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Types of Hair Colour

By: Jody Ehrhardt - Updated: 1 Nov 2010 | comments*Discuss
Hair Colour Enhancing Your Hair Colour

Changing or enhancing your hair colour is more complex than just picking the right shade. In order to get the best look with the least amount of hair damage you need to choose the correct process and hair colour type for your hair type and desired results.

Main Types of Hair Colour

There are five main types of hair colour and each one is designed to accomplish a different purpose. The first and most popular hair colour type is permanent hair colour. Permanent hair colour absorbs deeper into the hair shaft and uses stronger chemicals to deposit colour that lasts longer. This type of hair colour can be used to change hair from any colour to any other colour, darken or lighten existing hair colour, and cover grey hair. Most importantly, the results from permanent hair colour will last for about two to three months before fading.

The second type of hair colour, semi-permanent, does not penetrate the hair shaft as fully as permanent colour and the results will only last through about 20 to 26 shampoos. This type of hair colour is perfect for added dimension to your existing colour or for going a little darker or lighter than your natural shade. Plus, since the chemicals are milder, this product will not damage your hair as much as a permanent colour product.

The third type of hair colour, temporary colour, is extremely mild on hair and is great for experimenting with colour or changing your look for a special night. The chemicals in temporary hair dye only deposit the colouring on top of the hair shaft to the inner shaft is left undamaged. This type of colour gives brilliant, rich results but the effects will wash out in 5 to 10 shampoos.

For covering greying hair the fourth type of hair colour, progressive, is the best solution. This hair colour product gradually changes the colour of your hair over time with repeated use. This is a very popular hair colour product for individuals who wish to get rid of the grey without an obvious over night colour change.

The fifth and final type of hair colour, henna, is a natural alternative to chemical hair dyes. This product is derived from plant material and is used to give hair a red or reddish brown colouring.

Ingredients that Make Hair Colour Work

Aside from the chemicals that actually change the colour of the hair, hair dye solutions need added chemicals to help the colours work. One necessary ingredient in hair colours is hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is added to hair colours to help the dye develop and to "hold" the colour in place for longer periods of time. Because of this permanent hair colours often contain more hydrogen peroxide than semi-permanent or temporary solutions.

Another necessary chemical additive in hair colours is ammonia. Ammonia helps open the outer layer of the hair strand so that the colour molecules can be deposited in the hair's cortex.

The "Extras" in Hair Colour

Although hair colour solutions only need the main ingredients to actually change your hair colour, many products come with added ingredients to increase the overall experience. For example, may popular hair colour solutions contain fragrances that cover the ammonia smell of hair colour and provide a pleasant smell during the colouring process.

Another popular hair colour addition is conditioners. Since colouring can dry out hair strands an added conditioner can restore natural softness, shine, and manageability to coloured hair. Ingredients such as avocado oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, or vitamin E are popular conditioning choices. With an in depth understanding of the types of hair colour available and their most popular uses you shouldn't have any problems choosing the hair colour that is right for you.

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