Hairprint: Groundbreaking Restorative Haircolor for Grays

IMG_9520Hey babes! A few months back a woman friend of mine named Amy Woodruff, (founder of the Spiritweavers Gathering) and inspiring grammer @daughterofthesun, who is a true conscious earth-steward passed along to me the information of a friend of hers who was spearheading a hair color company that is truly free of harsh chemicals and pollutants. I had to know more!

After reading up on Hairprint and their mission and chemistry, It seemed totally necessary to share their work with you, my dear conscious readers. I am a real sucker for a great science story, for people finding alternatives, for earth and self conservation, and for true innovation……And the Hairprint story is all of the above.

For people who are not yet ready to embrace their silver hair, but don’t want to introduce harsh chemicals into their bodies and hairs, I highly recommend you check out Hairprint…….And get on board.

The Hairprint Story

 

Hairprint is a revolutionary permanent hair coloring made of nine food-grade ingredients. It does not dye your hair. It restores your innate color to your hair. It doesn’t burn, has no smell, and restores the body and luster of hair.

Dr. John Warner, chief scientist at the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry stumbled upon the chemistry of Hairprint by accident, and decided to come up with a harmless hair-coloring product that mimicked how the human body made color.

After years of research and testing, Dr. Warner and his colleagues perfected a completely safe and non-toxic process to do what hair follicles do to create color: infuse hair with eumelanin. This was the beginning of Hairprint.

The Science Of Hairprint

Hair is made of three layers: the cuticle, cortex, and medulla, The cuticle consists of tightly packed, overlapping, colorless cells, and the medulla is a hollow shaft inside the hair. The cortex contains varying amounts of two natural color pigments, eumelanin and pheomelanin, which determine a person’s hair color.

Eumelanin is a dark pigment, and is responsible for brown and black color. Pheomelanin or a combination of pheomelanin and eumelanin produces blonde and reddish hues. The cortex of dark or brown hair will contain densely packed granules of eumelanin pigment. An absence of pigment results in gray hair.

Dr. Warner began testing the Hairprint Chemistry on the hair. He obtained gray hair from a vendor and applied the chemistry to the hair. The hair immediately developed a color. The scientists were delighted when It appeared that rather than simply covering gray hair, it was matching the original hair color.

Then, John did what any good scientist would do: he tested it on himself. He had been completely gray since his graduate school days at Princeton. In 90 minutes it restores all of his hair to its original color.

IMG_9213Just like a fingerprint, your “hairprint” is unlike anyone else’s

After months of additional research and experimentation John and his team developed a theory to explain why one colorant will change gray hair to the

person’s innate and true color: Each person’s hair has a unique microscopic structure. Within this structure, pigments self-assemble according to the individual’s unique hairprint, sorting themselves into spaces like cars in a parking lot placed between stripes.

This pattern of subtle orientations of pigments refracts light into varying wavelengths the eye perceives as color. Hair does not have a color, no more than a peacock has colored tail feathers. The phenomena of perceived color is an outcome of how light is refracted (or not refracted in the case of black.)

A great deal of research went into identifying molecules that would be absolutely non-toxic, molecules that are in most cases nutrients. When the formula is in it’s precise proportions, it effectively recreates the same colored molecules that are made in the hair follicle, essentially restoring not only the true color, but also the quality of one’s hair

This approach has never been done in the hair care industry. It is truly revolutionary.

Rather than stripping hair of its color, which hair dye formulas do, then bonding coal tar dyes to hair using couplers, oxidizers and harsh chemicals, Hairprint works by replacing the missing pigment naturally found in brown and black hair.

During the Hairprint treatment, eumelanin is synthesized within the hair cortex structure restoring it to its innate color. This process is called melanogenesis and is happening constantly in the body. This is accomplished by ingredients that penetrate the cuticle layer into the cortex where they bond together to formeumelanin pigments. These in turn polymerize and become too large to be washed out.

A little History on the Chemistry of Box Haircolor

 

Hair coloring is common worldwide among men and women and there are many products available. However, there are only two ways to do it. You can treat your hair for four to six hours with Henna and Indigo colorants. Or you can use a chemical (and its derivatives) that can transform gray hair to dark. That chemical is paraphenylenediamine (PPD) and its cousin PTD.

