Glossary of terms in detail

Abraded Cuticles

When the hair is over-processed with chemical reagents, these scales become abraded (lifted), so causing the hair shafts to stick together making the hair far more porous and combing difficult.


Is a general term for abnormal hair loss.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata belongs to a group of organ-specific autoimmune diseases. It causes circumscribed patches of totally bald, smooth skin or may present itself diffusely throughout the scalp. The prognosis of recovery is variable and uncertain.

Anaphylactic Shock

An extreme and generalised allergic reaction, in which widespread release of histamine causes oedema, constriction of the bronchioles, heart failure, circulatory collapse and sometimes death.


The action of bleach in particular, is progressive. The action of the chemicals is twofold as both the bleach powder and the hydrogen peroxide it is mixed with are harmful to the hair and scalp. The bleach mixture being very harshly alkaline, it swells the hair the cuticle, allowing for the removal of colour molecules within the hair cortex (inner central structure). Bleach can easily cause chemical burns if it is either too strong and/or left in contact with the skin for too long a period of time.

Cicatricial Alopecia

Permanent balding as a result of scarring of the hair-bearing tissue.

Colour Removal

Colour strippers are specifically designed to remove unwanted permanent colour. The action of colour strippers, including bleach is also progressive and the damage so caused is permanent. They swell the cortex and raise the cuticle, thus allowing for the removal of colour molecules, of which orange tones are particularly resistant. It is not recommended for bleach to be used on chemically treated hair.

Contact Dermatitis

Contact Dermatitis can be defined as an inflammatory condition of the skin caused by an external agent. It always occurs at the site of contact with the offending agent. Signs may vary from slight reddening and sensitivity or irritation of the scalp, to a marked swelling and exudation with dramatic scaling and may include pustules, papules, vesicles and crusting. Primary irritant dermatitis is an initial reaction to a strong chemical application and may develop into a secondary Allergic Dermatitis, if an allergen is repeatedly applied. In this case, the reaction may spread from the site of contact to other areas. A persons' skin may suddenly become sensitive to an allergen, even if they have been applying it, without repercussion for many years.


The internal structure of the hair shaft.


Cuticles are the protective outer layer of the hair shaft. They take the form of overlapping scales, which lay smoothly along the hair shaft from root to tip.


The thick layer of living tissue that lies beneath the epidermis. It consists of connective tissue and contains blood capillaries, sweat glands and ducts, hair follicles, nerve endings and sebaceous glands.