Powdered persulfate salts added to haircolor to increase its lightening ability. Also known as Boosters, Protinators, and Accelerators.

Aniline Derivatives

Contain small, uncolored dyes that combine with hydrogen peroxide to form larger, permanent dye molecules within the cortex.


Painting a lightener (usually a powdered off-the-scalp lightener) directly onto cleaned, styled hair. Also known as Free-form Technique.

Base Color

Predominant tone of a color.

Cap Technique

Lightening technique that involves pulling clean, dry strands of hair through a perforated cap with a thin plastic or metal hook, and then combining them to remove tangles.

Color Fillers

Equalize porosity and deposit color in one application to provide a uniform contributing pigment on prelightened hair.

Complementary Colors

A primary and secondary color positioned directly opposite each other on the color wheel.

Conditioner Fillers

Used to recondition damaged, overly porous hair and equalize porosity do that the hair accepts the color evenly from strand to strand and scalp to ends.

Contributing Pigment

The varying degrees of warmth exposed during a permanent color or lightening process. Also known as Undertone.

Demipermanent Haircolor

Formulated to deposit, but not lift (lighten) natural hair color. Also known as No-lift Deposit-only Color.


When mixed with an oxidation haircolor, supplies the necessary oxygen gas to develop color molecules and create a change in hair color. Also known as Oxidizing Agents or Catalysts.

Double-process Application

A coloring technique requiring two separate procedures in which the hair is prelightened before the depositing color is applied to the hair. Also known as Two-step Coloring.


Used to equalize porosity.

Foil Technique

Highlighting technique that involves coloring selected strands of hair by slicing or weaving out sections, placing them on foil or plastic wrap, applying a lightener or permanent haircolor, and then sealing them in the foil or plastic wrap.


A nonammonia color that adds shine and tone to the hair.

Hair Color

The natural color of the hair.

Hair Lightening

Chemical process involving the diffusion of the natural hair color pigment or artificial haircolor from the hair. Also known as Bleaching or Decolorizing.


Professional, salon industry term referring to artificial haircolor products and services.

Haircolor Glaze

Common way to describe a haircolor service that adds shine and color to the hair.


Coloring some of the hair strands lighter than the natural color to add a variety of lighter shades and the illusion of depth.

Highlighting Shampoo

Colors prepared by combining permanent haircolor, hydrogen peroxide, and shampoo.

Hydrogen Peroxide Developer

Oxidizing agent that, when mixed with an oxidation haircolor, supplies the necessary oxygen gas to develop the color molecules and create a change in natural hair color.


The strength of a color.

Law of Color

System for understanding color relationships.


The unit of measurement used to identify the lightness or darkness of a hair color.

Level System

System that colorists use to determine the lightness or darkness of a hair color.


Chemical compounds that lighten hair by dispersing, dissolving, and decolorizing the natural hair pigment.

Line of Demarcation

Visible line separating colored hair from new growth.

Metallic haircolors

Haircolors containing metal salts that change hair color gradually by progressive buildup and exposure to air creating a dull, metallic appearance. Also known as Gradual Haircolors.

Mixed Melanin

Combination of natural hair color that contains both pheomelanin and eumelanin.

Natural Haircolors

Colors, such as henna, obtained from the leaves or bark of plants. Also known as Vegetable Haircolors.

New Growth

Part of the hair shaft between the scalp and the hair that has been previously colored.

Off-the-scalp Lighteners

Powdered lighteners that cannot be used directly on the scalp. Also known as Quick Lighteners.

On-the-scalp Lighteners

Lighteners that can be used directly on the scalp by mixing the lightener with activators.

Patch Test

Required by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act for identifying a possible allergy in a client. Also known as Predisposition Test.

Permanent Haircolors

Lighten and deposit color at the same time and in a single process because they are more alkaline than no-life deposit-only colors and are usually mixed with a higher-volume developer.


First step of double-process haircoloring, used to lift or lighten the natural pigment before the application of toner.


Process of treating gray or very resistant hair to allow for better penetration of color.

Primary Colors

Pure or fundamental colors (red, yellow, and blue) that cannot be created by combining other colors.


Hair type that is difficult for moisture or chemicals to penetrate, and thus requires a longer processing time.

Reverse Highlighting

Technique of coloring strands of hair darker than the natural color. Also known as Lowlighting.

Secondary Color

Color obtained by mixing equal parts of two primary colors.

