfect hair color? Yes! Just Wave a wand and get that home hair color with natural hues with success?  Although more complicated coloring projects should be outsourced to a professional colorist. With some careful planning and consultation every thing is possible.

A list of realistic expectations and a little patience, new shades of beautiful blonde, radiant red, and chocolate brown, can all be possible.
But it is buyer beware and pitfalls can and do often happen. Trying to go from one shade to another trying to jump to one colour to another totally different colour issues with over processing!
Oh! they forgot to mention that on the box!

Things to Know

Temporary – Lasts through 1-2 shampoos.  Coats outside of cuticle but does not usually contain peroxide or ammonia.  Will not lift color but will deepen, brighten or enhance existing color but may well chemical properties to help deposit a little.

Semi-Permanent – Lasts 4-6 shampoos.  Coats outside of cuticle and down to next layer.  Generally is free of peroxide or ammonia.  May be more permanent in some situations again by changing the Ph of the hair the colour will deposit last longer in some cases.

Demi-Permanent – Lingers through up to 20 shampoos.  Deposits color between cuticle and cortex.  May contain some peroxide and/or ammonia.
Permanent – Cuticle is opened and color is deposited down into the cortex.  Contains peroxide and ammonia. Color lasts until it grows out, is cut off or is recolored.

Highlights – Lifts pigments from the cortex. Contains peroxide, bleach and ammonia.
Double Process Color – Cuticle is first opened and hair is lightened 4-6 levels with peroxide, ammonia and bleach.  New color is then deposited via a toner into the cortex through the cuticle.

While Temporary, Semi and Demi-Perm hues are generally considered "safe"  “there are always exceptions to every hair rule". sometimes the Chemistry of these colours is misleading. Changing the Ph of hair changes the way colour will deposit.

For example, In "some situations, “wash out” tones may become “permanent” if applied to strands that are porous or damaged from previous bleaching or chemical treatments.”

What does this mean exactly?  That if you apply a temporary color to strands that are damaged and thus "porous" or more absorbent than normal, the color will seep down deep into the cortex and may permanently stain.  Thus repeated attempts to wash out the color will be ineffective.

If you’re brand new at the shade changing game consider products with training wheels such as temporary, semi or demi-perm colors  that last only through a series of shampoo treatments.
Once you get the hang of coloring with temporary colors, you can step up to the permanent colors that lasts until it grows out, hair is cut or a new hue is applied.

But be aware that over time colour desired and used might need to be adjusted. also over time the condition of hair coloured on a regular bases can and will change.
In some cases the colour used on re growth might be different from colour needed to match in the mid length and ends.
Note:  If you are unsure how your strands will adopt to hair color, dial the toll free help lines provided with most home hair color kits or skip the home color exercise and contact a professional colorist.

So many choices so many shades so much to consider! maybe it's time to have a no obligation consultation with a Professional Stylist. Before making that leap of faith into the unknown world of hair colour! Mike B2MR

Hey Mike,
I am loving the blog, great information and wonderful layout.  Sheila Szonyi

Monday, 8 August 2011

changing times in the hair salon!

Back2myroots : A place to share thoughts and grow idea's. B2MR

Owning a salon. Working in a salon being a part of a team.  Maybe your renting a chair in a salon have your own business?  maybe your a small  work from a home salon business. A mobile stylist.
All of these are totally respectable avenues to explore within out industry but over the past years thing have changed hugely.

We have responsibility to our selves our work mates our clients to have a full understanding of all matters relating to health and safety. The legislation governing the safe use and indeed disposal of products keep up to date books and records having qualification, certification, and licenses.

On top of this new products new techniques the challenges of running owning managing a business managing people if quite a lot to deal with.  How do you?

Then there is finding time to reflect on. The direction you and your business are going in. The service you offer the standard of work being done. What ever your business model. How often do you take the time to reflect on any of these topic's in an honest reflective manner?
We have to find time take the time to explore avenues to offer help advise guidance.Training up grades
staying current with all aspects of our career and business. Here a few links to check out.                             

Keeping up with education in our chosen field is so important. Education creates excitement because there is always something new to learn. lose the passion lose the drive.
Education keeps you connected product knowledge is a must nowadays. Clients want to know that the ingredients and formulations are safe and what we recommending for them to use will work and be value for money. we as stylist need to know cause effect understand what we are using and why.

Social Media: LinkedIn, Facebook. Twitter. for examples help connect us with others who are inspire to share what works and doesn't work. Blog site where people share thoughts views opinions reviews.

professional groups and bodies always  good to be apart of Linked In is a great place to share and build a business profile.

