How is Great Lengths Hair Coloured?

Around the globe, Great Lengths is known for their perfect hair extensions that remain as beautiful when they are taken out as the day that they are installed. But what make Great Lengths so different quality wise in terms of the colouring process?

Firstly, Great Lengths Hair extensions are one of the only hair extension companies in the world that does not subject their collected hair to a bleaching process. Bleaching potential hair extension hair is a fast and cheap way to change the colour, but it permanently damages the potential hair  and makes it unsuitable for hair extensions.

Think of it this way:

The shaft of the hair is covered in scales, kind of like overlapping scales. In order to change hair colour, the scales must be lifted so that the lightener can access the inside and displace the pigment there. These pigment molecules are sort of broken apart. This is why when we bleach hair, the underlying pigment is exposed and you see yellow or red before a toner is applied. You hair did not really “turn” orange: more so, the existing  underlying pigment was exposed. This is remedied by applying a toner the counteracts the colour.  A toner is simply a colour that is applied to wet hair to reduce its strength and left on to cover up the unwanted pigment left behind. This is why for blondes, toners fade and they see the brassy tones again in their hair. The toner is fading and is once again revealing the underlying pigment.

Silky "Barbie" Hair without the bleach and silicone
Silky “Barbie” Hair without the bleach and silicone

Now, once those scales have been lifted, you can never really get them to go back down again as if they have never been manipulated. To combat this, most companies apply a layer of silicone or something like it, to smooth the hair back down and make it all silky soft and Barbie Doll -like again. The problem is, once that silicone layer starts to wear off, which can happen as little as a month or so depending on how often you wash your hair extensions, the hair reveals the lifted scales. These lifted scales are like velcro… hair will be irreversibly tangled, and matted and can never really be fixed again. This is why the hair costs significantly less than Great Lengths. Price does indeed indicate the quality of processing.

This is how most hair extension companies handle their hair to prepare it for colouring. Most of the Great Lengths hair is black or dark brown, so how do they get those great Silky blonde tones?

Preparing the hair for the depigmentation bath
Preparing the hair for the depigmentation bath

The hair undergoes a process called “depigmentation”. This process can last longer than two weeks. during this process the depigmentation process removes pigment from inside the hair first, not from the outside as bleach lightener does. The process actually removes the pigment completely from the hair, leaving not bits of pigment behind-the hair is basically white with no bleach or ammonia! But how is the hair coloured to consistency then?

Great Lengths does not use bleach to depigment there hair, but they also do not use traditional hair colour to colour the hair either. THERE ARE NO TOXIC CHEMICALS in the colouring process Great Lengths uses, which is similar to colouring cashmere..the hair never fades, and completely leaves the integrity of the hair intact. The result is silky, high quality virgin that never fades and is completely colour fast.

The Depigmentation process
The Depigmentation process

There is more to this process than one would realize- There is no negative impact on the environment from this process. When comparing this the standards of quality in China and Indonesia, where standards are not governed by regulatory bodies to monitor their production the difference of environmental and employee impact are very clear.

This is just one aspect of the quality of Great Lengths. In this continuing series we will examine the different aspects of production and processing that combine to make Great Lengths the best in the world.