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Posted on December 8, 2009 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (145)

You already know that the type of light falling on your hair affects the color that your hair appears to be, and you've probably noticed that the lighter the color of your hair, the more influence different lighting types have on your color. You may also know that light has a "color" temperature. Sunlight is considered "natural" light and is our reference point for all other types of light. The color temperature of sunlight at midday is about 5500 degrees Kelvin (K). Even the color of sunlight can swing dramatically based on time of day and atmospheric conditions. Whether a light appears "warmer" or "cooler" than natural sunlight depends on whether it's color temperature is above or below that of sunlight. The Kelvin scale was started in the late 1800s, when the British physicist William Kelvin heated a block of carbon to produce a range of different glowing colors at different temperatures. The black cube produced a dim red light that turned a brighter yellow as the temperature went up, and eventually produced a bright blue-white glow at the highest temperatures. In his honor, color temperatures are measured in degrees Kelvin, which are a variation on Centigrade degrees. Instead of starting at the temperature water freezes, the Kelvin scale starts at "absolute zero," which is -273 Centigrade. (Subtract 273 from a Kelvin temperature, and you get the equivalent in Centigrade.) However, the color temperatures attributed to different types of lights are correlated based on visible colors matching a standard black body, and are not the actual temperature at which a filament burns. How's that for more than you ever wanted to know about degrees Kelvin? In general, the higher the color temperature, the more "cool" or blue the light appears. The lower the color temperature, the "warmer" or more yellow the light appears. The temperature of the light in our salon depends on time of day, but ranges between 3200 and 5500 K. During the day, the light is usually around 5000 K; made up from sunlight at around 5500 K, and a lessor amount of quartz halogen, which is about 3200 K. In the evening when the sun goes down, the light in the salon is around 3200 K, a bit more "warm" looking than midday sun. If you get your color done in the salon at night and then look at that color outside in daylight the next day, your color is going to look just a little bit "cooler" outside. If you get your hair done here in the day under lighting that is about 5000 K and then go to your office, which is lit by fluorescent bulbs at around 6300K, your hair is going to look "cooler" in the office. If on the other hand, you get your hair done here during the day under lighting that is about 5000K and look at it at home under incandescent lighting at around 2600K, your hair will look considerably "warmer" or more golden at home. Household incandescent light is one of the "warmest" or yellowest artificial lighting sources you are likely to encounter other than candles or a fireplace. You can purchase bulbs to achieve just about any color temperature you may want in the rooms of your house.

The chart below illustrates the range of lighting in degrees Kelvin.

Skylight (blue sky) 12,000K - 20,000K

Average summer shade 8000K

Light summer shade 7100K Typical summer light (sun + sky) 6500K

Daylight fluorescent 6300K

Overcast sky 6000K

Clear mercury lamp 5900K

Sunlight (noon, summer, mid-latitudes) 5400K

Design white fluorescent 5200K

Special fluorescents used for color evaluation 5000K

Daylight photoflood 4800 - 5000K

Sunlight (early morning and late afternoon) 4300K

Brite White Deluxe Mercury lamp 4000K Sunlight (1 hour after dawn) 3500K

Cool white fluorescent 3400K

Photoflood 3400K

Professional tungsten photographic lights 3200K 100-watt tungsten halogen 3000K

Deluxe Warm White fluorescent 2950K 100-watt

incandescent 2870K 40-watt incandescent 2500K

High-pressure sodium light 2100K

Sunlight (sunrise or sunset) 2000K

Candle flame 1850K - 1900K

Match flame 1700K

So the moral of this story is; if you're really particular about the color hue of your hair, take into consideration where you want it to appear ideal. Out at night with lots of warm, yellow lights typical of clubs and people's houses? Or in an office environment that may have much cooler lighting? Or in the sun? The difference isn't huge, but there is a difference.


Posted on November 18, 2009 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (222)

Last week L’Oréal Professionnel revealed a new product that will, according to the company, revolutionize the salon hair coloring industry.

Inoa, short of Innovation No Ammonia, conteins mea, is discovered after years of research. The treatment will color uniformly and leave hair soft, shiny and silky.

Inoa “lifts color up to three levels, covers gray and has true-to-tone color results”. There is no odor or any discomforts usually associated with ammonia application, such as a burning, itchy scalp.

