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Course Title: Introduction to Hair Color Theory
Instructor: Dawn Cressman
Curriculum: 5 units, plus Syllabus and Final Exam
Time Required: 2-4 weeks
Textbooks: None
Prerequisites: None. All students may enroll in this class
CEU Eligibility: Students who pass an exam will earn 2 CEUs
Course Fee: $15.00
Start Date: December 1, 2010
What This Course Will Do for You

This short course is designed for anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of how hair color works. Easy-to-follow lessons explore the history of hair color, the structure of hair, gray coverage, safety issues, and types of color, and techniques for applying color. There are no prerequisites for this course and everyone is welcome to enroll. A basic familiarity with hair coloring will be helpful but is not required. This class will benefit newcomers to the salon industry, cosmetology students, color clients, and even experienced professionals as a refresher course.

Lesson Plan

• Unit 1: Basic Principles

Every strong structure begins with a strong foundation. In this lesson, we review the humble beginnings of hair color and how much it has changed over the centuries. It is also important to understand the basic structure of hair and how the chemicals in hair color manipulates this structure. We will also examine the different types of hair color on the market and how they react with hair, factors that contribute to color fading, and using the color wheel to formulate color.

• Unit 2: Hair Color Consultation

Have you ever visited a salon professional for a hair color service? Are you a stylist that has performed a hair color service on a client? If you have been in either situation, there should be a series of questions that you either answer or ask, whether you are in the chair or behind it. Physical observations should also be made before proceeding with the color service. These questions and observations are called the "consultation," and it is the most important part of the color service. During the consultation, the stylist gains insight into the client's hair color history and possible chemical reactions that may occur with the hair color application. Limitations are addressed and the most flattering shades are determined.

• Unit 3: Color Formulation

Color formulation is what separates boxed color from the drug store and professional color done in the salon. Professional color formulation is specific to individual hair types and situations. Coloring over artificial pigments requires special attention as well as covering gray hair. In some cases, underlying pigments must be neutralized in order to prevent excessive warmth or cool tones on the hair. Allergic reactions are also determined during the formulation stage.

• Unit 4: Bleach, Toner and Corrective Color

Bleach is sometimes a necessary tool when trying to achieve a certain degree of lightness or when existing pigment is to be removed. Bleach can be difficult as well as dangerous if not used properly. Every precaution must be taken to ensure safety and the integrity of the hair. Toners are a useful tool after a bleach service or to correct color in order to neutralize unwanted tones. This lesson also explains the tools and techniques for applying hair color.

• Unit 5: Multi-Dimensional Color

In order to give any color a unique and professional touch, multi-dimensional color is the key. Hair color that utilizes more than one tone is very trendy. In this lesson we explore the different highlighting and lowlighting techniques and how to perform them. We will go over sectioning and placement and a few helpful hints to integrate into any color service.


About the Course Author/Instructor
Dawn Cressman is a graduate of Pennsylvania Academy of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences in Johnstown PA. As a salon professional with 12 years of experience in the industry, she has acquired a wealth of knowledge, and she enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. Dawn attends many continuing education classes and hair shows. She plans to pursue a teaching credential, and she currently works at a salon in central Pennsylvania.

Dawn writes regularly about beauty tips and trends, mostly for Web publications. Her course Introduction to Hair Color Theory & Techniques was written for the novice hairstylist; however, Dawn notes, hair color is a difficult concept for many new stylists to understand. Once she started writing the course, she realized that anyone could learn the basic concepts of hair structure and color application methods. So, even if you are not a stylist, hair color is an interesting process to learn about. The next time you visit your stylist, you can go with the confidence that you understand the process of hair color.

How to Participate in this Course

Enroll and start learning today! All course materials will be available when the class begins, so you don't have to wait for weekly lessons and you can truly learn at your own pace. You don't have to be online at any set time; study at your leisure from the comfort or your home or office.

The course curriculum will include tutorial lessons, suggested readings, and optional homework activities. If you are taking the class for enjoyment or self-enrichment, homework is optional but participation is encouraged. Students who approach online learning as an adventure and actively participate will derive the most benefit and enjoyment from online learning. Homework projects, if completed satisfactorily, will earn Extra Credit points which will be added to your Final Exam score and may increase the overall grade you earn in the course.

The Student Handbook provides useful information on how to make the most of your online learning experience at KSURF's Virtual University. Refer to this guide for helpful tips on how to access classrooms, post homework, and answers to most frequently asked questions.