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Formulation + The Cuticle

As colorists, its so important to consider the CANVAS that we are working on. The structure of the hair itself plays a crucial role in how color molecules interact and adhere to the hair shaft. I want to explore different hair porosities and how to choose the right products based on the porosity of the hair.

Let’s dive in.

First, the cuticle.

(PS- I teach ALL of this and WAY MORE in my FUNdamentals course)

The hair cuticle is the outermost layer of the hair shaft, consisting of overlapping, scale-like cells. The condition and characteristics of the cuticle can vary from person to person and greatly impact the outcome of the hair coloring processes. Let's delve into how different cuticle structures can affect color results and how to formulate accordingly.

1. Porous Cuticles

Porous cuticles have a raised or damaged structure, which allows color molecules to penetrate more easily. This can result from various factors such as excessive heat styling, chemical treatments, or environmental damage. Hair with porous cuticles tends to absorb color quickly, leading to faster color development and potentially more vibrant results.

Formulation Tip: When working with porous cuticles, it's crucial to adjust your formulation to prevent over-depositing or darkening of the hair. Consider using a lower developer volume or reducing the processing time to achieve the desired color without going too dark.

2. Compact Cuticles

On the other end of the spectrum, some individuals have compact cuticles that lie flat and tightly sealed. This hair type may naturally be more resistant to color penetration. Achieving desired color results on compact cuticles may require slightly different approaches and formulations.

Formulation Tip: To enhance color penetration on compact cuticles, it's important to slightly lift the cuticle layers and create an environment that allows color molecules to enter the hair shaft. Consider using a slightly higher developer volume or incorporating an additional pre-color treatment to open the cuticle and improve color uptake.

3. Normal Cuticles

Normal cuticles lie somewhere between porous and compact cuticles, providing a balanced environment for color penetration. Hair with normal cuticles typically responds well to standard color formulations and processing times.

Formulation Tip: When formulating for normal cuticles, it's important to maintain consistency and follow standard color formulation guidelines. Consider using a regular developer volume and adhering to recommended processing times to achieve predictable and reliable color results.

Understanding the hair structure, including the cuticle, allows us to customize formulations and techniques to achieve the desired color outcomes for our clients. By taking into account the characteristics of different cuticle types, we can address the specific needs of each individual's hair.

And the best part, I dive into porosity and SO much more in The FUNdamentals!

Happy Hair Coloring!


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