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Trace elements Metallic salts found in hair colour.


mike vallance

Trace elements Metallic salts in hair colour.

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Hair colour and dye are they always safe and natural or do the contain elements we should be considering. As we know for every. Action there is a Re – action. like life we make decisions choices we live with the consequences. The same can be said with hair colouring. A formulation. Sometimes products chemicals mixed together can create an un foreseen reaction if this were the case . Would you be Ready? Do you have the knowledge? An example of this would be to apply a product with Ammonia in it over a product with metallic salts? Bad re action HEAT and Burning.

Do we really know what we are getting in that wonder box of home hair colour!


Over view of products available:

It is my intention to try and shed some light and share some truth about some of the less known and in some cases unsavoury things that can be found in hair colour.The chemicals that go un mentioned that can cause damage . Chemistry that can cause allergic reactions. irritate allergy and be harmful to health or dangerous! To both stylists and our clients. These in the worst case can cause damage to the hair and may cause long term health issues. Chemicals that can react together together giving off toxic fumes formulations that can cause unwanted chemical reactions resulting in burning or again unwanted fumes! chemical reactions that can cause the hair to melt the scalp to feel very hot. Knowledge is essential stand test a must! Client hair colour history by listening as king the right questions delivering an in-depth consultation!


There are many ways to colour hair and many products which are used for coloring. The most widely used products fall into two classifications—permanent hair colorings and temporary or demi- semi. It is essen tial that the professional colour technician understand how the products in each group work and their effects on the hair.

Hair colour/Dye

Permanent colorings remain in the hair until they are removed by chemical means or until the hair grows out. The coloring cannot be washed out with soap and water. However, it can be changed if another shade is desired by using a colour remover or bleach and re-tinting the hair.

1/ Permanent colorings are used to cover gray hair, to give decided changes in hair color, or to brighten or deepen an already existing shade.

2/ There are two types of permanent hair colorings—those that penetrate in the hair shaft and the coating tints which develop on the cuticle.

The Penetrating Tints:

Almost all permanent hair coloring is done with oxidation or penetrat ing tints. These tints penetrate through the cuticle layer of the hair into the cortex and are there oxidized or developed by the peroxide to in  soluble pigments deposited on the same place where the natural pigments occur. The distribution of the produced pigments inside the hair shaft in the same pattern as the natural pigment creates a natural-looking shade.

The tinting action of the permanent hair coloring stops as soon as the hair is rinsed and excess coloring is washed away so that the hair does not darken after the application. Hair is not overly damaged if the penetrating tint is properly applied.Sometimes the penetrating tints  can even  seem to improve hair condition. All oxidation or penetrating tints require a patch test to be given 24 hours before each application. The coating tints develop on the outside of the shaft on the cuticle layer, obliterating light and producing unnatural colours. There are many kinds of coating tints stains, vegetable extracts and the metallic dyes.

Vegetable Extracts:

In the past many plants and plant extracts such as indigo, sage, camomile and henna were used for hair dyeing. However today only henna finds continued use among its many disadvantages are the length of application time, uncertain results and the unnatural red shades it produces. Over a period of time henna coats the hair and suffocates the cuticle making other chemical services inadvisable, It is impossible to remove henna from the hair. It will turn Grey hair bright orange. So-called white henna is not henna at all but is magnesium carbonate application of white henna with its  strong alkaline reaction, tends to damage the hair.

Metal Salt Dyes and Metal Compounds:

Metal salt dyes are usually composed of a solution of metal salt with thiosulfate. The metal salt dyes are called progressive dyes or color restorers, because each subsequent application increases the coating on the hair and it becomes progressively darker. These metallic dyes have a tendency to fade into peculiar colors. Those that contain lead turn purple. The dyes containing silver turn green, and those containing copper turn red. There are some disadvantages of metallic salt dyes. There are relatively few shades of metallic hair dyes available limited by the properties of metal salts. However, the degree of color can be regulated by the frequency of application.

The more frequent the application, correspondingly the stronger the color. These dyes tend to produce quite dark and intense colors with frequent use. Metallic salt dyes can interfere with permanent waving they can and will cause a chemical reaction this can result in a heat reaction in some cases hair can dissolve or melt, so there are restrictions on using these dyes along with other forms of hair processing.

{back to the stand test not done enough in salons seldom by the home hair artists.}

The advantages of metallic salt dyes if their are any! include their ease of use at home. The gradual change in color with repeated use is subtle so friends and associates may not actually realize you have started using hair dye. These dyes are relatively safe to use. Although made from metals, the modern formulas are not absorbed through the skin. There is usually no need for a patch test as it is extremely rare to become sensitized to metallic salts.


To determine if hair has been colored by a metallic dye, mix 1 oz. of 20-volume peroxide with 20 drops of 28% ammonia. Submerge 20 strands of hair in the solution and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. If the hair lightens rapidly, the hair contains lead. If there is no reaction after 30 minutes, the hair contains silver or bismuth. If the solution starts to boil and emits a foul odor, the hair contains copper. Hair that has no metallic salts on it should lighten only very slightly.

Henna Compound Dyes:

The henna compound dyes are mixtures of metallic salts with organic intermediates such as pyrogallol. The colors achieved with these com pounds are more natural looking than those obtained with the metal salts alone, but no lightening of the hair is possible and they fade easily. They are discolored by cold wave permanents, and hair treated with these compounds cannot be bleached or dyed until the metallic salts have been removed. [removing metallic salts] good luck with that!

1/ Red Henna comes from the Dried leaves of the Privet [lawsonia alba] grown in Asia and northern Africa.

2/ Natural henna comes from the crushed root.

