Chapter 4 – Lightening Virgin Hair and Regrowth
4.1 Hair and Scalp Assessment
As with any service, when performing a virgin lightening service, you must begin with an assessment of the hair and scalp, followed by a detailed colour assessment.
Texture, Porosity, and Elasticity
As detailed in Chapter 3, , , and will affect your choice of colouring product when lightening hair.
Fine textured hair is generally less resistant to the lightening process due to an increased chance of . In the case of virgin hair, this porosity may be caused by heat styling or environmental factors. Fine hair also lacks a substantial layer which makes it more prone to damage, as the cortex is what gives hair its flexibility and strength. This puts fine hair at greater risk of poor elasticity and breakage. If your client has fine hair that has poor elasticity, it is a good practice to perform strengthening treatments prior to the lightening service.
Recommendations for Lightening Fine Hair
- Use the lowest volume of possible to achieve your desired lift
- Choose a low alkaline lightening product to avoid excessive swelling of the delicate hair strand
- Monitor the lightening process carefully to avoid over-processing and damaging the hair
Coarse textured hair is more likely to have , which can make it tougher to lighten. Coarse hair has a substantial cortex layer which provides the hair strand with the strength and flexibility to withstand the lightening process with less chance of damage; however, this larger cortex also means that there is more to diffuse, usually resulting in a stronger .
Recommendations for Lightening Coarse Hair
- If working with resistant porosity, bump up your developer to achieve the desired lift
- Choose a higher alkaline lightening product to swell the hair strand effectively
- A second application may be required to reach the desired level of lift when using a bleach product
- Monitor the lightening process to avoid over-processing and damaging the hair
As you perform your consultation, you should be checking the scalp for any irregularities or abrasions. Remember to ask your client about whether they have experienced any scalp sensitivity in the past.
Once you have assessed the hair and scalp condition, perform a thorough colour consultation to determine the following:
- Existing and
- Target level and tone
- Levels of lift required
The amount of lift required will help us determine whether we will use an or a bleach product.
Oxidative colour and high-lift have the ability to lift up to 4 levels. Bleach products have the ability to lift more than 4 levels.
Final step is a and – especially important when your client is new to colour!
Next, let’s look at oxidative colour products and bleaching products individually.
The diameter of the hair strand. Texture can be described as fine, medium, or coarse.
The hair's ability to absorb moisture or chemicals.
The hair's ability to stretch and return to its original shape without snapping.
Hair readily absorbs moisture and chemical products. Cuticle scales are lifted and/or damaged.
The second layer of a hair strand, which provides hair with its strength and elasticity.
An acidic product that is mixed with oxidative colour in order to oxidize and produce colour molecules.
Hair that does not readily absorb moisture or chemical products. Cuticle scales are tightly packed and smooth.
Pigment that resides in the hair's cortex which gives hair its hue.
Any pigments that are exposed as hair is lightened through the 10 levels of lift.
The darkness or lightness of colour in relationship to other colours.
The shade or hue.
Colouring products that require a developing agent, such as hydrogen peroxide, to oxidize and introduce colour molecules into the hair strand.
The intended colour formula is applied to a strand of hair to help determine end result.
The intended colour product is applied to the inside of the elbow and behind the ear to determine if there are any sensitivities or allergies.