We have to be aware and have an understanding of changes in the law and regulations pertaining to our profession Now I'm curious to learn more so. I'm not putting anyone (client, work mates and myself) in danger. Just because one is certified in a new technique it does not mean we have the full picture and trust what we are told as truth set in stone!

Law's and regulation are in constant change the information we are given on products how they work and indeed the effects that that can cause are not always clear but the burden to ask the right questions is on us their are no excuses for not knowing or understanding.
With a little time and patient we can research products read reviews get full insight into the good and bad what works and maybe what does not the more we as stylist share net work and connect the stronger we become its part of giving back sharing your experience strengths. It is my personal belief that if we know something but don't share it pass it on then it's a total waste!
I try to share to promote and sometimes pass on warnings . I try to communicate with others in our industry and to this ends in the space of 6 months an now net working all over the world with other like minded people in our industry. 
At the end of the day it's up to you what do you want are you prepared to make the changes needed to stay in the now? Its your journey your adventure!

A topic has arisen that is a follow on from my earlier posting ownership management chair rental. It's how we look at salary commission based earning or Chair rental. What is a fair rate? What is a fair way to compensate salon owner and stylist ? Without causing decent work place break down creating unwanted issues.
For the most part stylists after training will move around a few times trying to find a fit a work place that allows them to build up a good client base a place they can earn what they see is a good wage.
In many cases as time goes bye and experience is gained and our stylist starts to get busier bring in more money to the salon. As this happens resentment can set in with regard to ratio of pay to turnover.

How can this be prevented what are the signs of an unhappy Staff!
In many cases the staff room gossip signs of apathy lateness. Work standard dropping standard of service suffering.
Most stylist will think about and see things that exist within their work bubble a simple world of I do my clients they pay X at the end of the day i have brought in X and sold Y yet my take home pay is 
only X and that's before i pay Tax, I do all the work it's not fair my boss should get so much after all what do they do!! 
Commission can be mixture of guaranteed basic and commission targets as a productivity incentive or just commission. what is fair well of course as we get busier more established build our client base we can earn more on a regular bases but the thresholds will always be  how many clients can we do how much do we charge whilst maintaining standards and service!
It is a natural progression for stylist to look to get a bigger cut of the pie choices start your own business not easier or look at chair rental.

This gets interesting chair rental was when it first came out was quite visionary a stylist pays to rent a chair a space pays X per month and runs a small business within a business. Of course the down side is having to pay that rent whether you are busy or not! having to keep books pay your own tax. stock appointments you are your own little self employed Business.
As an evolution of this a new chair rental business scenario has come to my attention.
A stylist rents a chair fro a monthly fixed fee but also pays a percentage of their take to the salon owner. Hum! for the this owner provides salon reception sales support motivation marketing skills sounds good its seem's to be a blend between commission based and self employed.
But lets look at this with some bogus numbers.

Lets say our stylist is busy and turns over £1000.00 per week
£1000.00 x 4 = £ 4000.00 Month 50% commission  stylist earns £2000.00pre tax
now lets look at chair rental 
£1000.00 x4 = £ 4000.00 lets say chair rental £800.00 month  stylist take £3200.00 out of this they have to pay all expenses and Tax, insurance, stock assistance, everything. but the larger take is appealing.
£1000.00 x4 = £ 4000.00  then chair rental £ 800.00 month share of commission 50% 50% splits
so our £ 4000.00 a month less £800.00 = £ 3200.00 divided x 2 = £1600.00 
This would be £1600.00 for the stylist. £ 2400.00 salon owner.
Although the stylist left the salon in our first example paying commission for a better deal more control a bigger piece of the pie the down side is booking keeping paying tax keeping accounts.

From a Stylist point of view strait chair rental is the best deal but involves a lot more work and commitment from a stylist it's time to grow up and take responsibility for your self your actions.
The example that seems to offer the worst deal from a stylist point of view is rental and turnover split!
For this to work the split has to be less on the turnover  to make it as appealing as just chair rental the split would have to be Rent + 25% take fro the salon owner.

By nature Stylist will always want to move on find a place where they feel they are making a fair wage for there skill,  they will always feel they are working making money for the boss or owner it's natural
not always realistic given the costs of doing business.
In closing I think it is because of the above options many choose to become home based or mobile stylist.

I do however think that there is a fair balance that affords both salon owners and stylist  away of coming together to work and create a successful business that provides for all the key is communication honesty, discussing goals oh and not being greedy yep being fair you need each other .
hope this is helpful to all those trying to work out a career or business Move.
None of the above take into account charging VAT and keeping records and paying revenue for this said Tax. you are in essence a tax collector this Money should be put to one side.
Mike. B2MR