Natural henna is sometimes mixed with compounds of Metallic salts to produce a range of different colours. Hair coloured with Metallic salt henna cannot and should not be coloured with any other products including Hydrogen Peroxide.

Warning :

If unsure do a strand test,[ Strong discoloration,an unpleasant smell. no colour change, uneven results down hair shaft, in some case applying permanent colour over    the top of Metallic salts can cause a high heat reaction!]

Henna can make appear shinny with more body and natural red hues depending on natural base level!

Henna Can over time build up on hair make it brittle it is not possible to chemically remove henna.

{Again before attempting any new colour strand testis essential!}

But don’t trust just me do your own re search ask the questions get the answer’s set your own standards but please be informed.


Temporary colorings deposit color on the outside of the hair shaft. They are generally removed by washing with soap and water, but some of the temporary types are resistant to one or two shampoos.

Temporary hair colorings are used to darken or to add highlights to normal hair, to impart color to gray hair and to eliminate yellowish shades from white and gray hair.

There are three kinds of temporary hair colorings:


For women who want only to highlight the color of their hair or add beauty to gray hair, rinses are the most satisfactory answer. Concen trated rinses like the Clairol Come Alive series, while they wash out with soap and water, remain color true from shampoo to shampoo. The Come Alive series consists of Come Alive Gray, Come Alive Red, Come Alive Brown and Come Alive Blonde. They highlight mousy hair, and Come Alive Gray makes gray hair look more beautiful without unnatural blue and purple tones. The Come Alive rinses condition as well as color the hair. These rinses are easily and quickly applied and are valuable as an introduction to hair coloring.

Highlighting Shampoos:

Some shampoos combine the action of a rinse with that of a shampoo to give highlights and slight color tones to hair. These shampoos generally contain certified colours the pigment are normally a direct dye  In some cases the manufacturer will change the Ph of these products to allow for better deposit in exterme cases they may even add ammonia to the shampoo !!!! .{ some of these contain elements that build up in the hair} 

Other highlighting shampoos do not contain coloring matter, but do contain a bleaching agent to achieve this effect. Their action is due to solid peroxide compounds present in a soap or detergent base. We now have sprays back on the market the other day i see John Freida has a new product to lift lighten enhance. I say Hum !Buyer beware . Always check the chemistry read directions will it be right on the hair you intendto use it on! Orange roots poor lift chemical reactions can come from this products! Stylist question your clients prior to carrying out chemical service.

Powders, Crayons, Mascaras, and Hair color Cremes:

Powders are practically extinct today with the exception of the metallic powders which have returned to fashion for use in applying temporary hair streaks. again we are back with the metallic issues it builds up in the hair it causes chemical reactions. Hair crayons are used to retouch newly grown gray hair in between tint treatments so that it blends with the tinted hair. The results are not  comparable to regular retouching.

Read hair color instructions carefully

when in doubt, always do a test on a small strand first. But if you’ve made a mistake, don’t hide under a hat for months. Salons have color removers and there are some good over the counter removers B4 sold at Boots the Chemist. They will in most case take you right back to where you started, where hopefully, history won’t repeat itself.

These results will always be dependant hair condition and past colour history.stylist clients stay in formed ask questions get answers have fun but be safe with the products you use.

1/ the consultation is when as a stylist we can ask the question regarding past history of Colour Dye chemical services. This should include wet line and styling and colour enhancing products. Discuss life style. health diet medication.

2/ Does the colour process and product advocate using heat?  sometimes it does not speed or acceleration of the process is not advised.

3/ If doing home colour always read instructions and follow Ammonia free natural organic is not a green light for safety and hair health.

I hope that this has and is helpful good luck with your next hair adventure:

The ‘Three R’s’ 
”Reputation. Recommendation. Retention”. 
It’s not built on that constant looking for new clients it’s looking after what you have! It’s investing in your self and your business and those around you.


This journey, this career, is wonderful – challenging, inspiring, and yes, hard work.

Our industry is in constant change and is sometimes criticised. For lacking vision in some areas. However there is an ever growing body of professionals. That have a firm commitment to our industry, they have a passion for change, to raise standards through education and sharing. Leadership, education and team incentives.Will over time and with commitment give any individual that ability to do exceptional work and to be more creative. Leadership and management help create an amazing work environment for all concerned. So key for success for all concerned.
This journey. This career, is wonderful – Challenging. Inspiring and yes can and will be hard work. but the rewards are worth all the effort.
Thank you all for letting me share some thoughts with you today.These are inspirational, passionate, industry professionals.They have a vision. These are the people I want on my bus to learn from, share with, take a journey with. Get inspired. Connect with driven motivated industry professional. challenge your self. invest in ones /your self 

Are you driver or passenger !

 There are no guarantees in life and ones career and career choice is no different thing happen and its how we deal with them that defines us. Jobs change relationships come and go the one thing that remains after training is our skill both hands on creative and the ones we learn about people and communication about caring about being a team player. Constantly developing new skills staying current is so very important.

Alter Ego Italy professional products are already having success in both the UK and all over Europe and its now ready to launch and be part of the Market in the USA. It’s offering all the things that I hold dear passion and commitment to salon training and support. It has the support from being just one part of a much bigger entity that is striving for success in the salon and hair industry.

The product line is very comprehensive offering professional products to cater for all needs of both the salon and the stylist salon products and retail support for the clients. Many new an exciting things are being launched and coming on line via their web site Alter Ego Italy and various social media platforms.

Alter Ego Italy is proud to be the only Italian brand, specialized in professional hair care. If you would like more information on this product line you can contact. Phil Clark Alter Ego Italy 11781875_857880164300846_6154410984247570773_n

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 Written by Mike Vallance

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One Response to “Trace elements Metallic salts found in hair colour.”

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