Healthy hair is incredibly strong and naturally porous with tight overlapping cuticles controlling the amount of moisture going in and out. Chemical processing, thermal styling and environmental damage can create gaps in the cuticle so hair absorbs and loses too much water, becoming dry, weak and easily broken.
The wet stretch test
Separate around 10 strands of hair, spray with water and gently pull. Healthy hair is elastic and should stretch about 30% when wet, bouncing back with no signs of damage when released. If not, there is a lack of protein or moisture and hair needs treating with extra care and nourishment inside and out.
‘Traditional ammonia-based colours significantly raise the pH balance to open up the cuticle and alter the hair structure,’ advises Maria Puccinello-Neto, Creative Director at RA Hair, London. ‘New organic colouring techniques are closer to natural pH levels and the cuticle is resealed to ensure protein and moisture levels are maintained.’
To give the illusion of volume, she recommends ‘going slightly darker at the roots, then ask the colourist to visually weave in lighter shades to add depth and tone.