A Complete Information to The Science of Hair

Let’s discuss primary hair concept– the science of hair and the way it all works!

In magnificence faculty, hairstylists be taught all the things you may think about about hair. This contains hair coloration concept, chemistry, anatomy, hair construction… and even the enterprise facet of operating a salon.

Truthfully, all of this stuff are tremendous essential. Are you able to think about what occurs to your shopper’s scalp if you happen to don’t combine the bleach accurately? Unhealthy, dangerous issues can occur with out the correct coaching…

However, haven’t any worry! This text will infuse you with all the fundamental hair data you want!

So do you assume you will have what it takes to do hair? Maintain studying to seek out out…

💡TIP: Pin this text to your Hair Colour board on Pinterest so you may at all times come again when it’s essential! 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼

There's so much more to hairstyling than you realize. Find out everything you need to know about basic hair theory with this ultimate guide.

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Hair Principle 101

Human hair under the microscope.

So what’s hair?

Hair is a filamentous biomaterial, primarily composed of Keratin. It grows from hair follicles discovered within the dermis and covers many of the human physique.

It’s additionally a novel attribute of mammals.

Hair Construction 101

Every strand of hair consists of three separate layers: the cuticle, medulla, and cortex.

Hair Structure: Cuticle, Medulla, Cortex

The Cuticle

The cuticle is the outermost layer, containing onerous, shingle-like cells that overlap one another. Its goal is to strengthen the hair and shield the internal layers.

This layer determines how wholesome your hair seems to be.

In wholesome hair, the scales lay flat on one another, giving the hair a glossy, shiny look. Quite the opposite, broken hair has raised scales, making the hair look like tough and textured.

That being stated, you may alter the state of the cuticle in numerous methods. Let me clarify…

Gentle warmth (like a towel wrapped round your head after the bathe) or acidic hair merchandise clean down the cuticle; alkaline merchandise swell the hair and lift the scales again up.

The Cuticle of Healthy Hair vs Damaged Hair

The Cortex & Medulla

Beneath the cuticle lies the cortex. This layer resides in the midst of the hair shaft and makes up the majority of the hair.

Melanin, aka coloration pigment, is discovered within the cortex and determines the colour of the hair. Moreover, the form of the cortex determines if the hair is straight, wavy, or curly.

This layer additionally holds water and keratin proteins. All chemical remedies (hair coloration, perms, relaxers, and so on.) happen within the cortex.

Final however not least, the innermost layer of the hair known as the medulla, and its goal continues to be unknown. The truth is, you gained’t even discover it in individuals with wonderful hair.

Now that you’ve a stable understanding of hair construction, let’s dive into hair coloration concept…

Hair Colour Principle 101

Hair color ranges are organized from 1-10. Degree 1 refers to black hair, whereas degree 10 is the lightest shade of blonde.

Hair color numbers/level chart system.

Colour Principle

All naturally occurring hair colours are made out of completely different mixtures of the three major colours: purple, blue, and yellow.

Color wheel or color circle with twelve colors

Okay, so check out the colour wheel. Do you discover that the first colours divide it into three sections? This makes it a lot simpler to visualise coloration concept.

Now we are able to see the secondary colours, that are made by mixing two major colours collectively; they sit immediately between the 2 major colours on the wheel.

These colours are inexperienced (blue + yellow), orange (purple + yellow), and violet (blue + purple).

The cool factor concerning the coloration wheel is that it reveals you ways colours work collectively; the colour that sits immediately throughout from one other is its complementary coloration.

That is tremendous essential with hair coloration… as a result of complementary colours both intensify or neutralize one another.

So take into consideration this… when hair is bleached, it often turns pale yellow. A violet-based toner will cancel out the yellow tones and make the hair seem platinum-blonde.

Likewise, orange hair could be toned with a blue (ash)-based toner. For this reason “blonde” shampoos are likely to have blue or purple pigments in them.

How Hair Colour Works

Two major chemical substances present in everlasting hair coloration are hydrogen peroxide and ammonia.

Ammonia separates the cuticle scales, permitting the colour to get contained in the hair; peroxide oxidizes the pigment. When hair coloration penetrates the cortex, it deposits coloration molecules too huge to flee.

For this reason it’s onerous to get coloration out as soon as you set it in.

Bleaching hair entails the same course of. The peroxide softens and lifts the cuticle so the bleach can go in and disperse the colour molecules within the cortex.

Developer is the peroxide part we combine with hair coloration once we’re prepared to use it… and there are completely different levels of developer that every do various things.

5V and 10V (V=quantity) are deposit solely, which means they will’t elevate the hair to a lighter shade. Due to this fact, it’s best to solely use these guys when going darker.

20V lifts as much as 2 ranges and deposits some coloration. That is essentially the most generally used developer and is finest for gray protection.

Likewise, 30V lifts as much as 3 ranges and 40V as much as 4 ranges.

40V isn’t used usually, because it causes essentially the most harm and might injure the scalp if misused; it’s sometimes solely used with high-lift blondes and bleach.

Kinds of Hair Colour

There's so much more to hairstyling than you realize. Find out everything you need to know about basic hair theory with this ultimate guide.

