Thursday, September 13, 2012

Professional Advice ~ Redken Chromatics vs. Goldwell Elumen ~ Celina Good

A reader sent in a very good question, so we went to the the Expert on all matters of hair and beauty, Celina Good.

Hi there! I've been contemplating on swiching to Chromatics since it sounds almost too good to be true. I've been using Goldwells Elumen colours and I've been quite happy with them since they also don't damage hair, but my problem is that I have very blond natural hair and I like to colour my hair around a level 6 copper/natural red (sometimes a bit lighter, sometimes darker but aroud level 6 anyway). The Elumen does not sufficiently cover my roots, my root always glows, being much lighter than my lengths, even though I of course add a darker neutral brown in with the copper shade. Somehow the new virgin hair seems to simply be in too good a condition for the Elumen to grab it, so I end up having to touch up the root first with a regular, ammonia- based brown hair colour, which gives the right level of colour and sort of "roughes up" the hair so that the copper Elumen will stay in the root. SO after this loooo-hooong prologue; will I face the same problem with Chromatics or will it also grab my roots like a "regular" hair colour? :D

- Alina K.

Thank you so much for challenging me with this question regarding Goldwell vs. Redken! I researched a lot about Redken and interviewed Salon professionals who have had experience working with both lines, in order to give you the clearest most appropriate response to your inquiry. I myself have had a long lasting love affair with Goldwell. While I know about other color lines, including Redken, theoretically, I have very limited practical experience in comparison to that which I have with Goldwell.   So, as we all know, experiences prove more trustworthy than any degree of product knowledge material. 

I must clearly state that Goldwell ELUMEN is a Patented System that is unable to be found in any other color line. It’s chemistry relies solely on the technicians ability to properly utilize all components of the system to alter the positive and negative charges in the hair.  It is a direct dye and requires no oxidation.
Redken Chromatics is not even remotely comparable to Goldwell Elumen, in it’s chemical relations or in the way it affects and alters the hair during the coloring process. Chromatics is an ammonia-free haircolor, but it does require oxidation with a developer. A much different process than Elumen.  In fact, Chromatics is more likely to be related to Goldwell Topchic. Which, like Chromatics, can be found in the Permanent Hair Color Category.  (you didn’t name the product you use to “roughen up” your root area, but likely, it is similar to Chromatics or Topchic in it’s chemical reaction to the hair)
Elumen color has absolutely no ability to release underlying pigment.  When it is applied and processed on it’s canvas it will work in conjunction with whatever colors are present.  This is why your root area has a diluted deposit of color, because it’s new untouched, unprocessed hair. Once you apply the ammonia based color on that hair, it becomes the same as the remaining hair strand, so it then responds to Elumen in the same way.
Chromatics color must oxidize. That chemical reaction utilizes hydrogen peroxide, or developer. When a developer is present in the formulation it is working immediately to remove and diffuse natural pigment molecules in the hair strand. (or as you call it, “roughing it up”)The second part of that chemical reaction is the deposit of color molecules, which take the place of those the developer removed, as well as combines with the remaining pigment molecules to form a new, enhanced or controlled color. 

This is something you must consider before making a switch. Another important fact is that the Elumen Color Molecules are long living. They will not easily leave your hair or be easily altered by another chemical. Decolorizing Elumen color never really removes the Elumen molecules, it only makes it a lighter, brighter shade. There are products within the Elumen Line to assist you in removing as much as possible, but in my experience I have found that Elumen likes to stick around for quite some time. I actually advise most clients, prior to an Elumen Service, to consider the limitred options that will come AFTER using Elumen! I liken it to a marriage and I explain that separation & divorce, from Elumen, is not an easy process! If you prefer more of an engagement, with the option to call it off at any time, Topchic, or Chromatics would be a much wiser choice!
It sounds as though you may have chosen Elumen in the first place because you were sold on it’s damage free properties.  That’s one of the many benefits of Elumen! Conditioning treatments are damage free, too, but you know better than to expect a long lasting color result from a conditioner! I think your initial choice of Elumen was not well thought out. If you are looking for a uniform permanent color service, Goldwell’s Topchic or Redken’s Chromatics would be the products to explore. You can continue to use an Elumen overlay, it’s an awesome choice! It will continue to maintain the healthy condition of your hair, add immense shine, seal & lock in your copper tones, prevent fading & reinforce that initial color service.  
Interviewing Salon Professionals about these 2 color products, Redken Chromatics & Goldwell Topchic, was eye-opening! I found that many stylists who have worked with both enjoy each line for different reasons. I got a lot of positive feedback about the ability to cover grey hair, the true to swatch results, the ability to more accurately control NCP (natural contributing pigment) & an overall better integrity of the hair with Goldwell Topchic! Users also raved about the longevity of Redken Chromatics, less odor,  less variety (which can be good or bad, depending on your motives!) and a more desirable fade-out between appointments.  
 Overall, the responses that came back reinforced that no matter what an individual client desires, there is definitely a product out there to deliver! As a Salon Professional it’s hard to choose one line over another! Sometimes you just can’t.  But knowing what products are available to solve the problems we encounter is critical to our success with each individual client. 
In your case, you may choose to use Chromatics as your oxidative color and continue overlaying with Elumen. Or you may prefer Chromatics results to that of your prior permanent color, and no longer feel the need to utilize Elumen. Only you will know if you receive the results you desired. SO GO PLAY!  And be sure to let us know what YOU find to work out best!  
It’s important to always remember that you owe it to yourself to explore every possible option you have, in order to make the very best choice for you! In hair color AND in life!
Have a great Hair Day!
~ Celina

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    1. Thank you so much Robert, I try very hard to bring good information for professionals and clients.

      Kristine E F Boyce
      Brand Manager

  4. I love anything which helps combat frizzy hair!.


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