Monday, June 17 2019


Hair Colour

Who wouldn’t want hair that glints, and strands that have a new depth with the play of different tones? Priyanka Bhattacharya lets you in the latest hair colouring technology that gives you freedom from worrying over roots showing, or hair colour turning brassy, or the colour job looking too artificial.
So you’ve been dreaming of J.Lo-like perfect highlights, smooth flow of colour that looks sunkissed and not out of some bottle? Wouldn’t you love it when your friends stop complimenting you on your new streaks, instead swoon over your hair’s vibrancy and fall?
Well now you can get a J.Lo-like mane with the newest hair colouring techniques and products. Currently the most in-news professional hair colouring solutions are Balayage and INOA by L’Oréal Professionnel. One is a technique of colouring that gives you the most natural looking highlights, and the other is a permanent hair colourant which is as natural as it can get, leaving your hair soft to touch, rich and luxuriant.
Get painted
If you love sunkissed hair that looks natural – dark roots and light tips – then ask your stylist for a Balayage colour treatment. Today, most salons affiliated to Wella Professionals, L’Oréal Professionnel or Matrix can give you this service. Balayage or hair painting is not really new, but it was first brought into India by Wella Professionals.
It is a popular treatment in France, and French first lady Carla Bruni is known to be partial to this dye job. Unlike in traditional colouring, the stylist uses a brush to hand-paint your strands with colour that flows from dark to light mimicking natural hair highlights. The colour is applied in a sweeping motion to get a unique colour pattern. The effect is totally individual and cannot be repeated. The complete look depends on the expertise of the stylist. There are no caps, foils, slicing or weaving. You just wait for the ‘paint’ to dry up. The reason women find it hot is because the effect is totally natural and does not look streaky. It gives them a sense of freedom from excessive styling.
According to Asha Hariharan, Wella Professionals’ colour brand ambassador, Balayage is a freehand technique that gives colourists loads of liberty to place the lights anywhere. The best bit is that it can be done as a one-step colouring process without stripping the earlier shades, which means it is gentler for the hair.
The colour used for this technique does not come out of a bottle. The hair expert actually mixes together a powder dye to get a clayey mixture – a lightener that works on the hair depending on the amount put on an area. Unlike regular bleach, this mixture stops working as soon as it dries. Instead of colouring and wrapping strands in foils, your stylist paints the clay on the strands layer by layer, as if applying a hair mask. There are three design styles that an expert will use. He or she can use single sweeping movement to give your hair regular highlights. Or the clay can be applied in a slant across a larger area or painted in a ‘V’ shape to give your hair a new depth. The tone and colour are decided by the amount of clay put over an area. Your stylist can create different tones and colour density from the same mix by just increasing the amount of clay he or she puts on the strands. The best bit about the Balayage method is that even as your roots grow out, there is no stark line of colour.
No smelly stuff
You love the style statement your new hair shade makes, but it all comes at a cost. The strands get dry, frizzy and disastrously brittle. This is because regular hair colours have ammonia, which opens up cuticles to allow colour to be deposited on strands. This means that post-coloured hair becomes rough and needs extra care. And it’s not just the result; the colouring experience itself is not pleasant for most of us. The rottenegg smell as the colour is applied on your strands can be so offensive that you might want to swear off colouring altogether.
That’s where INOA by L’Oréal Professionnel comes in. The scientists at L’Oréal Research have come up with this new hair colour innovation called INOA (Innovation No Ammonia). “This revolution in the world of hair colour has completely overhauled the broad principles of formulation. The ammonia contained in coloration formulas used to be the crucial element in ensuring optimal penetration of dyes and lightening agents, for perfect colour result. By revamping its models, L’Oréal Research has found a new way of obtaining these results, with multiple benefits for its consumers and professional hairstylists alike,” says Simi Dastidar, national training manager at L’Oréal Professionnel.
The new system is called the Oil Delivery System, where high content of mineral oil in colour acts as the catalyst to activate the colour pigments. It is safe for the strands as the oil coats the hair fibre even as colour gets deposited on the strands. This means the strands do not get weakened during the colouring process. However, the formulation does take longer to develop.
The most attractive thing about going for this colouring option is that even as you sit through forty-five minutes of developing time, you get no whiff of that rotten-egg smell! And post-wash, hair feel superbly soft and pliable. The hue stays richer longer.

The author runs, besides writing for American beauty industry magazines.

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