Hair Coloring 101

Here’s a list of words you need to know about hair coloring before you make the trip to the salon or try one yourself at home.

Hair. It is made up of keratin and melanin, eumelanin and pheomelanin, which determine the colors. A mixture of these is dictated by your genes resulting in your hair color. Eumelanin is responsible for darkness while pheomelanin creates light colors.

Color. The color you see on the hair is the reflection of the light on the pigments. That is why there is a tendency for hair to appear to have a different color under a different light. Black hair reflects least.

Tone. It refers to the the color’s warmth, coolness and natural shade.

Levels. Colors are labeled by numbers according to the lightness and darkness. Black hair for example is 1. When changing your hair color, experts advise to pick two levels higher or lower than your hair color.

Hair Color. When choosing the color of the dye, you have to consider if you need to lighten or darken your hair. If you’re tired of your black hair, you will have to lighten it. So pick colors above 1.

Colorant. A hair dye usually contains a set consisting of a colorant and a developer. The colorant is the dye that will react with the developer.

Developer. A developer brings out the color of the hair by acting as an oxidizing agent. This process takes a maximum of 30 minutes for the color to bind to the strands.

Forms. There are three different forms of hair color to choose from. These are mousse, gel and creme. Mousse is the easiest to apply and works like a shampoo, gel lasts longer while creme is ideal for covering graying hair.

Single-Process Color. It means applying one color toner to the hair once. Double-process color on the other hand is the bleaching and then the hair toning, a process done when lightening hair for more than two levels.

Permanent Hair Color. This process changes the pigments in your hair strands by opening the cuticle and then depositing the color. It cannot be washed but will fade over time. If you have graying hair however, your roots will have a noticeably different color.

Semi-Permanent Color. This dyeing process fades within a short time and cannot lighten hair color. The color is deposited only on the surface of each of your hair strands. Others call this tint or rinse.

Henna. This dye covers only the cuticle of the hair, but the resulting color will depend on your hair’s base color. It’s a bit messy to apply and should not be used when you’re planning a permanent dye after henna.

Deposit Only Color. This is also called demi-permanent color. It lasts longer than semi-permanent color and cannot lighten hair color. It has the qualities of both permanent and semi-permanent.

Highlights. Individual sections of the hair are lightened. This is done through the following: foil highlights, piercing or chunking, balayage or painting, and low lighting.

The Horror of Split Ends

For most women, split ends are as scary as getting bald. Yet, it’s common for those who always style and treat their hair. What should you do if it happens?

Signs and Causes

In medical terms, split ends are called trichoptilosis or schizotrichia. Split ends make the hair strands or shaft brittle, causing it to split.

Excessive contact to heat, chemicals and stress are the causes of split ends. It could also be a symptom of medical conditions like occipital horn syndrome and Menkes disease. A condition known as trichorrhexis nodosa also cause split ends because the hair shafts are weak. It’s a genetic condition where some hair shafts are thick at some points and thin in others.

The primary causes for split ends all have to do with how you treat your hair. Blow drying, perming, curling, straightening, rebonding, hair coloring and highlights all damage hair. Using heating materials like blow dryers, iron curlers and straighteners too often to style your hair suck out the moisture from the follicles.

Application of chemicals during hair treatments and hair coloring alter the composition in your hair. Disrupting that will naturally cause damage, especially if you apply chemicals frequently within a year.

Stress like too much combing and tight hairstyles don’t do as much damage. These are only harmful if you already have split ends. Shampooing and conditioning your hair regularly do not necessarily damage hair either, especially if you have oily skin and are prone to dandruff.

Treatment and Prevention

Trim and Treat: You cannot treat split ends. There are products in the market claiming they could repair split ends but there is no proof that they work. They will only make your hair look undamaged but the effect is only on the surface and does not solve the problem at all. The best way to get rid of split ends is to trim the affected parts. Experts recommend getting a trim every six to eight weeks to prevent them from coming back. The so-called split ends treatment products will work only as a protection from further damage. Get a trim first then start using healing products.

Shampoo and Conditioner: When you shampoo, massage your scalp, not rub strands together. The amount of shampoo and conditioner should not exceed the small area of a cupped palm. Squeeze an amount not more than the size of a coin. Rinse with cold or lukewarm water, not hot. Dry using a towel, but don’t rub the strands together. Let your hair air dry before combing.

No Chemicals and Stress: Avoid contact with heat. You will have to stop using your blow dryer for a while until the split ends are gone. You should also space your hair treatments every several months, but it’s better not to have any until your hair is healthy again. Ideally, you can only have three hair treatments per year. Avoid applying too many chemicals on your hair while its heals because that will only worsen the damage. Let your hair rest to heal.

Hair: A Woman’s Crowning Glory


When we hear of crowns, we think of a queen. We do not have a queen here in Singapore but we surely know what a crown looks like and what it stands for. Alternatively, crown also refers to a woman’s hair. The hair itself is our tiara and we do our best to take good care of it. Like the crown, our hair is our glory.


Speaking of hair, there are different hairstyles that we can consider. Gone were the days of plain ponytails and braids. We have now twisted hairstyles that will surely keep our main in superb shape from day till night. We first saw the trend of braided hairs at fashion shows. The models look divine with their hairs. It is not wrong if we decide to have different looks.

So, here are some braided hairstyles that we can consider:

Our crown jewel: To do this, we have to part the hair first at the center and isolate the back and front section. This is the basic braid.  We have to take the left portion of the front section and form the braid which will start from the temple. We can secure this braid using an elastic band. We have to do same on the right side. This basic braid is considered for those who want a clean and neat look. If we do not want to look like a school-girl, we can slightly loosen the braids.


The twisted metal: If we want a twisted metal style, we should first tie the back section of our hair into low ponytail. Before actually braiding it, we have to apply styling mousse. The styling mousse will get our waves to last longer. After applying, we should split the ponytail into two and twist each section before crossing it to the other side. We should do this alternately until we achieve a full rope braid. We should not forget to secure it by using an elastic band.

Our runway remix: If we have a night out after work, we should consider the runway remix style. First, we need to make a rope-braid-ponytail. This will serve as our head band. After that, we remove the elastic bad at the end of our hair and run our fingers through the back to remove the tangles and at the same time to create volume and viola – we have a polished look fit for party.

These braided hairstyles will surely give life to our hairs. We have to remember though that no matter the hairstyle, we have to be confident when we wear it. There are other hairstyles that we can consider, we only need to be open for the possibilities.