La scienza del Colore

The 14th edition of the Congress of the International Color Association AIC 21 has just ended . The most important and authoritative event in the world on the study of color which involved the five continents in a unique multidisciplinary digital event. Scientists, artists, researchers and professionals from a wide range of sectors met to explore scientific and cultural themes of human activity in which color intervenes or assumes a prominent place. The program was extensive and had an exceptional number of speakers. 260 papers were presented, divided into 32 thematic sessions.

The AIC Congress takes place every 4 years, like a sort of Color Science Olympics . This 14th edition was hosted in Italy by the Italian Color Association and the University of Milan.

This year, for the first time in the history of the AIC Congress, a Special Session dedicated to Beauty has been included: INNOVATION AND RESEARCH IN COLOR FOR BEAUTY CARE AND HAIRSTYLE, organized by a scientific committee composed of Professor Alessandro Rizzi of the University of Milan, by Christine Fernadez-Maloigne of the University of Poitiers and by Helene de Clermont-Gallerande R&D Chanel.

Cosmetics is a very important field of application for color and is a fundamental part of our society. The formulation of decorative cosmetics, where color is fundamental, involves various sectors of Cosmetology, from Make-up, to Nail, to Hair coloring.

The Special Session dedicated to Beauty opened the work of the congress with 14 speakers who ranged from the colored textures of the lipsticks, to the colors dedicated to the skin and foundations, up to a session entirely dedicated to hair coloring , in which I participated together with the our Research and Development division, presenting 5 works.

For years I have been approaching academic research to promote scientific insights in the field of hair coloring, a young and very complex science, partly still unexplored.

Hair color is a key element of a person’s identity especially for the female universe. The way people feel about hair color is intimate and unique and involves cultural, social, psychological and anthropological aspects. Each nuance conveys its own personality, its own aesthetic sense, the desire for change, the mood, the desire to play and look younger. For very young girls it is an accessory to be exhibited like make-up.

In Italy, 67% of women between 15 and 75 years of age dye their hair 6-8 times a year, and of these 50% go to a professional.

In hairdressing salons, color represents the core business and is one of the services with the highest performance and highest turnover.

Despite the high potential of the coloring service, there is a very high percentage of dissatisfaction and disappointment with respect to the expectations on the part of the consumer.

In the work I presented at the AIC 21 Congress: Hair Coloring and Customer Satisfaction,I analyzed the reasons for this dissatisfaction with the help of the most authoritative scientists and experts in the world of national and international color to investigate where the short circuits between expectation and result are generated and where the misunderstandings between operator and customer arise. Some causes emerged mainly attributable to the lack of appropriate training on the part of professionals during their path in the Italian Vocational Training Centers. Added to this is the non-academic approach based on habits, the lack of attention to the importance of adequate lights in the technical workstations, the lack of detection of the incidence of color blindness, the habit of cosmetic companies to determine in a totally subjective way the tone heights, the use of non-standard color charts,

Nel settore professionale dei capelli l’approccio scientifico al colore e alla luce è quasi inesistente. A parte qualche informazione relativa alla miscelazione dei pigmenti e a qualche cenno su additività e sottrattività, non troviamo nulla sull’apparenza cromatica e sulla misurazione del colore.  Questo dà ampio spazio ad una riprogettazione della formazione e alla costruzione di un metodo oggettivo per misurare il colore che sia in grado di controllare il più possibile tutto ciò che fa variare l’apparenza.

Come ho dimostrato nel mio articolo, le soluzioni ci sono e partono proprio dalla conoscenza e dalla formazione. Su questo punto mi sto spendendo con tutte le mie forze. Con l’inizio del nuovo anno scolastico, il 6 Ottobre verrà inaugurato il primo Poliestetico di Milano, una nuova categoria accademica che punterà a formare a un livello avanzato gli operatori del futuro, guidandoli in una nuova avanguardia professionale: professionisti consapevoli del valore culturale del loro mestiere e dell’importanza di quello che fanno per l’identità e il benessere delle persone.

La formazione scientifica sul colore nel Poliestetico avrà un posto preminente, non solo attraverso gli approfondimenti scientifici ma anche attraverso l’ausilio di strumenti innovativi introdotti nella didattica. Inoltre da ottobre il Poliestetico di Milano erogherà un corso IFTS per TECNICO DEL COLORE NELL’INDUSTRIA COSMETICA, al quale potranno accedere non solo i ragazzi in possesso di Diploma di Istruzione Secondaria Superiore ma anche chi è in possesso di Diploma Professionale di tecnico conseguito nei percorsi di IeFP. Il corso della durata sdi 1000 ore è stato progettato in collaborazione con l’Università di Milano, l’Istituto Tecnico Industriale Pino Hensemberger e l’IIT – Liceo Scientifico E.Molinari, ed avrà al suo attivo docenti di altissimo livello tecnico scientifico.

La partecipazione al Congresso dell’International Color Association AIC 21 è stato davvero un’esperienza intensa e stimolante, un’occasione per sondare aspetti del colore che solitamente rimangono nell’ombra ma che sono fondamentali per comprendere la profondità artistica, antropologica, psicologica e sociale che racchiude questo mondo. Ho potuto assistere a lectio magistraliswonderful, first of all the intervention of the great Vittorio Storaro, one of the most important cinematographers in the world, winner of three Oscars for Apocalypse Now, Reds and The Last Emperor, who was awarded the GdC Color Award by the ‘AIC. It was exciting to hear which studies precede each single choice of light and colors and to see the sources of inspiration that determined the emotional writing of the films that Storaro worked on. A spearhead of Italian cinema in the world. A great master of emotional calligraphy.

A heartfelt thanks to all speakers.

See you next chromatic adventure!