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Color My Hair Happy! The 411 On The New Redken Chromatics Prismatics Permanent Haircolor

Permanent hair color that can actually fortify your hair? Where have you been all my life?

As many of you know, I’ve been coloring my hair since the days when Party of Five was a must-watch TV drama and TLC was warning people about chasing waterfalls. Research indicates that most people who dye their hair tend to stay within a tonal safety zone, never veering further than two to three shades lighter or darker than their natural hair color. In this paradigm, I’d stand as one of the outliers, that rare creature whose impulsive desire for experimentation leads to often extreme (and frequent) color changes. Though my hair is naturally a dark brown shade, then, I’ve tried everything from a slightly gothic blue-black to Florence Welch-ish red and Shakira-inspired platinum blond. My blond phase has probably lasted the longest (2 years and counting), but it’s also been the harshest on my hair, requiring rigorous deep conditioning treatments, leave-in-conditioners, and nourishing oils just to prevent my strands from breaking or fraying.

I was thrilled, then, when Redken announced the launch of its new Redken Chromatics Prismatic Permanent Haircolor, a professional salon formula that delivers vibrant, multi-dimensional hair color, while actually strengthening hair fibers, leaving hair smoother, silkier, and shinier. I had the chance to experience the haircolor treatment myself at the Culter Salon in New York City and, while the brilliant David Stanko tended to my tresses, I chatted with celebrated colorist and Redken expert Dhaniel Doud and got the scoop on the technology employed in Redken Chromatics (make sure to view the video above to hear Doud’s explanation).

Now, as Doud himself explained, the chemistry of hir color hasn’t changed over 100 years, so that the key formula still involves an alkaline source mixed with dyes and peroxide. What has evolved and improved over time is both the quality of the ingredients and the manner in which they are delivered. Redken Chromatics, then, doesn’t seek to reinvent the colorist wheel but, rather, to maximize the efficiency of the ingredients used in the coloring process.

Historically, colorists have turned to ammonia as their alkaline of choice, relying on the substance to swell the hair fibers and allow the dye pigments to penetrate strands. But, since ammonia can weaken and damage strands (not to mention that it smells horrid and can make the scalp itch like crazy), Redken has eschewed this substance in favor of a much milder alkaline: mono ethylene glycol.

But while the omission of ammonia makes for a more pleasant in-salon experience, it doesn’t account for the vibrant color and the improved fortitude of strands granted by Redken Chromatics. These feats are accomplished via the combination of Redken’s unique Oil Delivery System (ODS2) and a signature Protein Extract Technology (mainly the amino acids proline and threonine, which are protein subunits). The aforementioned proteins attach to the hair’s inner cortex because of the manner in which the oil delivery system interacts with hair fibers. See, there’s a small amount of oils in the professional salon color (and in the developer) so that, when the Redken Chromatics formula is applied to strands, these protective oils coat the hair cuticle. Now, since water and oil repel each other, as these oils coat the outer layer of the hair, the dyes and the fortifying proteins in the formula are propelled further inside fibers, adhering to the hair cortex and  thereby strengthening strands from the inside out. Redken research indicates that the hair of people who received a Chromatics service was twice as strong as that of people with virgin (or uncolored) hair.

Sounds too good to be true? Well, believe it, ladies! Yesterday, the genial New York-based colorist David Stanko tended to my tresses, giving me a first-hand look at how Redken Chromatics improved both the look and feel of my hair. Now, as I’ve mentioned, I’ve been subjecting my hair to harsh bleaching agents in order to maintain my light blond color, which has come at quite a high price in terms of the overall condition of my hair. Stanko wanted me to maintain the platinum color I had but to refine it as the tone had developed an unappealing brassiness. I was game for anything, but I admit I wondered how he’d be able to get my hair to such a light shade without using bleach (many colorists would consider the feat impossible given how dark my hair is naturally). Amazingly, Stanko more than managed this feat using Redken Chromatics alone. And, since the formula includes no ammonia, there were no unpleasant odors for me to grapple with, nor did my scalp burn or itch at any point in the process (a huge plus for me since I’m usually pinching myself to stop from scratching my scalp!).

Below, you’ll find before-and-after photos that show my transformation. Needless to say, I’m so grateful to the entire Redken team (love you, Claire!), David Stanko (to whom I have now entrusted my color), Tracey Cunningham (who chatted with me about using Chromatics on Lindsay Lohan and gave me some insight on celebrity hair trends), and Dax Anderson at Cutler Salon (who is a whiz with a blow dryer and curling iron).

Check out the photos below and, if you’re thinking of experimenting with your hair color, make sure to go the Redken Chromatics route. For more details, visit Redken.com.  Looking to refresh your look further? Find more hair products online here.

Here’s my hair before the Redken Chromatics Permanent Haircolor Service (yes, those roots are tragic!):

Now, look at my hair after David Stanko treated me to the Redken Chromatics Permanent Haircolor Service:

And here’s how happy I am! Look at me hugging David Stanko (and showering him with praise):

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