Advantages of using
natural hair dyes and colorants. What
wrinkling is to skin, graying is to
hair. Both are the signs that herald
age. A woman despairs as much over the
wrinkles that begin to line her face,
as she does over the hair that turns
white. This feeling of regret, for the
youthful years that have passed is nothing
new. In fact, the effort to retard the
aging process has existed since Eve.
Beauty treatments, geared to delay or
camouflage the signs of aging, have
been a major concern of the cosmetic
world. Aging, however, is a natural
process. With time, the body ages and
the signs of aging manifest themselves
in various ways, graying is one of them.
To understand the graying
process, one must have a basic idea
of the structure of the hair. The hair
consists of concentric layers. The outermost
layer is the cuticle, which is made
up of tiny, transparent scales that
overlap each another. The second layer
is the cortex. It is in the cortex,
just below the surface layer, that pigment,
or coloring matter, forms. This gives
the hair its color. More the pigment,
darker the color of the hair will be.
With age, pigment may not form, causing
hair to be without color or white.
There may be other
reasons why pigment may fail to form,
but age is the most common factor.The
white strands mix with the dark ones
and give the impression of gray hair.
when white stands appear. The question
of how to deal with them causes much
concern not just from the aspect of
concealing them, but also checking further
graying. This question makes is important
that few facts about the hair be known,
so that damage to the hair is minimal.
To begin with the strands
that have already turned white cannot
become black or dark again. The only
way to change their color is by dyeing.
Dyeing has become a common practice
and a number of women resort to it.
Unfortunately, most of them do not know
the way the structure of the hair can
be affected. Unless this is known, one
is not able to take precautionary measures
that help to control damage to the hair.
Dyeing of coloring hair is not a modern
beauty device. Women of ancient Rome
and other civilizations were known to
dye their hair, or even bleach them.
Using ingredients that often caused
irreparable damage. Often, some of these
treatments resulted in excessive hair
loss. The chemical dyes and colorants
that are in use today can also harm
the texture and health of the hair.
They contain ingredients that penetrate
the cortex, resulting in damage to the
texture. Regular dyeing, therefore,
results in hair that is dry, brittle,
rough and without luster.
If hair damage is to
be checked it is essential to set up
a protective care routine, as protection
itself is one of the best preventive
treatments. It has also been seen that
regular care, started in good time,
not only delays graying, but can also
prevent it from spreading. These treatments
include the use of products, containing
natural hair darkening and protective
agents that have the added capacity
of improving and maintaining the health
of the hair.
Shampoo, rinses, tonics
and conditioning powders, containing
ingredients like henna, amia, shikakai,
reetha and 'brahmi have proved successful
in maintaining the hair texture and
health. These ingredients also have
specific curative properties. If the
decision is made to dye hair with chemical
dyes, it is all the more important to
treat hair regularly with natural products.
In order to protect the hair from harmful
effects of chemicals and keep hair damage
to the minimum. Dye your hair, if you
must, but help to restore its beauty
in terms of texture, quality and quantity.
One of the main advantages
of using natural hair dyes and colorants
is that they are completely safe and
subject the hair and scalp to no hazards.
Natural vegetable products are non-toxic
and do not harm the structure of the
hair. They do not destroy the outer
layer or cuticle, as they do not enter
the cortex. Henna is probably the best
known natural colorant. It has the capacity
of strengthening hair, as it coats the
hair shafts. This not only protects
hair, but gives it body and sheen. If
there are only a few white strands,
which are visible there is no necessity
to use chemical dyes. Henna can be used
very effectively to conceal them.
Coffee or Kaththa added
to the henna paste gives hair
a richer brown color rather than a reddish
tinge. The colored strands blend with
the rest of the dark hair and are well
concealed. A question that is commonly
asked is whether henna will color the
entire hair a flaming red. The answer
to this is very simple. Dark hair will
not catch a lighter color and will not
be colored red. Henna will, in fact,
add gloss and brighten dull hair.
Special henna powders:
Containing other valuable ingredients
like amla and kohl are available. They
have been used very successfully both
as protective and preventive treatments,
apart from curing many hair disorders.
The regular applications of henna will,
not only conceal but provide many other
benefits. If there are a considerable
number of strands that have already
turned gray and you decide to dye them
black, you should have a basic idea
of the process that is involved.
Chemical dyes have a toxic base
and have been known to cause irritations
and allergies. The hairdresser will
therefore do a patch test before dyeing
you hair. Applying the dye on a tiny
area just behind the ear usually does
this. A period of 24 hours must be allowed
to see if any skin irritations or allergies
are caused. If not, the dye may be used.
