The Process of Coloring Hair

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Just like the old saying “no two fingers prints are the same”, the rules follows suite with the natural pigments of the hair. And coloring hair is a visible way for someone to create an individuality amongst similarity. Coloring hair is not as simple as television makes it seem to be. Ammonia is the main component found in color, and when mixed with the developer, or the Peroxide create different sized molecules that penetrate the hair shaft. Creating a new very specific hair color for each individual. Besides coloring hair requires a basic understanding of simple chemistry, and what happens to the hair once the chemicals have been applied to the hair shaft. In fact, coloring hair is a bit of a chemistry balancing act. To get an understanding of how the pigmentation of the hair is affected with the combination of ammonia and peroxide, I have to first explain the structure of hair. Hair is made up of a protein called Keratin. “Keratin is an extremely strong protein which is a major component in skin, hair, nails, and teeth. The amino acids which combine to form keratin have several unique properties, and depending on the levels of the various amino acids, keratin can be inflexible and hard, like hooves, or soft, as is the case with skin. Most of the keratin that people interact with is actually dead; hair, skin, and nails are all formed from dead cells which the body sheds as new cells push up from underneath.” Baden 2 However a single strand of hair has at the least two layers, and some have three. The two that are always present in each hair strand are; first the outer layer, the cuticle. The cuticle is make up of overlapping scales that are translucent and help to protect the inner layer. The scales on the

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