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La Moda

Hair & Beauty Salon

 You are here: Colouring

Image of Colouring
PLEASE NOTE: The information given on this site is for general information only. It should not be considered as medical advice. As with all physical and medical conditions you should always consult your doctor or health care professional.

Types of Hair Colour
• Temporary colour lasts from one shampoo to the next, depending on hair porosity, and is deposited on the outside of the hair shaft.
• Semi Temporary colour lasts around 4-6 shampoos, depending on hair porosity.
• Semi-Permanent colour is for styling white or light hair and lasts 2 to 6 weeks, depending on hair porosity.
• Permanent colour formulas change the natural hair colour. They require maintenance to new hair growth after 4 to 6 weeks. For the purpose of this guide we will be discussing Permanent colours and methods of processing only.

How it Works

Before any permanent colour can be deposited into the hair shaft, the Cuticle, or outer layer, must be opened. The formula then reacts with the Cortex, or middle layer, to deposit or remove the colour. The colour is available in a variety of forms. Creams, gels, tubes, or shampoos. These will not permanently change the hair colour until they are part of an oxidation and chemical reaction. The Oxidizing Agent or Developer is Hydrogen Peroxide in one of its various forms and strengths. It is the catalyst, or cause of the chemical reaction that allows the formula to permanently alter the hair's colour. The strength of the developer is determined by the desired result and the manufacturer's directions.

•10 Volume - Colour deposit with only very slight lightening.
•20 Volume - Maximum colour deposit as for grey or white hair with lightening.
•30 Volume - Strong lightening action with less colour deposit.
•40 Volume - Maximum lightening with little or no colour deposit.
•60 Volume - Absolute extreme cases, but not commonly used these days, where only lightening is required with no colour deposit required at all.

Bleach Boosters - can also be used to increase lifting action. Consult the manufacturer,s instructions. Too much developer and the colour may not have good results, cover poorly, not lift to the correct level and fade more quickly.

Image of Colour wheel

The Colour Wheel - is the key to successful Hair Colouring

Let the colour wheel be your guide, your friend. Learn and know the colour wheel well, as only then Colouring becomes easier. It may sound a bit odd but your hair is a mixture of 3 colours; red, yellow and blue. These are the primary colours. Secondary colours are orange, green, and violet. If you look at the “wheel” the colour opposite, (directly across) will “counteract” that colour. This means if your hair is an orange tinge, green will counteract it. If your hair has a yellow tone, violet will cancel it out.

One of the most important elements of hair colouring is determining the hair's “underlying pigment”. When you choose a colour in a swatch colour book, (colour selection chart) your hair may not result to that colour because of the underlying pigment or pigments within the hair itself. Underlying colour plus artificial colour equals final result. I will explain more about that later.

First things first

Tone refers to whether a colour is warm or cool. The warm tones are red, orange and yellow. The cool (ash) colours are blue, green, and violet.

Level, indicates the degree of lightness or darkness of a colour. Every colour can be made either lighter or darker, thus changing the level, by the addition of white or black. Hair colours, both natural and colour-treated, are classified by level, from 1 to 10. Therefore, 1 indicates black, and 10 indicates the lightest blonde.

Saturation: Refers to the degree of concentration or amount of pigment in the colour.

Hair Pigment

•A pigment called Melanin is responsible for hair colour. There are 2 types of Melanin found in the hair.
•Eumelanin, is the most common type and it gives the hair shades from brown to black.
•Phaeomelanin, gives the hair yellowish blond tones, ginger and red colours. Total absence of pigment produces white (grey) hair.

Levels of Hair Colour

1 = Black 2 = Very Dark Brown 3 = Dark Brown 4 = Brown 5 = Medium Brown 6 = Light Brown 7 = Dark Blonde 8 = Light Blonde 9 = Very Light Blonde 10 = Lightest Blonde


About 80% of the hair consists of elongated cells (Corticle cells) of a Fibroid structure (macro-fibrils). The cortex determines the THICKNESS, ELASTICITY and STRENGTH of the hair. It is also responsible for housing all of the hair's natural COLOUR PIGMENTS. Colour Pigments found in the Cortical layer are in the form of minute Melanin granules. These granulised colour pigments are stored in tiny sacks called ALVEOLUS (ALVEOLI). In healthy hair, light reflected from the Cuticle surface produces a soft sheen. This sheen is referred to as “the transparency of a hair colour”. At the same time, the pigments gleam through the Cuticle. This is what makes up the unmistakable shades of colour in the hair. The Cortex can be damaged by:


This means that the hair colour does not last as long and that the hair becomes brittle, dry, dull and not easy to comb.


Fine hair can be damaged easily as compared to thicker or coarser hair. Penetration of chemicals and products occurs faster on fine hair due to the fact that fine hair has less cuticle layers, and sometimes the layers themselves are thinner too. Your Hairstylist needs to keep this in mind when working with fine textured hair.


Coarse hair is larger in diameter. It will have more Cuticle layers, and sometimes the layers themselves can be thicker too. This type of hair is sometimes more resistant to hair colour and decolourisation products.


