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Bigen hair color is a water-activated, ammonia-free, permanent hair coloring powder that is formulated to take hair color a few shades darker. The Japanese hair coloring product darkens the hair by depositing color on the hair cuticle. Bigen 59 or "Oriental Black" is one of the darkest hair colors offered in this product line to enhance dark-colored locks.

Preparing the Skin and Hair

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Before using any form of hair color or dye, always perform a strand and skin test by placing a small amount of prepared product in a hidden area of the hair or skin. Skin and strand tests should be conducted at least 48 hours prior to use. This 48-hour window will give your hair and skin the opportunity to "react" to any irritants that may be in the dye. Strand testing will also allow you to see the anticipated color result. If you do not notice any skin irritation or unusual hair coloring effects, proceed with application. Otherwise, choose another hair darkening product.

Just before application, protect your hands with fitted rubber gloves and your clothing, neck and shoulder areas with a protective cape. Alternatively, you can drape your back and shoulders with an old, towel that you plan to throw away. You can also apply petroleum jelly or cold cream around your hairline and tops of ears to prevent product staining in these close-contact areas.

Preparing Bigen Powder Mix

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Pour your Bigen 59 powder into a non-metal, mixing bowl. These can be purchased at any local beauty supply store. Carefully pour in water pre-measured for your hair length and thickness. Mix the Bigen 59 powder thoroughly until the consistency is fluid and smooth. Typically, an entire bottle of Bigen powder will need to be mixed with water to cover shoulder-length hair. Two bottles may be needed for longer hair.

Bigen 59 Application

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Once mixed, the Bigen powder mixture should be applied immediately to the hair. Always comb the prepared mixture through the hair for even distribution. Since gray hair is often resistant to color, you should apply the Bigen powder mixture to the gray areas first, so these areas can process for a longer length of time.

Typical processing time is 20 to 30 minutes. Color checks should be performed throughout the process to measure desired color development. Simply swab color-treated hair with a cotton ball to determine color along the way.

Finishing Application

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Once hair has processed to the desired darkness, rinse the hair in cool water to help seal the cuticle and preserve the color. Rinsing hair in warm or hot water will cause deposit-only colors to "bleed" and rinse off easily. When the water runs clear, gently shampoo your hair with a moisturizing shampoo and rinse thoroughly. Follow moisturizing shampoo with a moisturizing conditioner and rinse in cool water.

About the Author

Audrey Sivasothy

Audrey Sivasothy, a Houston-based freelance writer, specializes in writing health, beauty, science, and policy pieces. She has published content for Turner and other clients for 4 years. She is currently writing a comprehensive hair care book on black/textured hair. Sivasothy holds a Bachelor of Science in health science/policy studies from Rice University.