It is better to have the hair dyed by
a hairdresser, as there are particular
instructions that must be followed regarding
the lotions used and great care must
be taken. No attempt should be made
to dye eyebrows or eyelashes with these
dyes. Fine hair can be dyed easily as
it absorbs better, while coarse hair
is more resistant to color. This itself
would require the use of more and more
quantities of the dyeing lotion as times
goes on, since dyeing makes hair coarse,
with repeated applications
As far as the daily routine is concerned,
the hair should be washed with a very
mild shampoo. So as not to subject it
to harsh detergents. An amla shampoo
is ideal, as it lubricates dry hair
and has a powerful cleansing action
without disturbing the oil moisture
balance. It has restores the acid-alkaline
balance of the scalp. Amla keeps the
hair soft and shiny and checks further
graying. The harsh ingredients in chemical
dyes remove natural oil and moisture,
leaving both the hair and scalp very
dry. A hair rinse, used with shampoo,
completes the hair washing procedure
and leaves hair in a manageable condition.
Regular condition treatments with henna
improve both the look and the general
health of the hair. Thus hair that is
dyed requires special care, so that
the damage may be
reversed to a great extent. One of the
most important aspects of beauty is
to be aware of the detrimental effects
of various treatments. Some treatments
can have disastrous results, involving
a great deal of time, effort and expense
to gain what is lost. In some cases,
damage may be permanent. As for as possible,
avoid treatments that expose the hair
and skin to harm. For instance, when
you feel you must resort to such methods,
be sure to supplement them with an appropriate
routine of daily care, so that the natural
beauty of such valuable assets may be
preserved as long as possible.
Post Perm Tips:
1. Don't wash newly permed
hair for 48 hours after processing as
any stress can cause curls to relax.
2. Use shampoos and conditioners formulated
for permed hair to help retain the correct
moisture balance and prolong the perm.
3. Always use a wide toothed comb and
work from the ends upwards. Never brush
4. Blot wet hair dry before styling
to prevent stretching.
5. Avoid using too much heat on permed
hair. If possible, wash, condition and
let dry naturally.
6. If your perm has lost its bounce,
mist with water or try a curl reviver.
Bronze or Blonde
Colour has come a long way
and we are more willing to experiment
now than we were willing to earlier.
A head of coloured hair, even in the
1980s, drew a lot of attention and appreciates
glances. But today, take a quick look
around you and you will agree that 80-90
per cent of young college girls and
even career women have coloured hair.
And unless it is crazy colour, it is
considered normal and acceptable. Should
you or shouldn't colour your hair is
a question you often ask yourself. Here
are a few answers to help you make up
your mind about colouring your hair.
Are hair colours
Yes, they are totally safe,
in fact most of the colours today have
special polymers and conditioners incorporated
in them to make them superior to hair
colours which were available earlier.
These polymers and conditioners actually
penetrate the hair shaft and enter the
cortex, mending any damage in the normal
hair structure. They smoothen the outermost
layer of hair that is made up of cuticles,
which appear like tiles on a roof under
the microscope. The ultimate effect
after the use of such a product on your
hair would be shinier, smoother and
healthier hair. So far there appears
to be no connection between the application
of hair colour and the appearance of
Gary hair. Hair turns grey due to the
inability of hair to produce melanin
in the early stages of hair growth.
Melanin is the colour pigment in your
hair, which can be black, brown, red
or yellow. The individuality of your
hair colour is determined by the percentage
of each colour pigment, making each
personas hair colour characteristically
their own. Poor diet, illness, age,
heredity, etc. can cause the acceleration
of grey hair and the actual use of a
hair dye has nothing to do with the
Which colour suits you the best is the
question you should ask your beautician.
Let her know if you had coloured or
hennaed your hair earlier, the products
you used and whether you had straightened
or permed your hair. Also have your
hair checked out for porosity or elasticity,
both of which play a major role in how
healthy you hair, will look after the
colour. Discuss this with her in detail
how long the process will take the cost
and after care you will require to keep
up the effect. You must also take a
stand test so that both you and your
hairdresser know what to expect at the
end of the process.
What are the
side effects of colouring?
If a professional taking
into account all the above points does
colouring, the side effects are almost
nil, especially if the client follows
the after care recommended. However,
it is very important that your hairdresser
recommends a patch test in addition
to all the points mentioned above, especially
with a product you have not used before.
This is to check for allergic reaction
before carrying out the colouring process.
This should be done at least 24-28 hours
What do you
need to maintain the colour and the
quality of your hair?
Certain fashion colours fade
easily and you may need to go back for
a rinse once a month, for example, in
the case of wine reds, you would need
a regular touch up or rinse to maintain
their intensity. In the case of gray
hair, it would depend on the individual
growth rate of hair. On an average,
hair grows ½"- ¾" every month, so a
touch up once in 20 days is a must for
For those with no gray hair and a mild
colour not too different from their
natural colour, a touch up once in six
months is ideal. For those with a drastic
or dramatically different hair colour,
a root touch up is important.
The after care needed is usually a shampoo
for colour treated hair, which increases
the life of your colour and conditioners
to protect your hair. Too much exposure
to sun, sea and chlorine should also
of colour should you use?
It is usually best to leave
the choice of colour to your hairdresser
once you have discussed with her what
you expect after the colour job. The
safest home use products now available
in the market. They have a wide range
of products in different shade from
which you could choose. For those of
you who are allergic to ammonia there
is a new product called casting, which
is available in a few fashion and basic
states. So do go ahead and make a beauty
statement with your hair colour.