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Author Topic: Black and White what are they?  (Read 3728 times)  Share 

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Black and White what are they?
« on: 02 May 11 / 12:04 PM »
Ok so we get a lot of confusion about this point. Some people might think, well they're just another colour but that's wrong. Black and white aren't colours, they're shades!

What? Well they're not true colours in that there's no such thing as a pure white or a pure black. Take a black pen out of your stationery set. Scribble a dot in the middle of some paper then add a drop of water to it. Let it dry and look closely at the area that got wet. The ink spreads out and separates the colours. You'll see blues and reds and greens, all sorts! Because the pen company used several colours to achieve a "true black" for your pen. Just like hair dye!

Black hair dyess are made of a blue or green colour usually. That's why when they fade you'll notice that in lighter sections of your hair you'll get green parts showing up. It's not a fault with the dye and there's nothing wrong with your hair. It's just that your hair has a yellow base colour to it and if the black is made from blue then it mixes with the yellow and turns green.

But my hair is naturally black so it can't be yellow based! Oh really? Bleach it and see. Everyone's hair goes through stages during bleaching. Darker hair turns orange, then yellow then with a little help from a toner you can turn "white". White is a shade, just like black. It's made by diluting a colour to it's thinnest point. Thus making it appear white. So anyone with dyed white hair actually has a very, very pale yelow with a toner on top. Mixing a lilac toner with pale yellow hair makes it a neutral brown, extremely pale but the colour is still there.

So how do I dye my hair grey like a Cheshire Cat? Well we had someone actually do this! They mixed 70% silver with 30% ebony and made a lovely dark grey. They added turquoise stripes and it looked amazing! The problem is that silver is already diluted and mixing it with ebony diluted the ebony dye so a diluted dye, diluting a black dye.... It all washed out in about 3 washes. So it's acheivable but not practical.

But my paint pot has black and white and I mix those to make grey, why not hair dye? Well it's quite simple really. Paints are made with each pigment account for in the right percentage. They use the colour wheel to neutralise each pigment, making a black that can be mixed with white to make grey.

To do this with hair dye you'd have to account for the exact percentage of yellow in your hair, the exact percentage of blue in your black dye and you'd have to counter it with the exact percentage of red to neatralise them both. Not only is this tricky but reds are hard to stick to your hair, which is why most black ink is made with red and most black hair dye is made with blue. Add that to the fact that you want to turn your hair grey and you have to account for the lightening process too.

Grandma has white hair so ner! Actually "grandma" has transparent hair, so ner to you too! As we get older our bodies start to shut down the non necessary processes to help keep everything else in working order. Hair colour isn't necessary so the body stops making it. This makes the hair shaft completely lacking in colour. It's like glass! Because the hair is made of cuticles and has a shaft down the centre you have a prism effect. When the light shines through the hair shaft all the colours of the prism combine to make the only true white there is, refracted light. What you're seeing isn't white hair it's white light. It's literally a trick of the light. A combination of every colour in the world, mixed in light beams to make a brilliant glare. So in fact, although it's a light effect "grandma" probably has the most colourful hair there is! It's literally every colour in the rainbow! ;D

Well, that's the Matty Science Bit for now. I hope that's helped someone who's looking for black, white or grey hair. If anyone has any questions that I missed, let me know!

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Re: Black and White what are they?
« Reply #1 on: 02 May 11 / 03:13 PM »
wowza. thats informative! i never knew about 'nanny ner' hair(as it shall be known as from now on) is transparent, ker-a-zee
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Re: Black and White what are they?
« Reply #2 on: 02 May 11 / 03:47 PM »
I actually enjoyed reading this, thanks Matty!
I want transparent old person hair!!
 

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Re: Black and White what are they?
« Reply #3 on: 02 May 11 / 06:45 PM »
"Nanny ner hair" lol!

Yup when you guys get your first "grey" hair, pluck it out and look at it in the light. It'll either be a very pale version of your natura colour (grey hair) or it'll be completely transparent (white hair).

I've got tons of useless info in my head, which is probably going grey under all this pink stuff.
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Re: Black and White what are they?
« Reply #4 on: 02 May 11 / 07:03 PM »
I got my first "lighter" hair at twenty.

I've never looked at it through the light, though.  But it looks bright white on my head, so I think it's transparent.  I shall have to do a mini experiment when my roots grow through again!
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Re: Black and White what are they?
« Reply #5 on: 02 May 11 / 08:59 PM »
I've had grey hairs since I was 14
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Re: Black and White what are they?
« Reply #6 on: 02 May 11 / 09:15 PM »
My friend has a grey streak in her hair she can never dye over. We call it her birthmark!
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Re: Black and White what are they?
« Reply #7 on: 02 May 11 / 09:18 PM »
my nan had a full head of white hair by the time she was 20. i always loved her hair when i was younger and couldn't wait to be 20, in the hope i'd wake up with white hair...im still waiting
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Re: Black and White what are they?
« Reply #8 on: 02 May 11 / 09:52 PM »
Yeah sadly I think I have a long wait!

My grandad is 70 and there's still not one faded hair on his head.  My nanna has a couple but it took my granma til she was 90.
Same on my dad's side, minus a few years (I think, I didn't know them)
 

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Re: Black and White what are they?
« Reply #9 on: 03 May 11 / 11:41 AM »
I have a cousin who had a problem, I forget what it was now but he had patches of white hair when he was 6 and by the time he was 14 his whole head was fuill of white hair, not a single colour in it at all. Strange thing is that because he's so young (late teens now) he looks really trendy and it's all natural lol!
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Re: Black and White what are they?
« Reply #10 on: 04 May 11 / 07:25 PM »
Both my parents went completely white by their mid-twenties, and apparently it's hereditary.  I'm now 33, and although I have about 25% white hair underneath all the dye, my favorite bit is a chunky white strip about 1" wide right at the centre front of my hair.  when I dye back to black once the red has faded, I'll also bleach out the white strip so it can grow in naturally and contrast with the black.  Have had my hair this way before, and it actually looks quite cool!
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Re: Black and White what are they?
« Reply #11 on: 04 May 11 / 08:01 PM »
I havent got a clue if ive any greys yet been dyeing for years,I reckon so Im 41.Ive got Vitiligo which causes white patches of unpigmented skin Ive got it round both my eyes and i get a few pure white eyebrows.My dad also has it and his hair is pure white.
Wherever I have Vitiligo if theres hair in same place its pure white,(ive got a patch on my nether regions and have few pure white hairs there too :o ;D)
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Re: Black and White what are they?
« Reply #12 on: 05 May 11 / 09:31 AM »
Vitiligo that's it, that's what my cousin has. His spread over his head but I know some people develop a few patches and then it doesn't go any further.

Ammended first post with a piccy kindly supplied by elumencolor.
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