Eugene Schueller discovered the use of PPD as a coal tar dye in 1907 at The French Harmless Hair Dye Company, which became L’Oreal. The first company to use PPDs in the US was Clairol. A former chemist for Clairol and Unilever wrote, “It is most probably true that if these materials [PPD and its cousin PTD] were invented today, their use in cosmetics would not be permitted but they remain in use as no effective replacements have been found.”

Hair dye entrepreneurs are very aware that women do not want to put toxic allergens on their scalp, and what you see today online, in salons, and even in natural food stores, are products from smaller companies that describe their hair dye with words “organic,” “natural”, “safe”, “healthy”, “plant-based,” and they will say their products are free of ammonia, parabens, synthetic fragrances, sulfates, etc. What they don’t do is tell you is what is actually in the product, and if you read the fine print, it will be a PPD or PTD type coal tar dyes.

Hairprint is the first “permanent” product invented since 1907 that transforms gray to dark hair, and the first one that is absolutely safe, clean, and non-toxic. It does not work on blondes or redheads (John is working on that). People can use it that do not have gray hair because it restores their hair quality, body and luster.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 1.55.38 PMWhat to Expect from Hairprint

  • Hairprint works on brown and black hair. Blonde and red hair contains an additional pigment (pheomelanin) that we do not supply.
  • Hairprint comes in a kit. It is comprised of nine food grade ingredients and can be applied by you at home, with the help of a friend, or by a stylist in a salon.
  • In the kit, you receive a hair cleanser, the three restoring treatments, instructions, gloves, and a brush. For people with short to medium length hair, home application is easily done. For long and thick hair, you may want someone to help you or have it applied at a salon.
  • For most people, coverage occurs with one treatment. For those whose hair has been largely gray for many years, two initial treatments may be required. Hair that has been gray for a long time is drier and less able to absorb pigment the first time around. After an initial 2x treatment, one treatment is sufficient.
  • Hairprint may make some hair a bit darker than your original color for a day or two but lightens after washing.

John Warner Bio

John is the recipient of the 2014 Perkin Medal, widely acknowledged as the highest honor in American Industrial Chemistry.

He received his BS in Chemistry from UMASS Boston, and his PhD in Chemistry from Princeton University. After working at the Polaroid Corporation for nearly a decade, he then served as tenured full professor at UMass Boston and Lowell (Chemistry and Plastics Engineering).

In 2007 he founded the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, (A research organization developing green chemistry technologies) where he serves as President and Chief Technology Officer, and Beyond Benign (a non-profit dedicated to sustainability and green chemistry education).

He is one of the founders of the field of Green Chemistry, co-authoring the defining text Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice with Paul Anastas.

He has published over 200 patents, papers and books. Warner received The 2004 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Mentoring, the American Institute of ChemistryNortheast Division’s Distinguished Chemist of the Year for 2002 and the Council of Science Society President’s 2008 Leadership award. Warner was named by ICIS as one of the most influential people impacting the global chemical industries. In 2011 he was elected a Fellow of the American Chemical Society and named one of “25 Visionaries Changing the World” by Utne Reader.

Free Your Hair/ManicPanic Experimental Color Project 4.

Hello Dear Friends. Welcome back to the 4th project in the Manic Panic/ HTHG Experimental Color Studios. If you are here for the first time, a little background information on the collab:

7U6A3206This little project was in an effort to provide HTHG readers/viewers and Manic Panic fans a little look into some experimental techniques for creating new color patterns and textures in the hair.

The techniques used in this color series borrow inspiration from the fine art world, and involve the creative use of tools such as small paint brushes, stencils, spray bottles, and braids. The purpose of the videos is to share with you our process for experimenting with color, as well as our results…….our hope is that you leave with some inspiration to experiment yourself, and push your own boundaries and beliefs about hair color.

We want you to notice the depth of inspiration for conceptual coloring that is all around you……Use it as your muse to mix and blend your Manic Panic colors into custom shades.

With the Experimental Color Studios, we aim to demonstrate the versatility of using Manic Panic color, and show you that the opportunity for incredible color with this revolutionary line goes so far beyond what meets the eye.