It is a three-step mixing process where oleogel, color concentrate and a cream developer with dual conditioning agent are mixed.

In the beginning, Inoa will be offered in 50 shades.

The price of the product is not revealed but it will cost 10% more than traditional salon treatments.

Inoa will debut in Europe at the end of September and in the U.S. and Canada in January.

Inoa, which stands for Innovation No Ammonia, is being billed by L’Oréal as the most revolutionary colorant to come out of its labs in decades. Thanks to a formula discovered after years of research, Inoa’s creators claim the three-step treatment will color uniformly and leave hair soft, shiny and silky — all without odor or any of the discomforts associated with ammonia application, like an itchy scalp. While it is not the first salon offering that is ammonia free, the company said it is the first ammonia-free product that lifts up to three levels, covers gray and has true-to-tone color results.

“Inoa will be to the hair coloring industry what the CD was to vinyl,” claimed Laurent Dubois, L’Oréal Professionnel’s managing director France, at the brand’s catwalk-style launch in Paris’ Tuileries Gardens Tuesday before a packed house of hairstylists and journalists. Like the CD, he said, Inoa would take a while to render its predecessors irrelevant. But he strongly hinted that Inoa will slowly replace L’Oréal Professionnel’s existing salon color lines. These include Majirel, introduced in 1978 and now the division’s leading colorant with 126 shades.

The science behind Inoa is deceptively simple. Instead of ammonia, the product contains monoethanolamine, which traditionally does not cover gray as well and cannot lighten hair as much as traditional products. But by adding an oil-based gel to the monoethanolamine color concentrate, plus the cream developer, L’Oréal researchers determined it provides an optimum result, including up to three levels of lift and 100 percent gray coverage, according to the company.

Initially, Inoa will be offered in 50 shades.

L’Oréal executives declined to divulge sales projections for Inoa, nor would they give its price tag. However, they said its products would cost 10 percent more than traditional salon treatments. L’Oréal’s overall salon portfolio generates about $3 billion in yearly sales, with around half of that stemming from hair color, according to the company.

Inoa is expected to launch in 2,000 salons in Europe on Sept. 22. By yearend, L’Oréal Professionnel aims for the product to be in 8,000 doors on the Continent and expects to have trained up to 10,000 hairstylists on using the product.

The rollout will continue in January in the U.S. and Canada, followed by South America in April and Eastern Europe next June. Advertising visuals will be revealed later this summer, and will run in trade press

FLORIDA COSMETOLOGIST continuos education test

Posted on August 21, 2009 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)



Chemical Name

Toxic Effects





In weak concentrations, acetic acid can be a mild skin and eye irritant.

Oxidizing materials (trace).



(dimethyl ketone)

Prolonged inhalation can cause headache, dryness, and throat irritation.

Nail glue remover, polish remover, nail sterilizer, and brush cleaner.

Some alkaline silicates can cause fibrotic changes (scarring) of lung tissue.



Alkylated Silicates affect skin as mild caustic agents, causing damage to the keratin layer. Chronic exposure to alkalinity can lead to a skin condition that resembles eczema.


Bleach powders.

Aminophenol is a mixture that has three isomers. Para-, Ortho- and Meta-aminophenol.



A.) Para-aminophenol has high to moderate oral toxicity. A skin and eye irritant. Allergic sensitivities can develop to the material

B.)Ortho-aminophenol is found to be moderately toxic when introduced to the system via ingestion. It is a skin and eye irritant.

C.)Meta-aminophenol is found to be moderately toxic when introduced to the system via ingestion. It is a skin and eye irritant.


Oxidation hair color.

Overexposure can cause conjunctivitis, swelling of eyelids, coughing, dyspnea and vomiting. Corneal burns can result from eye contact.



A powerful eye and respiratory tract irritant.

Alkaline wave lotions bleach oils, oxidation hair dyes, permanent wave solutions, and permanent hair color.

High toxicity via oral and inhalation routes.



A powerful eye irritant.

Hair spray (trace), waving lotions, thioglycolate waving lotions, and oxidation dyes.

It can be a fire hazard if it is reacted with organic materials or reducing agents such as acids. It is a strong oxidizing agent. The material must be stored carefully as it readily decomposes.