When interested by what kind of coloration to make use of, think about how lengthy it would final, how a lot harm it causes, and if it may well lighten your hair or not.

Some hair colours are “deposit” solely, whereas others can “elevate” your hair to a lighter shade.

  • Everlasting colours can elevate hair as much as three ranges and final till the hair grows out.
  • Excessive-lift colours can elevate the hair about 4 ranges; these are sorts of everlasting hair coloration meant for lighter blondes.
  • Demi-permanent colours final about 4-6 weeks and ultimately wash out with no line of demarcation; these can’t elevate hair to a lighter shade.
  • Semi-permanent colors solely coat the hair shaft with out penetrating into the cortex. When utilized accurately, these colours can final a couple of weeks.
  • Temporary color washes out within the bathe.

There's so much more to hairstyling than you realize. Find out everything you need to know about basic hair theory with this ultimate guide.

Colour Correction 101

So… generally your coloration doesn’t prove the way you anticipated. What do you do then?

Whereas a number of components are at play (if the hair is mild sufficient, how even the appliance was, situation of the hair, and so on.), hair toners can often assist. These distinctive hair colours are designed to deposit pigment and alter the tone.

As beforehand talked about, you should use an ash coloration to neutralize the brassy tones… or a violet-based toner to kill the yellow hues.

💡RELATED: How To Use a Hair Toner For Brassiness

Except you want yellow hair, it’s best to at all times tone bleached hair. That is the way you get the completely different blonde shades like ash, platinum, strawberry, and so on.


Let’s say you will have platinum blonde hair however wish to go darker. You’re gonna wanna repigment or “fill” the hair first… in any other case, you’ll find yourself with light, ashy hair coloration.

To repigment the hair, you usually wish to use reddish-gold colours which are one degree lighter than the specified coloration.

Whereas all coloration strains are completely different, you may often discover a “repigmentation” formulation for the particular coloration you wish to use. All the time comply with the instructions for the very best outcomes.

An instance repigmentation course of: For Paul Mitchell coloration, you’ll combine equal components of the formulation with 10V developer and apply to damp hair.

Course of for 10 minutes after which apply the goal coloration over the repigmentation formulation (until the goal formulation is cool/impartial, then wipe off the repigmentation formulation first).

Course of the entire thing for an extra 35 minutes, after which BAM… repigmented hair.

There’s a purpose why hair coloration specialists receives a commission the large bucks…

The Golden Rule of Hair Colour

A brilliant essential factor to find out about hair coloration concept is that color will not lift previously colored hair predictably.

This principally signifies that in case your hair was beforehand coloured darkish brown, and also you wish to elevate it to a lighter coloration, you’ll need to bleach/strip your hair earlier than you may coloration it.

Take into account all the things we’ve talked about up to now… In case your hair already has darkish coloration molecules within the cortex, and you set one other coloration on high of it… you’re simply smashing extra coloration molecules into the cortex.

Colour will elevate virgin hair, however not hair that has already been coloured.

Perms / Straighteners 101

Woman getting permanent wave done on her hair.

We are able to’t discuss hair concept with out referring to perms.

First off, there are two sorts of perms: acid and alkaline. Alkaline perms are used for normal-to-coarse hair, whereas acid perms are higher for broken, coloured, and/or finer hair varieties.

Acid Perms are much less damaging however require exterior warmth to course of.

Methods to do a Perm

Earlier than beginning a perm, the hair ought to at all times be clarified to take away buildup and different issues that present up within the hair (like medicines). Skip on the conditioner, which interferes with the perm resolution.

Towel dry the hair; when damp, the hair ought to be wrapped with perm rods, utilizing sections which are the identical size and width because the perm rod.

Likewise, the width of the perm rod will dictate how huge the curls will likely be.

When all hair has been wrapped into perm rods, perm resolution ought to be utilized to every rod individually. As soon as the hair has been completely saturated, let it course of for the period of time listed on the field (sometimes round 20 minutes).

Perm options work by breaking down the disulfide bonds in your hair (the proteins that give your hair form).

As soon as the hair has been absolutely processed, the perm resolution ought to be fully rinsed out, and the hair ought to be blotted with a towel till barely damp.

At this level, a neutralizer is utilized to every perm rod; this rebuilds the disulfide bonds within the new form of the perm rod. Let it sit there for five minutes earlier than eradicating the perm rods and rinsing.

Voila! Now you will have curly hair!


FAQ Icon
What’s hair concept?

Hair concept is principally the science of doing hair and studying all of the completely different elements wanted to be a profitable hairstylist. This contains coloration concept, anatomy, chemistry, and even the enterprise facet of operating a salon.

Why is it essential to be taught concept in hairdressing?

It could be unimaginable to be an excellent hairstylist with out understanding how issues work. A whole lot of science goes into hair coloration… and even haircuts, curling, and so on. that’s essential to be taught.

Remaining Ideas

Final Thoughts Icon

Hairstylists need to be taught so many various points of hair by way of concept and expertise. Consequently, there’s much more that goes into hairdressing than one would possibly assume.

Subsequent time you see your stylist, don’t overlook to understand how a lot work they do to maintain you trying your finest!

Till subsequent time,


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