The world of hair and beauty is moving fast, and new techniques scream through the industry at light speed…….It is a wonderful time for us as colorists/stylists to bridge the gap between hair, expression, and art and take the industry in a really exciting direction.

HTHG and Manic Panic are here to help inspire you and push you, encourage you to try new things and share your results so that other people can learn and be inspired. Let’s make this hue revolution explode into technicolor rainbows.

Thank you all for being here, and thanks to Manic Panic for inspiring me and pushing me to experiment since I was a 11 year old baby riot grrrrrl.

For more inspiration, we invite you to follow @howtohairgirl @manicpanicnyc #freeyourhaircolor

xo, HTHG

Free Your Hair/Manic Panic Experimental Color Project 2.

Hello Dear Friends. Welcome back to the 2nd project in the Manic Panic/ HTHG Experimental Color Studios. If you are here for the first time, a little background information on the collab:

This little project was in an effort to provide HTHG readers/viewers and Manic Panic fans a little look into some experimental techniques for creating new color patterns and textures in the hair.

The techniques used in this color series borrow inspiration from the fine art world, and involve the creative use of tools such as small paint brushes, stencils, spray bottles, and braids. The purpose of the videos is to share with you our process for experimenting with color, as well as our results…….our hope is that you leave with some inspiration to experiment yourself, and push your own boundaries and beliefs about hair color.

IMG_7545We want you to notice the depth of inspiration for conceptual coloring that is all around you…..The natural world, the sky, the colors of the changing seasons, the city lights. We used the colors in this Floral Mandala from Filth and Beauty as inspiration to mix and blend our Manic Panic colors into custom shades.

With the Experimental Color Studios, we aim to demonstrate the versatility of using Manic Panic color, and show you that the opportunity for incredible color with this revolutionary line goes so far beyond what meets the eye.

The world of hair and beauty is moving fast, and new techniques scream through the industry at light speed…….It is a wonderful time for us as colorists/stylists to bridge the gap between hair, expression, and art and take the industry in a really exciting direction.

HTHG and Manic Panic are here to help inspire you and push you, encourage you to try new things and share your results so that other people can learn and be inspired. Let’s make this hue revolution explode into technicolor rainbows.

Thank you all for being here, and thanks to Manic Panic for inspiring me and pushing me to experiment since I was a 11 year old baby riot grrrrrl.

For more inspiration, follow @howtohairgirl @manicpanicnyc #freeyourhaircolor

xo, HTHG

Your Guide to Toning Your Hair at Home.

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 11.18.14 AMThis post is being written as pr your requests about more information about toning your hair at home. Today we are going to talk about toners, what they are, why we use them and how they work, so that you can be fully informed and in the know.

In the Salon, it has come to my attention over and over again that most people who are coming in for color, especially those of you going lighter, don’t fully understand what toner is and why it is important. So here is your rundown:)

What is toner?

Toner is very low volume hair color that deposits pigment or ‘tone’ to hair without really changing the level of the hair. Put simply, it corrects the tone of the hair without lightening or darkening the hair at all.

Is it the same as hair dye?

It is the same concept, but because we don’t use it to ‘lift’ (lighten) or darken the hair, it has a very low peroxide/ammonia content which makes it more gentle and far less corrosive. Basically, it is the same as semi-permanent color but it has less pigment to it…….so it is more translucent when applied to the hair.

Can I use box dye to tone my hair?

I advise against it because your box dye is going to use a far higher developer (peroxide, which activates the dye) than what you need. When all you need is to correct the tone, permanent box dye will be too harsh, and most semi-permanent box dyes will add more pigment than you want, and won’t be toning as much as masking your color. Think of toner as more of a subtle thing, like a pink tinged clear polish  coat on your fingernails instead of a solid pink.Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 11.00.10 AMScreen Shot 2015-09-27 at 11.00.32 AM

Why do we love toner?

Because generally, hair that has been artificially lightened with bleach or a hi-lift color is left with some warm pigment exposed in the hair, which can range from red tones, orange tones, yellow, pale yellow brassy…….Colors that many of us don’t like to see too much of, colors that scream Bleached!Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 10.44.37 AM Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 10.48.36 AM

It is toners job to neutralize those tones, softening them into colors that could actually be considered real or natural looking.