A moderate tissue irritant and allergen.

Bleaching agents, pre-lighteners.

This material can cause dermatitis and is a strong allergen.



High toxicity via oral and inhalation routes.

Permanent waving solution.

A skin and eye irritant.



Moderate toxicity via ingestion and inhalation.

Permanent waving solutions.

Butane is an asphyxiant. Breathing the gas may cause drowsiness.

Butane is a dangerous fire/explosion risk.



Moderate toxicity via inhalation.

Nail enamel dryer, aérosol propellants (MANP)

The material is a strong respiratory irritant.


BUTOXYETHANOL (ethylene glycol monobutyl ether)

Moderately toxic via ingestion, a mild to moderate skin and eye irritant.

Direct non-oxidation dyes.

In high concentrations the material can cause respiratory irritation and narcosis.



A skin and eye irritant, low toxicity via ingestion, inhalation. It is a mild allergen.


Nail lacquer.

Local exposure yields irritation.



High to moderate irritation, ingestion hazard.


Hair relaxer.

A skin and eye irritant.



Low oral toxicity, an irritant.


Hair relaxer.

EDTA is found in products as either tetrasodium or dessiatine salt. It reacts chemically to "bind" metals.



(ethylene diamine tetracetic acid)

Eye irritation. High oral toxicity.

Shampoo (trace), Penn neutralizer, and thioglycolate permanent

Experimentally, ethanolamine causes severe eye irritation. It is a caustic material, which causes moderate


Chemical Name Toxic Effects Occurrence Precautions


waves, products that remove coatings from hair.

burns. Inhalation tolerance is low.




Tissue damage. Oral toxicity.


Waving lotions, oxidation dyes.

Repeated exposure can cause conjunctivitis and corneal clouding. High concentrations can cause congestion of the liver and kidneys. It is a dangerous fire risk.



Causes irritation to mucous linings in eyes, respiratory tract and gums. It can act as a mild narcotic. It can also cause dermatitis.


Nail lacquer solvent.

It is oxidized by the liver to form carbon dioxide and water. It is generally not considered an occupational health hazard, however it is a safety hazard due to its flammability.



(S.D. Alcohol)

The term "S.D.A." or "S.D. Alcohol" means ?specifically denatured alcohol?. S.D.A. is ethyl alcohol, to which another substance, such as methyl isobutyl ketone, has been added, making it unfit for human consumption.


Hair spray, setting lotions, mousse, conditioner, nail sterilizer. Ethyl alcohol is familiar as the alcohol in beverages.

In low concentrations, the material can cause skin irritation. Products containing hydrogen peroxide must be capped and stored securely.



Concentrated solutions are highly toxic and strong irritants. Solutions of 35% can blister the skin. The material is a powerful oxidant, which readily reacts to release oxygen, and can therefore be a dangerous fire and explosion risk.

Oxidation hair dye developer, neutralizers for permanent waves, hair lighteners, peroxide based neutralizers, permanent wave activator solutions, oxidizers, and enzyme developers.

A dangerous fire risk when exposed to heat, flame or oxidizers.




A simple asphyxiant, this material is otherwise practically non-toxic.

Aerosol propellants.

The material can de-fat and dry the skin. The material is a physical hazard due to its high flammability.



Eyes, nose, and throat irritant. In high air concentrations it can induce mild narcosis and can cause corneal burns and eye damage.

Permanent dye, hair spray, nail enamel dryer, oil hair dressing, hair styling mousse, setting gels/lotions, bleach oils, semi-permanent and oxidation hair dyes, and peroxide-based neutralizers.

Liquefied petroleum gas is a mixture of propane, isobutane, isobutylene, and other short chain hydrocarbons. The material is a simple asphyxiant, and its chief health hazard is attributable to its high flammability.



Low toxicity generally, but can be a respiratory irritant when in mist form.

Mousse, oxidation hair colors, permanent hair colors, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) hairspray propellants.

A moderate fire risk when exposed to heat, flame, or oxidizers.



