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Is Elumen Hair Color really less damaging?

Maddy asks…I’ve heard about Elumen Hair Colour on the long hair community as a less damaging hair colour alternative. It claims to last like a permanent dye, but be as undamaging as a temporary color. How does it work?

The Beauty Brains respond:

There are essentially three factors on which to judge a hair coloring product: its degree of permanence, the degree of damage it causes to the hair, and the range of shades it provides.

Permanent hair color

On one hand you have permanent hair colors (also known as oxidative hair colors) which work the “best” because they give you the longest lasting color with the greatest range of shades (even allowing you to go from dark shades to lighter shades via bleaching.) However, permanent coloring also causes the most damage because the process swells the hair shaft which disrupts the protein structure of hair.

Temporary hair color

On the other hand you have temporary colors that merely stain the outside of the hair shaft. These cause little, if any damage, but they don’t last very long and they only allow you to add color on top of the hair color you already have. (So it’s impossible to turn yourself into a blonde using temporary colors.)

Elumen hair color

Elumen hair color technology is somewhere in between these two extremes. It is a low pH system so it will not swell the hair shaft. It uses solvents to help the hair colors penetrate a little ways into the hair shaft so they will last longer. They will still wash out because they are not bound inside the hair like permanent dies are but they will last longer than temporary colors. Of course you can’t lighten your hair shade with Elumen.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

If Elumen has a shade that you’re happy with and if you’re looking for a “semi-permanent” color then this brand may be a good compromise for you. But it’s not some magical solution that has all of the advantages of oxidative dyes without any of the disadvantages.

Elumen Dye ingredients
Aqua, propylene carbonate, alcohol denat., lactic acid, hydroxypropylated polysaccharides, dimethicone copolyol, sodium hydroxide, parfum. May contain: Acid black 1, acid red 52, yellow 10, ext. violet 2, orange 4, red 33.

Elumen Lock ingredients
Aqua, alcohol denat., PEG-8, Benzyl Glycol, Sodium Isethionate, Butylene Glycol, Lactic Acid, Carbomer, Dimethicone Copolyol, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Hydroxide, Parfum, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Amylcinnamyl Alcohol.

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Raven Peters April 13, 2014, 5:36 pm

    I use RV Elumen and it is very permanent in my hair. I only need to do my roots every month, but my fingertip length ends have only been colored once in the last year. No color loss and no damage. It shows up very well on my dark hair without any color lifting too. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants vibrant, permanent color without damage.

    • Mintie September 18, 2015, 5:25 pm

      I agree with Raven. I only do my roots every month, and the ends stay purple VV@ALL for a good 6 months to a year. It’s an amazing product and I wish more salon professionals would learn how to use it properly so I don’t have to keep doing it at home.

  • Suzanne O'Leary July 24, 2015, 6:23 pm

    I would like to know if this color is okay for someone who is allergic to hair dye, dyed my hair one and my whole head was bleeding and was left with a scare on my arm would I be able to use this thank you for your help suzanne

    • jennifer August 26, 2015, 5:33 pm

      The above information regarding Elumen is incomplete and inaccurate. It is the worlds first permanent acidic hair colour to use direct dye technology, therefor it is as permanent as an oxidation tint and as gentle as a semi permanent.
      It IS bonded inside the hair but rather than working on a chemical basis it works on a physical basis connecting to the positive ions within the cortex. Because it does not swell the cuticular layer nor does it break down natural melanin it does not cause any damage to the hair.
      It is not hypo allergenic, but that said, it does not contain many of the usual suspects where allergies are concerned and for that reason many who have allergies can successfully use Elumen. Please use the goldwell salon locator on line and find a qualified elumen salon close to you. You will be amazed at the conditioning repair effect in addition to the longevity of the colour.

  • Wendy Berg May 11, 2016, 11:28 pm

    Please tell me of Goldwell Salon near where I live – Northampton, MA 01060.
    Thank you.

  • Jenny June 9, 2016, 5:53 pm

    I have my hair dyed a very vibrant purple with magenta ombre with elumen and my hair looks and feels gorgeous. This is more expensive than other dyes but I would recommend it to anyone especially if you want a bright/flashy colors, the results truly are spectacular.

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