Toner is also great for just boosting and reviving color that has faded, and adding shine and reflection to the hair.

So for all those icy blondes, cool gun-metal browns, soft pretty colors in just the right shade, toner is your bff.

When should we use a toner?

Many of you know the banes of having brassiness and faded hair color, especially after Summer rolls into Fall. A toner can work wonders for brightening up and refreshing dull, faded color.

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 11.11.00 AMThe perfect time for toning is when your color looks dull, harsh, faded, or generally off. In between color appointments, or after a fresh bleaching job at home or in the salon.

If you rock bleached hair, you will want to have a Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 11.12.56 AMtoner on hand at home to keep your blonde hair from regularly defaulting back to that yellow baby chick look.

How do I know my shade?

Great question….This is where it gets more tricky. This is why hairdressers have to go to school to learn the fundamentals of the color wheel and the chemistry of the color that they use. Here is my quick answer. Check out the color wheel above. Now look at your hair. Identify the color on the wheel that you are seeing too much of in your hair. Is it sort of an orange-y yellow? Red? Weird Green/yellow?

Okay. Now identify the color that lays on the wheel exactly opposite the tone you first identified. For green/yellow, the answer is pink/purple

For red, the answer is blue/green. This is how the color wheel works. We correct and nuetralize unwanted tones in the hair by applying their opposites to them. So if you are trying to tone out red, you will want to find a toner with a blue/green base. Go ahead and google ‘hair toner with a blue/green base’ and see what pops up;)

Use this theory when choosing a toner to correct unwanted tones, like after your bleach your hair.

If you are just refreshing your hair color with a toner, choose your shade in as close to what you want as you can find. Simple.

Where do I get toner?

My favorite options for at-home toning……..You can use Wella Color Charm toners from Sally’s, they are generally a safe bet.

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 11.27.53 AMColor Conditioner- Make your own toner! Identify the tone you want to add to your hair to either correct it or brighten it. Find your color in Manic Panic (or mix a few shades to get it right) Add a teaspoon of your color to your conditioner and mix well. Use it in the shower as you would regular conditioner, adding tone every time to keep it fresh.

Revive color and toner with Madison Reed Color Reviving Gloss. Use this gentle deposit-only formula to add tone, gloss, and massive softness in between your color services. This lovely stuff can be used to correct unwanted tones, to revive dull color, and to fill the hair when going dark-to-light, and it is sent right to your door!

I hope this post helps your DIY toning endeavors and allows you to find and master your hair shade. If you are a regular at-home colorer,  I  recommend using DIY hair color by Madison Reed, which is Resorcinol-Free.

If you purchase a Madison Reed Radiant Color Kit, you will receive not only the colors of hair colors your choice, but also the necessary tools to apply it. The entire line is designed for the DIY hair colorer.

Want DIY hair color inspiration? browse HTHG’s DIY color category and learn how to master your own color!

Interested in a DIY foil, Balayage, Dip-Dye, or Ombre? Check out the HTHG DIY color video library. Save yourself the salon prices and master these techniques yourself.

Also, I recommend a shopping stop at Beauty Store Depot for all your other DIY hair cutting and coloring tools to fill your toolkit.

For more on mastering your DIY hair color at home, check this post:)

7 At-Home Hair-Color Myths, Dispelled.

It has always felt very unfair to me that a person should be barraged by aisles of beautiful ladies on hair color boxes promising shiny and natural looking results, only to screw up their own hair so bad that they have to at worst cut it all off, and at best, live with shitty looking box-color.

There are some real intricacies to coloring your own hair at home. There is a reason why hair stylists must complete several years of schooling….The chemistry and color theory that must be understood to be able to achieve predictable color is very detailed, intensive, and different for every head of hair.

That said, it is NOT impossible to get great hair color at home….but there are some basic rules and points that your box-dye instructions won’t tell you, that I think you should know because I want your hair color to be beautiful, and I don’t want to have to fix it for you when you fall pray to the false promises of your un-informed box dye escapades. Before you dive in, here is what you should know.7U6A0606

The chemicals in this box are safe!

