Hair Color

Hair color is the single most important factor effecting a person’s overall appearance. In fact, studies have shown that your hair color has a bigger impact on a person’s first impression than even their clothing or personality. Researchers agree that the balance between eye color, hair color, and skin tone is more important to a person’s image than even their weight or posture. Intuitively, this makes perfect sense considering the hair is one of the first things a person notices about another person.

So, what is the magic formula? The answer is, it depends. Selecting your perfect hair color depends not only on your skin tone and eye color; but also on your personal style and self image. This article will show you how to strike the perfect combination for you.

hair color

Selecting the right hair color for you – Basic Color Analysis

Step 1: Selecting the right product

One of the first things to consider when deciding to change your hair color is the kind of color to use. Most store bought color is made up of metallic dyes that either stain the hair or sits outside layes of your hair called the cuticle and cover your color. Professional color will open the cuticle and deposit oxidative dyes into the hair which react with your hair to truly change its color. The results of professional color are longer lasting and more natural looking.

Most professional color utilizes harsh and toxic chemicals to achieve this result. These chemicals have damaging effects on your hair and health. For example, ammonia will destroy a protein called tyrosine in your hair which regulates the production of melanin, your hair’s natural pigmentation. Once your hair’s tyrosine is destroyed, your hair’s ability to “hold” color, either natural of synthetic, is forever compromised. Further, many of the pigments and active chemicals in many professional hair color are associated with many different types of cancer. For these reasons, careful consideration of a more natural, organic, safer professional hair color product like Organic Color Systems should always be considered.

Step 2: Determining Your Skin Tone

tone color chart
Mother nature made the natural tones in our hair match our natural skin tone. So, if having a natural look to your hair color is important to you, you should try to preserve this match as much as possible. If your skin tone is warmer, you should consider warmer hair colors too. If you have cooler tones to you skin, consider cooler hair colors.

If you are unsure if you have a warmer or cooler skin tone, try this simple test that takes less than five minutes. Pull your hair back off your face in a pony tail and than wash your face so that there is not moisturizer or make up on it. Wrap a white towel around your neck and shoulders. To reveal your skin’s undertones, look into a mirror near natural light. If your face appears yellow next to the white towel you have a warm skin tone and if it looks more blue then you have a cool skin tone.

This test will allow you to determine if your skin tone is cool, neutral, or warm.

Step 3: Determining your natural and target level

hair color levels
Level is how dark or light the color is; it goes on a 1-10 scale. One is black, 10 is very light blond. To decide on the right hair color, you’ll need to know the tone and level. As a rule of thumb, try to stay within 2 – 3 levels of your target level to preserve a natural hair color look

Step 4: Matching your hair color to your personality

After determining your skin tone and natural level, you have also determined a range of optional shades to select from. You should stay within your skin tone (warm, neutral, or cool) and within two levels of your base level. Using this range, select the shade that you like best from the color shade chart.

It’s important to match your new hair color to the personality you want to have and not necessarily the one you currently have. Sometimes, a new hair color can be the perfect fix for “the slumps” as experts say it can have a profound impact on your mood and attitude. In fact, specialists have proven that hair color influences blood pressure and adrenalin levels which each have a great role in our emotional states and feelings.

So, if you dye your hair red, will you become a hot headed redhead? Specialists say you will, because everyday when you’re looking at yourself in the mirror your psyche gets signs that can influence your behavior and you’ll not only look like a redhead, but also act like one after a while and tend to adopt the stereotype.

