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Hair structure.The science the chemistry.


 Welcome to BACK2MYROOTS B2MR:

Regular postings of fresh new topic’s

                         Understanding hair structure:

To be a good hair colourist we have to know so much to understanding. How the hair structure works. What role it plays is key to  successful colouring. In order to understand the dynamics of hair colour we need to look at the hair’s inner structure and understand how it is affected and changed in the colour process.or any chemical process we apply.We also have to keep up with the changing chemistry of the products we use.We have to understand how they react on the hair. What is the chemistry in that tube of colour pigment or that relaxer.Is it safe can i trust it! Blind faith or trusting the sales rep is not enough!

The Cuticle:

The protective outer layer of the hair shaft the Cuticle is made up of Translucent overlapping layers of keratin protein.

Each layer completely encompasses the hair shaft.

Imagine a stack of paper cups that might give you a visual image of the Cuticle.

Just as you might be able to bend a stack of cups without pulling apart the structure of the hair has the same pliability.The cuticle affords the hair about 25% of its strength.When the Cuticle is healthy it will lie flat against the hair shaft light will reflect of the translucent layers allowing the hair to appear to shine.

When we perform a chemical service on the hair perming or colour the Cuticle has to be opened to allow any chemical process to penetrate into the cortex. To do this one has to change the natural Ph of the hair to do this we have to use an alkaline. in it’s natural state healthy hair has a ph of around 5.5. In the past ammonia has been the main driver of this part of the colouring process but it has always been though to cause damage and tends to smell.

More recently most of the major hair colour companies have been promoting healthy all natural products personally i find this marketing misleading now the catch words are herbal, organic, natural, unfortunately the products now driving the colour are MEA and Denatured Alcohol are they any less drying and damaging to the cuticle ? You decide! They all serve to open the cuticle they are all an alkaline. Personally i would rather know the strength of the ammonia in a colour rather than work with an unknown many professional hair colours did have quite high levels of ammonia i can live with ).4% up to2%.

Many Colour companies have replaced having bees wax as a buffer in hair colour with oil and silicon based chemistry.Naturally after any chemical service the the correct Ph level must be restored to close the cuticle and restore that natural looking sheen a chemical balancing product is good for this it will restore the hair back to a pH  of around 5.5.

The same applies when relaxing hair much talk and discussion about Keratin based products. Along with the relaxers comes the issues of chemistry disclosed and reactions caused. major discussions on Formaldehyde gas or vapours  being produced and now the new safer term Aldehydes watch out for both.

see past topic: http://back2myroots.co.uk/2012/02/29/what-is-an-aldehyde-you-need-to-know/

The Cortex:

The Cortex makes up the bulk of the hair shaft the Cortex is composed of Keratin protein and 19 Amino acids. Keratin is a natural fibrous protein cross linked by sulfur bonds in the cortex the inner structure of the hair is known as the helix. When the hair is wet it is quite fragile as we dry the hair the keratin starts to harden and becomes stronger. We also find covalent and ionic bonds these are also effected by chemical services. Keratin as i have said is another well marketed product. Found naturally in the hair. By definition when added to products it must be good healthy natural! Most hair products that have Keratin in them may well be source or derived from. Animal. Vegetable or mineral. All being natural organic. Keratin from these sources will only lie on the out side of the hair with over use they can make the hair slightly brittle Keratinisation. Given the cost restrictions and the hydrolisation process for human hair keratin extraction most companies opt for the cheaper sources Although these can and will give the sheen and make the hair look healthy they do not penetrate through the cuticle layer of hair. { molecular size is to Big 500}   The only keratin able to penetrate into the hair has to be hydrolyzed human hair Keratin.{molecular weight 150-300 able to penetrate the hair}

Fact {Hair is 89%protein and 10% moisture} so the only keratin that really can help the hair on an internal level is sourced from human hair.

picture above: healthy shining highlighted hair with Multi tones:

The medulla:

The medulla is the inner layer or center of the hair shaft, it is made up of softer Keratin protein than in the cortex it could be best described as being like raw sponge part of the  Medulla function is linked to the bodies excretory system. Understand the roles of the above layers is key to performing good chemical services on the hair.

http://www.back2myroots.co.uk/

The Above facts are well worth having in your tool kit of knowledge when performing Chemical services on the Hair!

Mike B2MR:


 

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Understanding the Hair Ph scale: Lift and Deposit


Welcome to BACK2MYROOTS B2MR:

                                Regular postings of fresh new topic’s.

Having posted the topic on. The Colour Wheel and the law of Colour I think that we also need to cover the important role that understanding Ph chart and the role that it plays in the hair colouring process and indeed the chemistry of all chemical services performed on the hair.

                                     review of  aPh balance chart.

A little help with Ph balance chart:

When we do any chemical service on the hair be it. Colour. Perming. Relaxing. We have to create an environment that enables us to get below the surface layer the cuticle layer of the hair ,

This is the outer layer that serves to protect the inner structure from both damage and moisture loss,

the inner layer being the cortex and Medulla.

Once we have decide on the service we are going to perform in this case colour. The formulation we choose will dictate the amount of deposit the more we open the cuticle the deeper the deposit.

So understanding Ph, lift, deposit, are key to being able to perform outstanding colour services.

                        Three layers of the hair structure.

Healthy hair should have a Ph of 5 to 5.5  when we introduce an alkaline be it Ammonia which comes in many different strengths the stronger the more it will open the cuticle. The same can be said for other colour drivers MEA, Dealcoholised grain products. All serve the same purpose to manipulate the Ph of the hair to create an environment for performing any chemical service. The stronger the product the more the cuticle will be opened and the more damage can be done.