Unfortunately the chemicals in your box color are the same chemicals that other industries take very strict precautions to avoid having any contact with. Real talk. Not at all safe. Proven unsafe. Unfortunately, the hair color industry has not progressed very far from it’s original formulations.

The chemicals in box hair color are heavy chemicals, and they are being applied right onto your head. And rinsed down the drain, into your water system, and then into the ocean, contributing to the mass poisoning of our ecosystems and our bodies.

This may not stop you from using hair color. Strangely, It hasn’t stopped me. But it has made me think hard about the risks associated with it. And it has inspired me to seek out alternatives, like Bay Area based at-home hair color company Madison Reed, who are not using Recorcinol in their formulations, and are working hard to find new innovative and safe ways to formulate hair color for the public.

You can lighten your previously colored hair with box-dye!

Nope. Rule number one in color chemistry. You cannot lighten hair color with hair color, BB’s. That is what bleach is for. If you have ANY kind of artificial hair color in your hair, permanent, semi permanent, henna, etc, you CANNOT lighten it out with box dye in a lighter shade. What will happen is that your un-dyed roots will lighten up nicely, and the rest of your hair will get lot’s of unnecessary damage, and barely (if any) color change at all.

You won’t get brassy, we promise!

The nature of our hair is that when it is chemically altered, it will always want to be ‘brassy’. It will always tend-towards warm tones. No matter what cool, gun-metal brown hair dye we use to eliminate those gold and red tones. The brass will always come back. SO, the best thing to do is to be realistic and accept this reality. No magic will change this reality.

Instead, have a plan to control those brassy tones using a Color Reviving Gloss treatment or add some veggie-dye like Manic Panic to your conditioner and use it regularly. If your hair is looking orange, use a blue-violet. If your hair is looking yellow, use a purple, and if your hair is looking red, use a green. Consider it your DIY perfect tone secret. Shhh!;)

Color-safe shampoo is the best way to keep your color fresh and bright.

Nope. Sorry. The best way to keep your hair color fresh and bright is to not wash it. At all. Just rinse and condition. Just sayin;)

You can remove permanent color with products like Color Oops!

I can’t tell you how many people think that Color Oops will give them their natural color back after they have a hair-dye disaster. It is so hard to accept that your hair has been permanently altered after a dying mistake. Color Oops does remove hair color, but it will leave your hair is dire state of patchy uneven color and make future coloring very unpredictable. I always suggest using a less harsh approach to removing color, along with patience. Or, if you are desperate, call in a professional.

You bleached your hair, now you want it dark brown again. No biggie!

This is the most common way that people end up with green hair accidentally (myself included, age 11. Hair disaster story for another day.) When you are planning of going from very light hair to dark hair, you must first ‘fill’ the hair with an in-between shade that will restore the missing warm pigment to your lightened hair, giving it the base it needs for the dark color to be rich and deep instead of dish-watery and dull. My go-to filler? I love Madison Reed Color Reviving Gloss in Miele as a universal filler. After filling the hair, you can dye right over it with your desired shade.

When you touch up your roots with permanent hair color, just pull the color through the ends to refresh it!

Can you do this? yes. Should you do this? no. If your previously colored hair needs freshening, use a semi-permanent color or a gentle Color Gloss Treatment to brighten it up while your roots are processing. Continually coloring hair with permanent color will just lead to extreme dryness, dullness, and muddy-looking strands. Not to mention split ends!

Choose a gloss shade to match your root shade to minimize damage and maximize vibrant, fresh color…. Madison Reed makes it really easy by sending your root color and your gloss treatment to your door every month so you don’t even have to think about it.

I sincerely hope this little guide helps you understand a little bit more about at-home hair coloring. Here is to dispelling myths, clarifying details, and being informed. May your at-home hair color days be bright and predictable! For more detailed DIY hair color information, check out this guide, the Do’s and Don’ts of DIY Color.

As a DIY hair blogger who is committed to quality information and tips for better hair care, I am a proud affiliate of Madison Reed as well as many other companies who’s ethics and goods I personally use and believe in.

Cheers to great hair!

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