A strong skin irritant

Acrylic, nail-bonding


Vapors can cause lung irritation and pulmonary edema. Prolonged exposure can cause dermatitis, liver and brain damage. It is a suspected carcinogen. The body metabolizes methylene chloride to carbon monoxide. Heavy smokers and those with cardiovascular disease or


METHYLENE CHLORIDE (dichiloromethane)

Very dangerous to the eyes; vapors have narcotic properties, which include fatigue, headache, and dizziness.

Nail enamel dryer, oil hair dressing aerosols.

Serious fire hazard and risk



Moderately irritating to skin, eyes, and mucous membranes.

Hairdressings, hair sprays.

An experimental carcinogen and mutagen.



Toxic via inhalation and ingestion routes.

Peroxide-based neutralizers.

This material is a powerful skin irritant, which is implicated as a cause of aplastic anemia and is a suspected carcinogen.



When used in hair dye, it has been known to produce vertigo, anemia, gastritis, exfoliative dermatitis, and is suspect in at least one death.

Oxidation hair dyes, permanent hair dyes, semi-permanent hair dyes.

A skin, eye, and respiratory tract irritant.



A skin, eye and respiratory tract irritant.

Oxidizers, neutralizers.

The material will liberate oxygen when exposed to heat or chemicals, and is therefore a moderate fire risk. It will decompose if not stored properly.



A moderate tissue irritant and allergen.

Bleach powders, lightener powders.

A skin and eye irritant.



A skin and eye irritant.

Oxidation hair dye base, semi-permanent hair dye base, hair relaxer, and thioglycolate, permanent wave lotion.

This material can cause serious eye and skin injury in susceptible individuals. If the material is in a carrier, which can be absorbed through the skin, local hyperemia (flushing), itching, dermatitis, edema, and possibly corrosion of the skin can occur. Local lymph gland swelling may also occur.



Primarily a skin irritant.

Oxidation hair dyes.

Prolonged exposure to crystalline silica dust can lead to fibrotic changes (scarring) of lung tissue, however the health hazard is minimal if exposure is controlled. Fumed silica is found in some products. Colloidal type silica does not pose the toxic risks of the crystalline type.



Silica in dust form can constitute an inhalation hazard.

Frosts, activator powders.

Concentrated solutions are strong irritants to skin and other tissues.



The material is an allergen.

Oxidation shampoos.

Prolonged exposure to dilute solutions can cause burns and ulceration of skin and other tissues and can cause severe eye damage.



Toxic by ingestion and may cause severe burns to the skin and scalp.

Hair relaxer, thioglycolate permanent waves, waving gel.

An oxidizer, which needs to be stored carefully, as the material decomposes in moist air.



A strong tissue irritant, toxic by ingestion.

Bleach powders, lightener powders.

Toxic by ingestion.



Toxic by ingestion.

Oxidizers (trace).

Hydrogen sulfide gas derived from this material. Irritant to skin and eyes.



Corrosive to mucous membranes.

Waving lotions, oxidation dyes.

The material can react violently with lithium and other metals.



A skin irritant, which is also an experimental neoplastic and tumorogenic agent.

Hair relaxers, dyes, nail powder.

Eye irritant, toxic when ingested.



Eye irritant.

Nail lacquer.

Vapors have narcotic action and can cause headache and nausea. The material is an experimental mutagen.



Chronic toluene overexposure can lead to changes in the blood-forming organs (bone marrow).

Nail lacquer solvent.






Posted on August 21, 2009 at 2:06 PM Comments comments (236)

Chemicals - MMA and the Salon Professional

It is important for all salon workers, not just for the nail technicians, to be aware of the dangers from the use of MMA (methyl methacrylate) monomer and its dangers to the skin and nail.

Methyl Methacrylate Liquid Monomers

In years past, methyl methacrylate (MMA) was a routinely used ingredient in professional nail products. These products were often referred to as “dental acrylics” or “porcelain nails”. However from the start there seem to be serious problems resulting from the use of MMA. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had received so many complaints related to the use of MMA that in the late 1970s, the FDA was forced to take action against a number of the manufacturers of these products.

MMA-related complaints ranged from skin allergy to permanent loss of the nail plate. It can also cause loss of sensation in the fingertips. As the problem became more serious, the FDA warned manufacturers the further use of MMA in nail enhancement products formulated with MMA were considered too dangerous for use in the beauty industry.