It is essential after a process to re balance the hair and close the cuticle and restore that natural balance of 5.5.

This can be done with a chemical balancing product these normally have a Ph of 2.5 when introduced to the hair it will close the cuticle and restore the ph balance of the hair to 5.5.

Always be aware to consider the hair condition and assess during consultation before deciding on any chemical service knowing and understanding the Ph of hair is key to keeping it healthy and allowing colour retention or retaining moisture after the perming process.

Part of the consultation process should address the condition, porosity, moisture level. issues of fading. colour retention. These are all things effected by the hair’s Ph level being at a correct level.

It is also during this consultation process to not only assess the hair both by touch and visual inspection. but through communication getting a fully in depth history of past products used and indeed products being used at this time.

With so many products that manipulate our Ph mantle opening the cuticle to deposit anything from stains to silicone based products that over time will build up in the hair, note they can cause issues when trying to get even deposit in the colouring process.

This is why it is essential that as stylist’s we have a good all round knowledge of products and how they work on the hair during any chemical process.

In closing it was brought to my attention by someone who sent me a question via a hair site about Ph saying that they could not find any information on the subject, I thought this very odd but having looked through the NVQ the offcial guide [Hairdressing foundation] I have to say  i find it very odd that this topic is not covered in some depth.

If you want information on topic’s to ask question go ahead use the section on the Blog.

I hope this is found useful MikeB2MR

 

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Keratin based hair relaxing conditioning


Welcome to BACK2MYROOTS B2MR

Created as a source of advise education knowledge skill experience a place to share thoughts post comments and idea’s on matters relating to hair colouring skill and techniques and anything industry related.

copy right pending.

Keratin the key component if the structure of human hair it gives the hair strength shine along with the 19 Amino found in hair moisture playing a hugely important role in the overall condition along with the Ph .

So lets take a look at some of the NEW Exciting Keratin hair products:

Ideal for treatment for control and smooth hair:

They are designed  to control and smooth out hair get rid of the frizzies make it more manageable :

Well it’s seems like the market in the Keratin based hair products is growing in leaps and bounds it also seems that in a effort to gain market attention the chemistry of these products is in state of constant change  each company claiming more natural less harmful formulations.

blown out and ironed.

After the initial interest in the Brazilian blow dry then came the first warning about formaldehyde and the fumes given off with the use of high heat flat irons.

Some of the reviews I have read are far from favorable as to results attained, having said this to be fair i have had some very positive and open feed back the people at Nano Keratin very open about the product and how and why it works explanation of the process.

The main problem seems to be that having replaced the stabiliser formerly Formaldehyde the search was on for new ingredients that did not produce toxic fumes but also allowed for the cuticle to be opened and softened prior to the application of the Keratin.

So how do these products work quite simply you are opening the cuticle slightly introducing a conditioning product applying a layer a veneer of keratin and then ironing it flat with a hot iron that a simple explanation.

The much bigger explanation is that the products are all slightly different the source of keratin the products used to stabalise and change or manipulate the ph prior to the Keratin application.

I read many reviews on the social sights and blog postings as people report their experience some good some bad some just not really that impressed.

This is the topic that started me asking questions:

http://www.short-hair-style.com/formaldehydefree-keratin-products-are-carcinogens.html

It not all doom and gloom and on a positive note i wrote an article on the Nano Keratin Technology  a very interesting keratin product that can be read at.

https://mikeb2mr.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/nano-keratin-a-hair-break-through/

Another product was highlighted this week in the HJ  Brocoto they market their product as being a

Curl interrupted smoothing system.

So how does this product work this product does not contain formaldehyde,

The main point of difference they claim are as follows System does not contain any formaldehyde or give off any type of gas it is very gentle for hair and health.

They have a two step system, the first phase is a gel which softens the bonds in the hair,the ph of the smoothing gel is 6.85 ,( key ingredient ammonium bisulphite ) with the cuticle now relaxed and slightly open this is when any colour would be added prior to the Keratin application

Then the keratin product is added when the bonds are pliable and elongated therefore easily absorbed with gentle heat.the keratin spray is 4.5 to 5.5.

This product cannot be over used as the keratin is buffered with other natural ingredients such as acai oil, macadamia seed oil etc. This does not effect other chemical processes

The colour does last longer when sealed after ironing with keratin spray.
The colour we recommend to use at the same time as the service is an ammonia free demi colour , which does not affect the Ph, my question is demi colour does have an alkaline driver so we are opening an already open cuticle?

The keratin is manufactured.

pre any treatment

So my questions yet to be answered
So the Ammonium Bisulphite is the alkaline certainly sounds like it could be a alkaline but if naturally produced  source it may be called natural! used to open the cuticle so to what level of Ph?  Your Keratin what is it’s source given that hydrolised human hair keratin has the smallest molecular weight of all the naturally sourced keratin’s? or is your manufactured ie nano?
Once you add the heat to the Keratin and it hardens giving the hair a shine not unlike a coat of varnish.
Does the colour last longer due to the flat cuticle? when applying colour having already changed the Ph with the Ammonium Bisulphite does this overly effect the fact that most professional colours already have an alkaline in them so to some it might seem we are over processing by opening the cuticle to much given the effects on the Ph of the hair!  Many questions sorry but when educating products or writing about then i like to have as much information as is possible, i used a keratin based  product some 12 years ago so have some understanding of the technology.

In closing

It sounds like a product that works but really has not been around long enough to know what the effects long term are to hair and health or how well it will be received by stylist and the pay client.

New innovative products that can give us tools to improve the daily lives of our clients are always so exciting and bring with them hype expectation motivation these keratin based products are all that new and exciting.
Mike

 

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