Pre-softening Hair

Color resistant gray hair
Q: I would like to know: what are the steps in pre-softening the hair before covering gray hair?
A: Pre-softening is simply the process of lifting the cuticle layer of the hair to speed up the penetration of a chemical service. In a color service, this usually involves applying color developer (hydrogen peroxide) to the hair prior to applying then color mixture.
Developer is applied to the hair, then allowed to process for a few minutes (5 to 10) in order to swell the hair slightly and raise the cuticle layer. The developer is then rinsed off the hair, and the hair can be blow-dried to a mostly dry state and the color mixture is then applied as normal.
The raised cuticle means that the color penetrates more effectively into the gray hair and makes covering gray much easier and gives truer color results.
This becomes important in some gray hair types as gray hair can often become more compact and resistant as it loses pigmentation.
Photo: Chompuu/Shutterstock
See also:
How to dye hair
Color resistant gray hair
Guidelines for covering gray hair with hair color
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