AMMONIA is used in permanent (oxidative) hair colour. When the permanent hair colour and the developer come together, the action of ammonia begins. Like all Alkali, the Ammonia has the tendency to separate the Cuticle and allows the permanent hair colour to penetrate the Cortex of the hair. The Ammonia has an effect on the Sulphur bonds of the hair. If the Ammonia is too harsh, the hair will lose more of the Sulphur bonds than necessary. It will cause the hair to harden, lose weight and diameter.5

The higher the volume of the developer, the greater the amount of Sulphur is removed from the hair structure. This is one of the reasons why the limitations of the developer should be maintained at 30 Volume or less for the majority of hair colouring. When we lighten natural hair, the oxidation of the Melanin will give a reduction of the natural pigments. Decolouration will have an effect on the natural pigments. They will act especially on the granular pigments and will act progressively as the action of the decolouration takes place. The granular pigments will transform into diffused pigments that makes the apparition of the reflection more or less intense as the decolouration processes.

High heat and the length of time high heat is used on the hair will also impact the structure of the hair. The hair will lose its elasticity. Damage to the Cuticle and make it more breakable. Steam will form inside the hair shaft, which in turn will burst hair by breaking it. This is why we need to limit the amount of heat as well as the length of time you dry the hair.

Problems and Suggestions - A guide

When colouring virgin or natural colour hair, start where the colour is the darkest. This is usually the nape of the neck or at the crown.

When the ends are faded, use your regular formula except where the hair is too porous to hold colour. Apply one level darker to the ends with a small amount of gold or yellow accent to provide warmth and highlights.

If the ends will not colour or hold colour, this is usually because they have become too porous and need to be filled before application of the tint formula. Use the colour selected or ½ to 1 shade darker, with no developer added and apply. Then dry into the effected area of the hair. Apply your formula as usual and the colour should under normal circumstances hold.

Summer” hair can sometimes not hold colour. This is because of the damaging effects of the sun's ultra­violet rays, heat, or water. Increase conditioning repair to correct the porosity. Do this on a continuing basis.

When blonde hair becomes greenish because of chemical in swimming pools, this can be corrected by using a warm (red or gold) tone.
A greenish cast will result when a blue based colour is applied to yellow or gold hair. Countering with a violet based colour will result in a more natural shade.

When pre-lightening for red hair - Never process above the orange stage. Doing so will give the after effect a washed out colour that is not flattering.

When light reddish blondes turn orange as the colour fades, add a small amount of red­gold for highlights.

Pink hairlines on grey hair tinted red require a small amount of natural brown the same level or darker to add depth. Apply colour starting at the back of the head and add the additional brown to the hairline only.

When the current colour is darker than a new shade selected, a colour remover, specifically designed for the removal of artificial colour must be used to remove the old tint up to a level equal to the new desired shade. These types of colour removers will not be effective for lightening virgin hair.

“Washing out” and “removing” a tint, are not the same. “Washing out” the tint is done at the end of the colour process to remove what has not been absorbed into the hair. Whereas “Removing” the tint is taking the colour out of the hair, usually in preparation for application of a lighter colour.

If hair is too red after using a colour remover, ash or violet tones may be added to neutralize unwanted warm tones

When hair is predominately grey, start application where hair is the greyest. Use one shade darker than the target colour. In the absence of any colour in the hair, the shade will appear lighter

Very pale or over­processed hair, has little or no red or gold pigment. Remember, highlights come from warm tones. It may be necessary to add warm tones (with no additional developer) to prevent colours from appearing too ashen, violet, too blue, or green, especially where the hair is most resistant, such as the hairline or nape

On hair going increasingly grey, a lighter colour may be more desirable as the re­growth is less noticeable.

Pre­softening grey hair, may be necessary if the hair is very resistant and coarse. Follow manufacturer's directions and always dry hair before applying the tint. Colour applied to damp or wet hair will become diluted and the result will be unsatisfactory

A resistant grey hairline, should have the colour applied there first and then again after the rest of the hair has been applied to. Consider increasing the processing time within the limits of the manufacturer's directions. Possibly one shade darker could be applied to the hairline only.

To cover a natural grey streak, section precisely, use one shade darker than the natural colour. You may have to increase the processing time.

A green cast on grey or pre­lightened pale yellow hair - Add a small amount of red or gold tone, as an accent will cut the green

Yellow bleed through on pre­lighten hair may occur when the tint shade is not dark enough. The colour must be the same level or darker than the level of the.

For Grey hair, which is very resistant, (or 80% - 100% grey)
1. Apply 20 volume or 30 volume straight on the hair.
2. Place client under an accelerator for 5 - 7 minutes.
3. Rinse out and towel blot any excess.
4. Proceed with colour application and processing.

This technique allows the hair to be more receptive to accepting colour by softening the Cuticle layers. It is not designed to lighten the hair. If left on for 10 minutes or longer the hair will begin to lighten. DO NOT USE THIS TECHNIQUE for hair which is natural at the roots but lightened by the sun on the mid­lengths and ends. This is an indication that the hair is not resistant.

On very short or fine hair, colour can be applied directly to the hair without the preliminary preparation.

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  192 Windmill Lane
  EN8 9AF
  (How to find us)
  (Customer car parking at rear)

  Tel: 01992 624 644


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