Making the transition from traditional to organic haircolor


As my business partner, my husband spends quite a bit of time at Verde. It has been interesting to receive his input about what he hears as “girl talk” in the salon. Recently, he came to me and said,”Have you blogged about the transition to organic color?” and I thought, ok, simple but genius. Organic Color Systems is an amazing product that requires hairstylists to be at the top of their game. Traditional hair color, and I say this as an educator with different color lines and twenty-years experience, is paint by numbers. It’s fairly basic in application and I used to say,”Ammonia will eat through anything.” Organic hair color requires a deep knowledge of ph, exactly how hair color “works” inside the hair, and how the health of the client affects her hair. Verde Salon prides itself on its continuing education for this very reason. When traditional, ammoniated hair color is applied to the hair it “pits” the hair strand. I am from Texas and have seen a road after a heavy rainstorm where it washes away large chunks of the asphalt. This is the picture of what ammonia does to hair. So “haircare” companies have solved this little problem by creating shampoos, conditioners, and styling products that are laden with waxes and serums to smooth the now destroyed hair strand. Silicone is in practically every product on the market now. Petroleum was created to keep rust off ships, yet we actively coat our bodies and our hair in plastic every day! Now imagine that you have a gentle, oil-based system that will not “eat through anything” and you are trying to get that color molecule inside the hair strand. You will notice at Verde that we like to begin every service by clarifying the hair. This is to try to remove all the wax that has been on our hair every day for who knows how long. Our clarifier has a ph of 8, so it is very alkaline, to begin opening the hair shaft to prepare for color. Another issue we face is that medications coat the hair and remain for the life of the strand. This can be anything from antibiotic use to hormone replacement. Add to this hard water and minerals from daily washing, and we have a challenge. I tell my clients that what is happening on your shower walls is happening on your hair! Verde has a service called a Vitamin C Treatment. We mix a crystalized vitamin C powder with water, apply to the hair and place under heat for 20 minutes. This is amazing! It doesn’t dry out the hair, but cleans ALL build-up off the hair leaving it silky soft and super shiny. This is probably my favorite treatment and is the least asked for. Sometimes calcium will harden on the hair causing hair to feel dry and brittle. Clients will think they need a deep conditioning treatment, when actually it is simply hardened minerals coating your hair!

Sometimes I will tell clients that it takes a time or two to get that color molecule really inside the hair. When we get clients switched to clean haircare products and really clarified, the transformation is usually pretty intense. It’s shiny, soft and feels amazing. However, most often they run their hands down the hair and can feel where organic color stops. That is because the ammoniated, pitted color is still on the old strand. We cannot undo the damage done and this usually takes several months and multiple applications to correct and see the full affects of truly healthy, crazy shiny hair. But be patient, it’s really worth it.

Healthy HairAlyssa Yuhas