Back to Basics: Artificial Colour Pigments

Developed Pigments

All semi-permanent hair colours contain developed pigments. Demi-permanent colours contain a mix of developed pigments and un-developed colour precursors (small-uncoloured molecules that penetrate deep into the hair before merging into big colour molecules, also known as polymerisation).


Note that a permanent colour has a high percentage of colour precursor for longer retention of colour in hair.


What are the Characteristics of Semi-Permanent Products Containing Direct Dye Pigments?

  • They are ready for use and do not need oxidation or developer lotion
  • The colouring process does not affect the structure of the hair
  • The colour fades gradually – no need for retouching unless this is desired
  • The product can be pH-neutral to weak acid and therefore will not damage the hair
  • The natural pigments already present in the hair will influence the final shade

What are the Characteristics of Permanent-Colour Products Containing Colour Precursors?

  • They need oxidation or developer lotion
  • Development time is needed
  • Before oxidation colour precursors are colourless, dissolved salt crystals
  • They use oxygen provided by developer lotion to form yellow, red or blue pigments
  • Polymerisation makes them develop into bigger particles inside the cortex of the hair
  • This delivers great durability because the precursors grow into the pigment and settle themselves inside the hair structure
  • These new developed artificial pigments are combined in different quantities making a huge range of potential target colours possible
  • They are not transparent and have the ability to cover natural white hair