Natural Hair Color

A person's genes determine the hair, skin and eye color since before his or her birth. The determinants for hair color are known as melanocytes. These cells form the natural hair colors or pigments and distinguish between black, brown, and red. Depending on the percentage of each pigment, the person has blonde, brown, red or black hair. As the melanocytes decay during a lifetime, the hair becomes a dull gray and later on it turns into a whitish color.

Natural Hair Coloring

Natural colors have been used on hair since ancient times. Most of them are made from plants. Henna is by far the best known. It is widely used to this day to redden hair, especially dark hair, and the color produced lasts through several shampoos. But its concentration is difficult to control, and hence results can be unpredictable. It has been reported to cause asthma and allergies in some people, and people who suffer from these ailments should be wary of using it. Henna should not be used on gray hair, as it turns it orange!

Special hair dye preparations are made for coloring gray hair. They can be used to add highlights too. They do not contain a single dye but mixtures of red, yellow, blue, and orange dyes in various proportions. The dyes have small molecules, which mean they can pass through the cuticle into the cortex easily, and without damaging the scales of the cuticle. Since they can enter the hair shaft easily, they can also be washed out relatively easily.

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