June 27, 2010

Ammonia in Hair Color /Facts Talk… B/S walks

Ammonia Friend or Foe?

Ammonia, the big bad chemical of hair color, is what they would have you believe. I have been explaining this one for years, and am going to give it one more shot, in light of the recent entry to hair color L’Oreal’s Non-Ammonia Hair Color ….INOA. To me? I feel the entire issue is just a misunderstanding and the very low rating of the current professional hair color by L’Oreal used the misunderstanding to introduce this new line and give it a (hopeful) boost in the race of Professional Hair color lines. Waiting until the initial flurry of advertising, analyzing,  and reviewing was over with, I’m ready to give you the exact same report as I predicted.
Style: "Neutral"
To begin with (as I always do) I went to purchase and run it through some of my own personal tests, that have showed me over the years how reliable they are.  I look for a well balanced (violet-based) “blond”, great Gray coverage, 1 gorgeous brunette with the more color selections –in both LEVELS and TONES - -the better.
The Color Line I am reviewing must have certain ingredients in the accompanying “developers” > that (to me) is a sign the company “gets it” as far as quality and how hair color affects the hair’s health. The ingredients I feel must be in the developers are mandatory for moisturizing, conditioning, and lipid-replacement during the hair-coloring ‘development process’. This is the one and only time the cuticle of the hair is open -- THE ONE  AND ONLY > > > TIME! ( so you may change the internal structure of the hair – whether it be for ‘re-conditioning’ or ‘re-coloring’ even ‘re-moisturizing’ by using a premium Developer

Too many hair stylists {to save money} will purchase giant drums of cheap Developer and then put that developer in the “other” Premium bottles. Just like they do with ketchup in restaurants ( my daughter told me they fill up Heinz ketchup bottles with giant vats of crappy ketchup-) same difference. You know what is even MORE embarrassing ? Sassoon had us do that in Academy, it was one of the first things we learned - - how to dilute developer down. 

Sassoon was an Academy, it did not have “repeat clientele” we did everyone’s hair once. So there was a lot for me to learn about managing my own hair color business, once I got out on my own. Sassoon did not care about the health or strength of a clients hair, because they never experienced the ramifications by clients complaining about the condition of their hair.

THAT CHANGED when I went on my own. . . with the clientele I acquired in Malibu, California…my number #1 GOAL needed to be the health of the hair. These people were back in my chair 4-5-6 weeks later and on-going for years… so that was something I had to construct myself, I wanted it to be the best in the business. I used to tell my clients, I didn’t ‘need’ business cards for my hair work. THEY were my business cards - - what better business card than a walking 3-D one?!

 I would get more referrals from random people asking my clients who did their hair, that was always the highest compliment, in my book.

The whole Ammonia – in….Ammonia – out controversy started 10 years back, at that time I was not educated in Cosmetic Chemistry, and what chemicals and ingredients do ‘what’ to the hair. When I went to purchase L’Oreal’s INOA, they wouldn't sell it to me……..why? You are required to take a “class” in order to purchase it…they wouldn’t even sell it to me! I was furious, I told them………..GOLDWELL tried that 6-7 years back with their color called ELUMEN.
Do you see ELUMEN on the shelves now?
No you don’t  - - - - -  that little trick doesn’t work

Colorists of the upper caliber – whom are the ones that will give your line the publicity it needs to become popular…don’t have time to take a $25.00 class (PLUS - they want to charge you to take a class in order to purchase this new color product they are trying to launch !) – are you kidding me?! After looking it over and reading some of the literature… there was HUGE RED #2 :
So for that to be  part of its secrets . . . well, that is not a good one.
What is ammonia? what does it do in hair color?
Ammonia has LLLLLLong been used in permanent hair coloring.
  Ammonia sets the stage for the hair color to penetrate the hair strand by opening up the surface of the hair strand so that the dye can get through.Then, it effectively LIFTS OUT THE NATURAL HAIR PIGMENT so that the artificial hair color molecules can penetrate and deposit. That’s when you see the new shade, so essentially, ammonia is largely responsible for hair color’s ability to alter hair tone – without washing out.
What is ammonia-free color and how does it work?80603836
Any hair color without ammonia most commonly contains MEA ( mono-ethanolamine ). MEA is effective at performing the first step of a color application – OPENING the cuticle. However, because the MEA molecule is 3.5 times larger than ammonia, it cannot penetrate the hair as effectively. So, in my opinion, I feel it cannot be as efficient at lifting the natural hair color OUT-OF-THE- Hair Strand & depositing the artificial hair color deep into the strand. 3.5 times bigger in a molecule is more than enough to render it not NEARLY as effective. Covering gray will not be nearly as long lasting, sufficient lightening {required to produce amazing blond and red shades} will just not be there.
Having tried MEA in a few hair color tests a few years back, I noticed that it didn’t rinse out of the hair as well either, which led to progressive darkening and dulling.
beautiful long straight hair
Ammonia has a distinctive odor, which if you ask me. . . is the true objection to it. Personally, I like the ingredient that WORKS…the one that allow me to achieve the tone of hair color I am seeking and leaving the hair in good condition. I have always found ammonia to do the best job in achieving the proper tones – mainly because of the size of the molecule. The molecules must shrink to go “inside”…if they are too big - - they all will not fit. There is a layer of “common sense” here to hair coloring.
ALL Permanent Hair Color and Demi Permanent Hair Color consists of:
  • an oxidant
  • alkalizer
  • Dye
and that’s it.
Damage that may happen during the hair color process is caused by free radicals formed when the alkalizer reacts with the oxidant. Ammonia and MEA are both alkalizers.
One of the known problems of MEA is how hard it is to get it out of the hair strands when the color process is finished. One of the reasons for that “extra- training” they claim we need ? ? ? To explain how important it is that we not only rinse well, but shampoo TWICE with a Special shampoo that will be sure to get the MEA out of the hair strands, followed by 2 RINSES.
Knowing that, the most appropriate type of hair color for the MEA Alkalizer? Demi permanent.
When it comes to permanent hair color {which includes all blonds of any hue} In all tests I have studied, scientists have reported ammonia-based formulas provide longer-lasting color, more intense vibrancy, and superior gray coverage. As long as that are the results, I know for a fact, that anyone that has ever sat in my chair, cares more about 2 things:
  1. The end outcome of the hair color
  2. The health of their hair after it
10 out of 10, have never questioned ‘how’ I got their hair color to that point. If its healthy, that shows them I cared enough to make sure the hairs health was also in the equation.
                                                               Level 7 brow n wella
2 comments on "Ammonia in Hair Color /Facts Talk… B/S walks"
  1. interesting.
    i notice INOA has upgraded their formula-2012.i know this cos my salon didnt want to restock it.but neglected to tell me,i found out by a trainee hairwasher!.my hair gets brittle and snaps,falls out if use normal full ammonia color.
    u so right.it pays to pay extra at good salon.
    i just realised last year that some colorists subsitite cheap products.
    if using new salon casually ask to use bathroom when they mixing yr color look at their mixing setup, look at the tubes etc.cheers

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