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Hair Coloring Products

 by Sheron Hopkins
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So you have finally decided on changing the color of your hair. Before you rush off to the nearest salon or buy the first hair dye that you can lay your hands on, it would be best to first learn and understand more about the different types of hair coloring products available in the market today.  

Hair coloring products are generally classified into four different sub-groups: permanent, semi-permanent or deposit-only, semi-permanent and temporary. Each specific sub-group differs from the others, not just in terms of the amount of time that the new hair color stays on your hair, but also in terms of chemical composition and ingredients.

As its name suggests, permanent hair coloring products allow you to change the color of your hair with a more lasting effect. Although hair dye colors that you have chosen will fade a little over time, permanently-colored hair lasts until you color over it or until you cut it out. Permanent hair coloring products contain an alkalizing ingredient and an oxidizing agent (color developer). Very tiny color molecules that cannot be washed-out by shampooing are released all the way into the hair cortex where they react and alter the natural color of your hair. This is what you would normally use if the change in hair color that you desire is more noticeable or significant.  

Demi-permanent or deposit-only hair coloring products last for quite some time, but unlike permanent hair-coloring products, the color can eventually be washed out after about 25 shampoos. A milder and less-concentrated type of color developer is used to change the natural color of your hair. An example of this would be henna, a plant-based hair coloring product.


Semi-permanent hair coloring products will not drastically change the natural color of your hair, but instead, will brighten it up with shades of red, gold and plum. They contain tiny color molecules that penetrate the hair cuticle but do not interact with your hair’s natural color. Since these molecules are very small, after about 10 shampoos, the color is eventually washed out of your hair and your hair returns to its natural color. Hair glaze or cellophane treatment is an example of this hair coloring product sub-group.

Lastly, temporary hair coloring products allow you to enhance the natural color of your hair by making it more vibrant and shiny. They contain large color molecules that simply coat the hair cuticle, because the molecules are far too big to be able to penetrate it. Temporary hair color may be washed out after 1 or 2 shampoos. Color-depositing shampoos and conditioners, and spray-on colors, mousses and gels are examples of this hair coloring product subgroup.

In recent times, another hair coloring product sub-group has emerged and grown in popularity. This is known as the special effects sub-group. Special effects products are normally used for highlighting hair or adding some streaks of color into it. Hair dyes under the special effects subgroup are quite complicated and are best left in the hands of an expert.

By knowing the types of hair coloring products, you now have the option of choosing what would work best for your type of hair and your kind of lifestyle. Try it!

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