A Complete Information to The Science of Hair

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

In magnificence college, hairstylists be taught every little thing you possibly can think about about hair. This contains hair shade idea, chemistry, anatomy, hair construction… and even the enterprise facet of operating a salon.

Actually, all of these items are tremendous vital. Are you able to think about what occurs to your shopper’s scalp should you don’t combine the bleach accurately? Unhealthy, unhealthy issues can occur with out the correct coaching…

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

So do you suppose you might 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 possibly can at all times come again when you’ll want to! 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼

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 Idea 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 singular 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 exhausting, shingle-like cells that overlap one another. Its goal is to strengthen the hair and defend 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 mentioned, you possibly can alter the state of the cuticle in varied methods. Let me clarify…

Delicate warmth (like a towel wrapped round your head after the bathe) or acidic hair merchandise easy 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 course of the hair shaft and makes up the majority of the hair.

Melanin, aka shade 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 shade, perms, relaxers, and so forth.) 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. In truth, you received’t even discover it in individuals with fantastic hair.

Now that you’ve got a stable understanding of hair construction, let’s dive into hair shade idea…

Hair Colour Idea 101

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

Hair color numbers/level chart system.

Colour Idea

All naturally occurring hair colours are produced from totally different combos of the three main 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 shade idea.

Now we will see the secondary colours, that are made by mixing two main colours collectively; they sit straight between the 2 main colours on the wheel.

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

The cool factor in regards to the shade wheel is that it exhibits you the way colours work collectively; the colour that sits straight throughout from one other is its complementary shade.

That is tremendous vital with hair shade… 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 will be toned with a blue (ash)-based toner. Because of this “blonde” shampoos are inclined to have blue or purple pigments in them.

How Hair Colour Works

Two principal chemical substances present in everlasting hair shade 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 shade penetrates the cortex, it deposits shade molecules too massive to flee.

Because of this it’s exhausting to get shade out as soon as you place 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 shade after we’re prepared to use it… and there are totally different ranges 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 is best to solely use these guys when going darker.

20V lifts as much as 2 ranges and deposits some shade. That is probably 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 typically, because it causes probably the most injury and may injure the scalp if misused; it’s usually solely used with high-lift blondes and bleach.

Varieties 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 serious about what sort of shade to make use of, think about how lengthy it can final, how a lot injury it causes, and if it will possibly 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 kinds of everlasting hair shade meant for lighter blondes.
  • Demi-permanent colours final about 4-6 weeks and finally wash out with no line of demarcation; these can’t elevate hair to a lighter shade.
  • Semi-permanent colours solely coat the hair shaft with out penetrating into the cortex. When utilized accurately, these colours can final a couple of weeks.
  • Momentary shade 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… typically your shade doesn’t prove the way you anticipated. What do you do then?

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

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

💡RELATED: How To Use a Hair Toner For Brassiness

Until you want yellow hair, it is best to at all times tone bleached hair. That is the way you get the totally different blonde shades like ash, platinum, strawberry, and so forth.


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

To repigment the hair, you typically need to use reddish-gold colours which are one stage lighter than the specified shade.

Whereas all shade traces are totally different, you possibly can often discover a “repigmentation” system for the precise shade you need to use. All the time observe the instructions for one of the best outcomes.

An instance repigmentation course of: For Paul Mitchell shade, 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 shade over the repigmentation system (except the goal system is cool/impartial, then wipe off the repigmentation system first).

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

There’s a motive why hair shade specialists receives a commission the massive bucks…

The Golden Rule of Hair Colour

An excellent vital factor to find out about hair shade idea is that shade is not going to elevate beforehand coloured hair predictably.

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

Think about every little thing we’ve talked about thus far… In case your hair already has darkish shade molecules within the cortex, and you place one other shade on prime of it… you’re simply smashing extra shade 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 idea with out bearing on perms.

First off, there are two kinds 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 outdoors warmth to course of.

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 drugs). Skip on the conditioner, which interferes with the perm resolution.

Towel dry the hair; when damp, the hair needs 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 massive the curls might be.

When all hair has been wrapped into perm rods, perm resolution needs 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 (usually 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 needs to be fully rinsed out, and the hair needs 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 might have curly hair!


FAQ Icon
What’s hair idea?

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

Why is it vital to be taught idea in hairdressing?

It will be unimaginable to be an excellent hairstylist with out understanding how issues work. Plenty of science goes into hair shade… and even haircuts, curling, and so forth. that’s essential to be taught.

Remaining Ideas

Final Thoughts Icon

Hairstylists should be taught so many alternative features of hair by idea and expertise. Because of this, there’s much more that goes into hairdressing than one would possibly suppose.

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

Till subsequent time,


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