Blog Post Photo for questions about dying blonde hair
15 June

Melanin pigments in blond hair

Q. I need to be enlightened on the subject of true blonde hair containing what type of melanin. In the past, I have learned that true blonde hair is composed of dispersed yellow pigments in low concentration.  I have also learned that pheomelanins, which include the yellow and red pigments, do not bleach out while eumelanins (brown pigments) bleach easily. Therefore, how can true blonde hair be bleached out to the palest yellow stage, if it has yellow pigments? Thank you. Barbara, Pasadena, CA. A. All human hair types …

Blog Post Picture showing confusion for why perms don't work the same way on some people
15 May

Is there one perm for all hair types?

Q. I recently gave a perm to a client with bleached ends on her hair. The perm I used said it was good for ALL types of hair. It should have said, “Bad for all types of hair”. The virgin hair came out straight and the bleached hair was frizzy. Is there a perm that is good for all hair types? Why do manufacturers make such claims if they are not true? Cindy, Denver, CO. A. Cindy, I am going to answer your second question …

For a blog post talking about how all hair is not the same when it comes to rinsing.
15 April

Ideal temperature for rinsing chemically-treated hair

Q. Permit me to ask your professional opinion about a situation I have encountered while attending a class on Double Process Blonding.  As I have always rinsed the hair with cool water, I was surprised to learn from this instructor that the opinion had changed and that the water recommendation was now “as warm as the client can tolerate.”  The theory being warm water was more effective in releasing “Quats” from the hair. I have a double process blonde client that I have had for …

Photo for Blog Post about Tube Color vs Bottle
15 March

Tube hair color vs. Hair color in a bottle

Q. Dr. Said, I hear so many different opinions about color in a tube and color in a bottle. Some say tube color is better because it has calibrated ammonia (whatever that means). Others say color in a bottle gives you better coverage. Please explain to me the difference between the two products and which one is less damaging to the hair. Ryan, Chesterfield, MO. A. There is absolutely no difference between the two products in terms of the kinds of dyestuff they use. The difference …

Photo to go with blog post about the science of hair tint removal
15 February

Hair Color Removers

Q. Dr. Said, could you kindly explain to me how hair tint removers work, and are they all the same? Thank you. Molly, Charlotte, NC A.  In permanent hair tints, dye precursor intermediates (called primaries and couplers, which are by themselves colorless) are coupled and locked in place by hydrogen peroxide to produce colored dye molecules. These colored molecules can be removed by two different processes: Either by a process involving reducing agents; or by a process involving oxidizing agents. The first process, especially effective …

Photo To go with Blog Post About ammonia on grey hair
15 January

Coloring grey hair – extra ammonia or extra peroxide?

Q. Coloring grey hair, extra ammonia or extra peroxide? – Christine A. Christine, the general rule of thumb is that higher alkalinity (especially in the form of ammonia) results in better color deposit. This is because the higher the alkalinity the more “open” the cuticles become. This is also why demi-permanent colors with lower alkalinity, even if used with high volume peroxide, tend to have less deposit and permanency than the more alkaline permanent colors. High volume developers tend also to “loosen” the hair structure …

Foiling Picture to go with Permanent Demipermanent die blog post
15 December

Permanent vs. Demi-permanent (deposit only) hair color

Q. I was contacted by a company who said I could cut my hair color inventory in half if I used their hair color. Is it possible to turn a permanent ammoniated hair color into a demi-permanent (deposit-only) hair color by simply utilizing a special developer? Pamela, Del Mar, CA A.  I do not think that this is completely true for the following reasons: 1) When we talk about deposit-only hair color, we mean that there is little or no lift associated with the color …

Photo goes with peroxide conditioner blog post
15 November

Can cream peroxide developers condition the hair?

Q. Some cream peroxide developers claim to add conditioning to the hair during the coloring process. Is that true? Thank you Dr. Said. Kim, Bellevue, WA A.  The major role that peroxide plays during the coloring process is to oxidize dye molecules and develop the color. It also lifts some natural color from the hair under higher pH. Most of the chemical ingredients that are added to liquid peroxide to give it a creamy texture are derived from fatty acids. As such, cream peroxide may …

Photo to go with Bleaching questions
15 October

Are all hair bleaches the same?

Q. Do different bleaches work differently and, are there ways to predict how a certain bleach would work before using it? Lisa, Las Vegas, NV. A. Different manufacturers obviously have different formulations for their bleaches. Some are designed for maximum lift; others are designed for average lift. Some products perform well under heat; others break down and become runny. Some sustain their action for well over one hour, while others appear to stop lifting after 30-45 minutes. Some of these variations are by design and …

Ammonia vs Non-Ammonia coloring blog post
15 September

Ammonia vs. Ammonia-free hair color

Q. Dr. Said, I have been using ammonia color for as long as I can remember and neither I nor my clients have had any problems with it. Recently many hair colors appeared on the market with the claim of being ammonia-free. I have tried one product and I did not like the results. Some clients started asking me about ammonia free color, and I am confused and don’t know how to answer them. What is the difference between ammonia and ammonia-free hair color, How much …