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Understanding Haircolor Terminology

by Dino Laudati

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Understanding Haircolor Terminology If it sometimes seems like your haircolorist is speaking a foreign language, these consumer- friendly definitions of common haircolor terms should help.

Permanent Color
A product that can lift color (make hair lighter) or deposit color (make hair darker). It contains a small percentage of ammonia and is mixed with varying strengths of hydrogen peroxide.

Demipermanent or Semipermanent Color
Products that deposit color to darken or change hair to a cooler or warmer shade. Because there is no ammonia, they cannot lighten color.

Bleaching or DeColorizing
Bleach is used to lift (lighten) color three or more shades. A toner is usually used afterward to achieve the desired cool or warm tone.

A gentle color that is applied to damp, bleached hair for 3 or more minutes to add or cancel warm or cool tones. Can also be used to refresh dull highlights.

Highlights or Streaks
Selected strands of hair are woven out and placed on foil, then brushed with bleach to lighten them in contrast with the rest of the hair. Gives a more natural, dimensional look to color.

The same technique as highlights, but color or a glaze is used instead of bleach to darken select strands of hair. Great for hair that has become too blonde and one dimensional from frequent bleaching or highlighting.

Translucent, hydrating color that can only deposit color, as it is ammonia free. Helps replenish amino acids lost during other color processes. A glaze is long lasting, repairs damage, and intensifies shine. A great add-on after any color service.

Special effects dyes used to achieve bold colors of the rainbow and pastel shadows. Hair must be
bleached before a stain can be used.

Color Filler / Repigmentation
When hair is overbleached and damaged, it needs to be repigmented with warm tones before a new color can be introduced.

The art of painting hair, freehanded, with color or bleach to add dimension.

Block Color
A foiling technique where the entire head is separated into large sections and 3 or more different colors and/or lighteners are used on select "blocks" which process simultaneously. Results are beautiful and dramatic.

Gray Reduction
A subtle, gradual way of reducing the percentage of gray hair by adding darker, usually ashy tones over time. For those who want to look younger, naturally, without a drastic overnight change.

Dino Laudati is the owner and artistic director of D. Laudati, Master Haircolorist, and Associates. He is a Board Certified Master Haircolorist (one of only 520 in the United States) and a member of the American Board of Certified Haircolorists and the International Association of Certified Haircolorists. He is also a member of the International Hair Color Exchange and the National Cosmetology Association. He received the "Master of the Craft" award from the Art & Fashion Group and is also a member of the prestigious international organization Intercoiffure. For more information, please visit or call (561) 833-7611.

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