Everyone knows there are elements of the whole. Right? It takes many parts, of anything, to make something complete. Hair is no different…
One of the questions I get asked the most, as I’m cleaning up the hairline of a color client is, “How can that (a cleansing solution) remove color (a chemical solution) from my skin, but not my hair?” It’s a really good…and relevant, question. Many clients over 30 years of age, have either thinning skin (sorry y’all…it’s true), or dehydration at the surface level, that causes the hair color to stain the skin. So a little clean up is necessary.
So today, I thought I would address this curiosity. A little lesson on the attributes of hair first…
1). Our hair is composed of an insoluble protein called keratin. Every hair strand is made up of 3 layers.
2). The outermost layer of the hair, called the “cuticle” is composed of overlapping flat, colorless cells, much like the shingles on a roof. The cuticle contains no pigment. It’s a really important feature, in that it protects what is inside it…much like our skin protects what’s inside our body.
3). There is a cell layer between the cuticle and the medulla that contains varying amounts of two natural color pigments that determine a persons natural hair color. Known as the cortex, it determines hair strength and texture. This section is where permanent hair color lightens the natural color and the new, artificial pigment is deposited, changing the natural color to the color of choice.
4). The medulla is the hollow center (or pith), of the hair shaft. It does not appear in all hair…nor does it contain pigment.
So, the answer to the question, “How can it remove color from the skin, and not the hair”, is simply because the new color is now a part of the natural pigment, tucked inside the cortex of the hair (thanks to the developer), protected by the cuticle. The stains on the skin are mostly “floating” on the surface, the protective element of the body.
Color your dreams, Passionistas!