In 1972 MMA gained further notoriety when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deemed it a “poisonous and deleterious” ingredient when used in liquid monomer and got a court ordered injunction prohibiting a particular nail product manufacturer from selling MMA monomer. These actions by the FDA sent MMA into the underground industry. In 1996, the FDA restated its position and opposition to the use of MMA.

MMA – Monomer vs. Polymer Powders

Nail technicians who are aware of the dangers of MMA are often confused when they discover that some acrylic powders contain this ingredient. The problems described above do not apply to the use of MMA polymers. In the fully polymerized and solid form, the substance is considered safe. When MMA is converted into a polymer, it is called “poly methyl methacrylate,” or PMMA. In the polymer form, PMMA is chemically identical to Plexiglas or Lucite and is considered safe for use on natural nails.

MMA in the Salon

Why do Salons still use MMA? MMA is popular because it sets up fast and adheres like no other product can or should. Above all, it is cheap. You can purchase a gallon at a fraction of the cost of the name brand ethyl methacrylate monomer. MMA nails bond so firmly to the natural nail and are so hard that instead of snapping safely off the natural nail when jammed or caught, they hold tight, causing painful breaks and rupture of the natural nail.

Additionally, MMA can cause serious skin reactions and incessant nail damage, not excluding permanent nail loss.

Studies indicate that long-term exposure to the nail technician and other salon employees can result in permanent damage to the liver and respiratory system.

MMA Product Detection

To determine if a product has MMA as part of its composition here are three simple things to watch for:

• Produces nail extensions that are extraordinarily durable and very hard to file, even with unyielding abrasives.

• Produces nail extensions that will not dissolve for removal in solvents designed for acrylics.

• Exhibits a powerful and peculiar odor that is considerably different than that of other acrylic liquids.

The Nail Manufacturers Council fully supports the FDA’s position and recommends against nail technicians using liquid monomers, which are formulated with MMA. They believe that the significant danger to salon employees and clients makes the use of MMA both unwise and unethical. In their opinion, the health risks and public relations problems created by the illegal use of MMA seriously threaten the entire professional nail industry. Hopefully MMA is not being used in your salon. If you suspect that it is you should learn as much as you can about the dangers and health risks and then make a decision as to whether you want to remain in that environment.


Hair protects the body from heat loss and ultraviolet rays. The root of the hair shaft is termed the hair follicle. A nerve ending surrounds the bulb of each hair follicle below the skin. Additionally glands secrete an oily substance directly onto the hair follicle, lubricating the hair shaft and providing an acid pH environment that protects the hair. This as in skin is called the acid mantle.

Hair is composed of three different layers; the first is the medulla (the center, the pith or marrow of the hair shaft), the cortex (the middle layer, containing pigment or color), and the cuticle (the outside layer). The chemical composition of hair is 50.65% carbon, 6.36% hydrogen, 17.14% nitrogen, 5.00% sulphur, and 20.85% oxygen. It made up of the protein keratin (also found in skin and nails). The joining of amino acids forms keratin protein. The fact that the acids join at some places along the protein chain makes keratin relatively resistant to change.

Like other mammals, humans are covered by hair. Human body hair is much finer than that of our mammalian counterparts, and is concentrated primarily on


Hair Dye Products / FDA

Posted on April 8, 2009 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (279)

Hair dye products may be divided into three categories, i.e.,

permanent, semi-permanent and temporary hair colors. Permanent hair colors are the most popular hair dye products. They may be further divided into oxidation hair dyes and progressive hair dyes. Oxidation hair dye products consist of (1) a solution of dye intermediates, e.g., p-phenylenediamine, which form hair dyes on chemical reaction, and preformed dyes, e.g., 2-nitro-p-phenylenediamine, which already are dyes and are added to achieve the intended shades, in an aqueous, ammoniacal vehicle containing soap, detergents and conditioning agents; and, (2) a solution of hydrogen peroxide, usually 6%, in water or a cream lotion.

The ammoniacal dye solution and the hydrogen peroxide solution, often called the developer, are mixed shortly before application to the hair. The applied mixture causes the hair to swell and the dye intermediates (and preformed dyes) penetrate the hair shaft to some extent before they have fully reacted with each other and the hydrogen peroxide and formed the hair dye.

