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Primary Colors

When mixed together (yellow, red, blue) create all other colors. Are known as pure colors.

Secondary Colors

When Primary colors are mixed equally, they produce Orange, Green and Violet

Tertiary Colors

Made by mixing primary colors with neighboring seconday color in equal proportions. (yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-viloet, red-violet, red-orange)

Color Wheel

A tool in which the 12 colors are positioned

Warm Colors (tones)

Generally fall into the orange and red half of the color wheel

Cool Colors (Tones)

Generally fall into the blues and greens half of the color wheel

Complementary Colors

Colors found opposite one another on the color wheel. The neutralize or cancel out one another when they are mixed together.


Degree of lightness or darkness


Refers to the brightness or vividness of a color or the strength of the tone

The cuticle, Cortex, and Medulla

3 parts of the hair


Pigment-producing cells in the hair bulb that produce small egg-shaped structures (Melanosomes).


Egg-shapped, protein packets that surround pigmented granules (Melanin).


Pigmented granules that becomes incorporated into the keratin protein of the cortex as the hair grows.

Eumelanin (Black Pigment)

A dense concentration of this melanin will produce very dark hair. A small population of this melanin will produce light blonde hair.

Pheomelanin (Red Pigment)

A predominate amount of this melanin will create red hair.


The degree of coarseness or fineness in the hair fiber.


Refers to the amount of moisture the hair is able to absorb

Resistant Porosity

The cuticle layers are smooth, tightly packed and compact.

Average/Normal Porosity

The cuticle is slightly raised, thereby accepting color products easily.

Extreme Porosity

The cuticle is lifted or missing

Nonoxidative Colors

Are not mixed with a developer and are applied directly to the hair, depositing colors that shampoo out. (Temporary / Semi-permant color)

Temorary Colors

Non-reactive, direct dyes, contain large color molecules that coat only the surface of the cuticle. Lasts from shampoo to shampoo

Certified Colors

Accepted by the Foof & Drug Administration (FDA) for use in foods, drugs and cosmetics


A chemical compound or mixture of compounds that consists of many molecules in a long chain-like structure. Found in many products, including nonoxidative and oxidative colors. Adds shine or conditioning qualities to the hair, used as thickening agent.


Use direct dye process, need no mixing and the color you see in the bottle is the color that is deposited on the hair. These colors are alkaline and generally last through serveral shampoos. Leaves no line of demarcation

Oxidative colors

Mixed with developer to create chemical change that has long lasting effect. Can deposit or lift (lighten natural melanin) and deposit color in single process


Use low volume peroxideto develope the color molecules and aid in the color processing. generally lasts 4-6 weeks

Permanent Color

mixed with hydrogen peroxide and capable pf both lifting natural pigment and depositing artificial pigment in one process


Light pastel colors used to tone prelighted hair. Contain aniline derivates, a predisposition test required


Provide an even base color by filling in porous, damaged or abused areas with materials such as protein or polymers. Equalize the porousity and deposits a base color in one application.

Color Filler

used on damaged hair and when there is aquestion as to whether or not the color will hold, such as with porous hair.

Concentrates, Intensifiers, Pigments and Drabbers

Products designed to increase the vibrancy of a color formula or to neutralize tones

Lighteners or Bleaches

Used to removed or diffuse melanin, create the final color result or create a new pifment on which to build the final hair coloring.

On-the-scalp lightener

Lightener that can be applied to scalp, has a pH around 9, comes in two forms, Oil & Cream

Off-the-scalp lightener

comes in powder form, when mixed with peroxide, becomes a strong lightening product., can irritate the scalp, causing blisters & burns


Oxidizing agents used with Demi-permanent & permanent colors, lighteners and toners. My be referred to as Catalyst or Conductor.

Hydrogen Peroxide

The most commonly used developer in hair coloring products. pH is between 2.5 and 4.5. Needs to be mixed with ammonia or other alkaline compounds to become active.


used to measure the strength of Hydrogen Peroxide and allows you todilute higher strengths to lower. Also beneficial to determine whether hydrogen peroxide that has been stored for a long time is potent

Vegetable Dye

Utilize natural products to color the hair


The most common vetetable dye, in its purest form, produces reddish hightlights in the hair

Metallic Dyes

Known as progressive dyes because the hair turns darker with each application

Compound Dyes

A combination of metallic and vegetable dyes

Base to Ends

Used when you want to add tone to or darken the existing color. Also known as a virgin darker technique

Base (Retouch)

Color or lightner is applied to the new growth only to match the existing color.

Weaving & Slicing

Techniques are generally used to add depth and demension (Hightlights or lowlights) to the existing hair color

Cap Method

Selected strands are pulled through perforated holes in a rubber coloring cap with a crochet hook

Double Process Blonde

A 2 step process that involves lightening the hair first and then recolorizing the hair to the desired tone.

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