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Hair Color

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Natural hair color depends on the natural pigment melanin containing the coloring agent, and amount of air beads. Melanin is worked out by the melanocytes inside the hair follicle.

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There are two types of pigments: black-brown – eumelanin and yellow-red – phaeomelanin. The latter is distributed unevenly: the closer it is to the external hair layer, the fewer coloring agents there are left; cuticle is almost colorless. Dark hair is richer in pigment than light one.

Melanin granules of elongated shape give hair dark tint. The fewer of such granules there are, the lighter the hair color is. (black-brown-blond).
Melanin granules of round or oval shapes cause red hair color.

Here are the pigments prevailing in natural hair:

Hair color – Pigment

Very-very light blond Very light-yellow

Very light blond Light yellow

Light blond Yellow

Blond Yellow-orange

Dark-blond Orange

Light brown-haired Red-orange

Brow-haired Red

Dark brown-haired Dark-red

Brunette Very dark-red

Black – Very-very dark-red

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Combination of elongated and oval and round shaped granules gives wonderful red-brown hue. When there are many combined elongated molecules and a limited number of round ones, hair will be black but with a tint of red color.

Scattered pigments impregnate the hair cells and make it colored from red to yellow. Red-yellow melanin is called phaeomelanin. Every person has his own unique combination of natural pigments and it’s almost impossible to meet two people with absolutely identical hair color.

The pigment is usually in two conditions – grainy and scattered. Grainy one is produced against the background of scattered, as far as it has the form of small granules and colors hair in the tint beginning from red-brown to black one.

Scatted pigment gives yellow-red hues to hair.
It is known that there are no natural blue, yellow or red hair colors – they are always a result of mixing.

Melanin cannot be dissolved in water, but it can be changed or completely wiped out using alkali or full-strength acid. Remember that yellow-red tints are harder to lighten than grey-brown.

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Melanin production lowers down and hair looses its color – becomes grey with years. But along its color, hair sheds its flexibility that was provided by melanin. Scientists know several reasons on why hair get gray.

First of all, it can simply be aging taht causes graying – when the color agents stop being produced. Women get grey earlier than men. Untimely graying can bear a hereditary background and starts from the temples. The other reason of graying is a sudden fear or stress.

If you’ve noticed that certain hair parts become grey on your head, be aware of teh fact it can be a consequence of inflammation of the closest nerves.

There is also such a notion as albinism (from Latin – albus, white), – innate hair, skin and iris pigmentation lack. Though, albinism can be caused by skin diseases and strong poisoning (with arsenic, for example).

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