Here are some examples of the perceptions people have of those with different hair colors:

  • Red Hair Color: Women with red hair are perceived as feisty, opinionated and seductive, usually breaking up with amazing ideas, explosive, irritable, full-blooded, and passionate. On the flip side, analysts say you’re a sensitive person, strong headed, nothing is impossible for you and you’re very outspoken. Hardly get used to new things and very easy to annoy. Harvard specialists confirm the same: redheads’ anti-stress hormone level are much lower, so they’re living with an increased level of excitement.
  • Brown Hair Color: Brunettes are perceived as responsible good girls. French specialists have shown that among people who have won Nobel prices, the majority were brunettes. So are they smarter? No, but they were just constantly working, much harder then others. Brown haired women can be heavy-laden, she gets nervous only in the last really hard minutes when she’ll eventually give up. Specialists say that they’re reassuring, reliable and impossible to overtake by any of the other blonde, redhead or brunette women.
  • Blonde Hair Color: Blondes are often thought of as the sex bomb, but also be stereotyped as high-maintenance and vain. They are more intelligent than men think. A survey has shown that blondes divorce more often, being always surrounded by proposals and attention. They get married earlier as well than other women. But why are men more attracted to blondes? This hair color reflects youthfulness and femininity but also can portray obedience and naiveté. They may seem impressionable and easy but in reality, they have the strongest consciousness, a great memory, large lexical knowledge and they are even good at mathematics! Beside these, they have a great send of humor.
  • Black Hair Color: While blondes are hasty, you should slow down with black haired women. They are more low-key, but none of the other colors have got as much respect from men than this one. They have great personalities, but can be seen more often at shrinks or therapists because they’re more concerned about life’s more important questions such as where do we come from, where are we going to and how to increase their own evolution. Specialists have shown that black haired women are more serious and measured, sometimes melancholic, self- centered, but often doubting their own power. They are mostly interested in history, soul developing, religion, being the one that is often concerned of spiritual themes, or poetry and painting which are the same category, and one of the bests when it comes to financials.

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The Science of Hair Color

The color of hair is primary determined by the pigmentation of hair follicles.  The natural pigment found in both human hair and skin is known as melanin.  There is a direct corelation between the level of melanin present in the hair and the darkness of the hair color.  The more melanin that exists in the hair, the darker the hair color will be.  The amount of melanin within human hair can vary throughout life and can be effected by genetics, environmental issues, chemical exposure, health, and even stress.  Hair color is also effected by the ethnicity of the hair.
hair color science

Hair Color Pigments

There are two types of melanin that impact hair color which are pheomelanin and eumelanin:

  • Pheomelanin – causes hair to have a red color
  • Eumelanin – causes the hair to have darkness

Because Pheomelanin is slightly more chemically stable than black eumelanin it breaks down more slowly when oxidized. Therefore bleach gives darker hair a reddish tinge when artificially colored. The pheomelanin will break down slower than the eumelanin causing the hair to gradually become orange, then yellow, and finally white.

Hair Color Genetics

The balance of pheomelanin and eumelanin present in your hair is controlled largely by genetics.  The amounts of each pigment is determined independently.

The amount of eumelanin in the hair is determined by the polygenic method. Four different gene pairs determine how eumelanin the hair has and is determined by four genes from each parent.

That’s eight eumelanin genes altogether which, through the incomplete dominance method, will add up to a value between 0 and 8, for nine possible shades of brown. If you have 0, your hair is of the lightest blond color possible. If you have 8, your hair is the darkest brown, i.e., “black”. Statistically, again, the middle values are more likely than the extremes of 0 and 8.

So, all things being equal, medium brown should be the most common hair color. Of course, it isn’t, because all things are not equal. Due to various conditions in different parts of the world, dark-haired people survived around the equator better than their light-haired counterparts. On the other hand, of the people living way up North, the light-haired variety survived better than their dark-hair counterparts.

Pheomelanin is not polygenic, but it does use incomplete dominance. Therefore there is only one gene pair responsible for red hair, and it can add up to between 0 and 2 with 0 being having little to no red and 2 having a great deal of red.

Although statistically speaking 75% of people have at least some red in their hair, the eumelanin and the pheomelanin visually combine to present the different natural shades of hair color just as the primary colors of blue, green, and red combine to create natural colors.