Semipermanent Haircolor

No-lift deposit-only nonoxidation haircolor that is not mixed with peroxide and is formulated to last through several shampoos.

Single-process Haircoloring

Process that lightens and deposits color in the hair in a single application.


Coloring technique that involves taking a narrow , 1/8-inch (0.3 centimeters) section of hair by making a straight part at the scalp, positioning the hair over the foil, and applying lightener or color.

Soap Cap

Combination of equal parts of a prepared permanent color mixture and shampoo used the last five minutes and worked through the hair to refresh the ends.

Special Effects Haircoloring

Any technique that involves partial lightening or coloring.

Strand Test

Determines how the hair will react to the color formula and how long the formula should be left on the hair.

Temporary Haircolor

Nonpermanent color whose large pigment molecules prevent penetration of the cuticle layer, allowing only a coating action that may be removed by shampooing.

Tertiary Color

Intermediate color achieved by mixing a secondary color and its neighboring primary color on the color wheel in equal amounts.


The balance of color. Also known as Hue.


Semipermanent, demipermanent, and permanent haircolor products that are used primarily on prelightened hair to achieve pale and delicate colros.

Virgin Application

First time the hair is colored.


Measures the concentration and strength of hydrogen peroxide.


Coloring technique in which selected strands are picked up from a narrow section of hair with s zigzag motion of the comb, and a lightener or color is applied only to these strands.

Why people color their hair

To cover up or blend gray hair, enhance an existing color, create a fashion statement, self-expressionism, correct unwanted tones, or accentuate a haircut.

How hair's porosity affects haircolor

Hair color is absorbed faster in low porosity than in high porosity. Porous hair can result in a cooler tone.

The types of melanin found in hair

Eumalanin, Pheomelanin, Mixed melanin.


Lends black and brown colors to the hair.


Gives blond and red colors to the hair.

The primary colors

Yellow, red and blue.

The secondary colors

Orange, green, and violet.

The tertiary colors

yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, red-violet, and red-orange.

Tone verses intensity

Warm, cool, or neutral, OR soft, medium, and strong.

Oxidizing Agents

Have a pH between 2.5 and 4.5.

Key questions to ask when formulating a hair color

Are you looking for a temporary or permanent change? Do you want an all over color, or just a few highlights? Do you see yourself with a more conservative or more dramatic color type? Have you seen so-and-so's hair?

Procedure for single-process virgin application

After taking the necessary preparation steps, begin in the section where the color change will be greatest, or hair is most recent, usually the hairline and temple areas. Part off 1/4-inch (0.6 centimeter) subsection with applicator. Lift subsection and apply color to the mid-strand area. (Stay at least a 1/2 inch {1.25 centimeters) from the scalp and do not apply to porous ends.) Process according to the strand test results. Apply color to the hair at the scalp. Work the color through the ends of the hair. Massage color into a lather and rinse thoroughly with warm water. Remove any stains around hairline with shampoo and/or stain remover. Shampoo hair. Condition as needed. Finish look.

The two processes involved in double-process haircoloring

Prelightening and then toning.

The various form of lighteners

On-the-scalp such as cream, oil, and some powder, and off-the-scalp such as powder.

The three most frequently used highlighting techniques

Cap, foil, and baliage or free-form.

Tips for achieving gray coverage.

Formulate at level 7 or deeper. Use 20-volume developer. Process color for a full forty-five minutes. Add neutral tones to the formula. Use 25%, 50%, or 75% neutral or natural tones in formula when the respective amounts are present.

The rules of color correction

Do not panic, remain calm. Determine the nature of the problem. Determine what caused the problem. Develop a solution. Always take one step at a time. Never guarantee an exact result. Always strand test for accuracy.

Safety precautions during haircolor process

Perform a patch test as directed, only apply color if result is negative. Don't apply haircolor if abrasions are present on scalp. Don't apply haircolor if metallic or compound hair is present. Don't brush hair prior to applying color. Always follow manufacturer's directions. Use clean and disinfected instruments. Use proper draping methods. Perform a strand test for color, breakage, and discoloration. Use applicator bowl or bottle for mixing haircolor. Don't mix haircolor until you are ready to use it and discard the leftover haircolor. Wear gloves. Don't allow for color to come in contact with yours, or the client's eyes. Don't overlap during haircolor retouch. Use a mild shampoo, an alkaline or harsh shampoo will strip color. Always wash hands before and after serving a client.

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