Progressive hair dye products contain lead acetate as the active ingredient. Lead acetate is approved as a color additive for coloring hair on the scalp at concentrations not exceeding 0.6% w/v, calculated as metallic lead (21 CFR 73.2396). Bismuth citrate, the other approved color additive (21 CFR 73.2110), is used to a much lesser extent. Progressive hair dyes change the color of hair gradually from light straw color to almost black by reacting with the sulfur of hair keratin as well as oxidizing on the hair surface.

Semi-permanent and temporary hair coloring products are solutions (on rare occasions dry powders) of various coal-tar, i.e. synthetic organic, dyes which deposit and adhere to the hair shaft to a greater or lesser extent. Temporary hair colors must be reapplied after each shampooing. The vehicle may consist of water, organic solvents, gums, surfactants and conditioning agents. The coal-tar dyes are either listed and certified colors additives or dyes for which approval has not been sought. The dyes may not be non-permitted metallic salts or vegetable substances.

A hair dye product containing a non-approved coal-tar color (but not a non-approved metallic or vegetable dye) which is known to cause adverse reactions under conditions of use cannot be considered adulterated if the label bears the caution statement provided in section 601(a) of the FD&C Act and offers adequate directions for preliminary patch testing by consumers for skin sensitivity. The caution statement reads as follows:

Caution - This product contains ingredients which may cause skin irritation on certain individuals and a preliminary test according to accompanying directions should first be made. This product must not be used for dyeing the eyelashes or eyebrows; to do may cause blindness.

If the label of a coal-tar color-containing hair dye product does not bear the caution statement of section 601(a) and the patch testing directions, it may be subject to regulatory action if it is determined to be harmful under customary conditions of use.

Several coal-tar hair dye ingredients have been found to cause cancer in laboratory animals. In the case of 4-methoxy-m-phenylenediamine (4-MMPD, 2,4-diaminoanisole) which had also been demonstrated in human and animal studies to penetrate the skin, the agency considered the risk associated with its use in hair dyes a "material fact" which should be made known to consumers. The regulation requiring a label warning on hair dye products containing 4-MMPD published in October 1979 was to become effective April 16, 1980. The regulation required that hair dyes containing 4-MMPD bear the following warning:

Warning - Contains an ingredient that can penetrate your skin and has been determined to cause cancer in laboratory animals.

Some hair dyes manufacturers held that the potential risk was too small to be considered "material" and challenged the validity of the regulation in court. The agency decided to reconsider its earlier position, entered into a consent agreement with hair dye manufacturers, and stayed the effectiveness of the regulation until completion of an assessment of the carcinogenic risk of 4-MMPD in accordance with scientifically accepted procedures.

In addition to 4-MMPD, the following other hair dye ingredients have been reported to cause cancer in at least one animal species in lifetime feeding studies: 4-chloro-m-phenylenediamine, 2,4-toluenediamine, 2-nitro-p-phenylenediamine and 4-amino-2-nitrophenol. They were also found to penetrate human and animal skin.

Lead Acetate in Hair Dye Products

Lead acetate is used as a color additive in "progressive" hair dye products. These products are applied over a period of time to achieve a gradual coloring effect.

In order to be approved for this use, a color additive petition was required to establish safety. The safety data submitted in support of this petition included results from trials on humans using the products. In the trials, people using the product under controlled conditions of use were monitored for the amount of lead in their bloodstream. No significant increase in blood levels of lead was seen in the trial subjects and the lead was not shown to be absorbed into the body through such use.

These data allowed FDA to determine that safe conditions of use could be established, and a color additive regulation (Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 73.2396) allowing the use of lead acetate in hair dyes was established. The regulation requires that the following caution statement appear on the product labels:

"Caution: Contains lead acetate. For external use only. Keep this product out of children's reach. Do not use on cut or abraded scalp. If skin irritation develops, discontinue use. Do not use to color mustaches, eyelashes, eyebrows, or hair on parts of the body other than the scalp. Do not get in eyes. Follow instructions carefully and wash hands thoroughly after use."

To ensure safe use of these products, it is important that consumers follow these directions carefully.

Consumers can determine if lead acetate is used in a particular hair dye product by reviewing the product ingredient declaration appearing on the label of the cosmetic package.