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Hair dying
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.
Naturally
,
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.

Avoid:
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

Regular Care:
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 the hair.
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 safe?
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 greying process.
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 in advance.

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 "- " every month, so a touch up once in 20 days is a must for gray hair.

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 be avoided.

Which brand 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.

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