Is it all in the brain?

The concept of colour and how we see it can be a confusing one.

There are many times that I have had a difference of opinion when discussing colour with someone.

For example: are tennis balls green or yellow, is the sea blue or turquoise, is that copper colour orange or red?

It’s not all about the language, though a lot of the time that can be the case, especially when speaking to clients about hair colour. 

There are so many interpretations, how brown is brown, is that blonde golden or a butter blonde and what exactly is warm?

Colour is in the eye of the beholder, yep it isn’t just beauty!! 

And so is a personal preference. 

We actually see colour from the neocortex – the part of the brain that deals with language, movement and problem solving.

White light that is all around us is made up of all the colours in the visible spectrum – to us humans that is all the colours in the rainbow 🌈 (There are other colours such as Xray and Ultraviolet but our eyes can’t pick them up).

Colour is a light reflection that stimulates the eye, the colours in the visible spectrum vary in length from long, medium and short and so what actually happens is when light hits an object, such as a yellow block, that block will absorb all the short wavelengths and all other wavelengths will reflect back to the eye and that stimulation is sent to the neocortex and the image will be yellow.

This will be determined because of what material (or the size of the molecules) that block is made of. 

That’s right colour that we see is actually wavelengths that stimulate the part of the eye that then sends this information to the brain.

Hold on… that means the eye doesn’t see colour at all, the brain picks up the stimulation and turns it into an idea of colour and so that idea can be slightly different for each individual.

How does this affect hair colourists? 

If the consultation is thorough enough, there will be a mutual agreement on what colour that client “sees” and the final result will be perfect.

So next time you say butter blonde make sure the client agrees with your idea of this colour.

Big Love

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