What you need to know about Ammonia

If you plan on having the color of your hair changed the next time you visit a salon, make sure to talk to your stylist about the chemicals involved. Many hair dyes and hair dying techniques rely on ammonia to open up your shafts of hair to allow different colors to permeate the hair. Recently, however, the producers of hair care products have started moving away from using ammonia, a dangerous chemical, as an ingredient.




The primary role of ammonia in dye is to open the cuticle layer of hair to allow for new pigmentation. The pH of the hair is increased by the ammonia and the cuticle swells according to how much ammonia is in the dye. Another function of the ammonia is to neutralize your hair’s natural pigments. This is accomplished by mixing the ammonia with peroxide. However, the artificial pigment count must be very high, so the ammonia-peroxide mix doesn’t neutralize it, as well.


Because the chemical blasts open the hair, it is irreparably damaged. Your hair may be a different color, but your hair won’t be healthy enough to be styled efficiently. When the dye is swelling the cuticles of your hair, proteins and moisture are released, which is why your hair feels dry and brittle afterwards. Also, because the pH levels are raised so much, they cannot return to normal. This means that as long as your hair is colored, there will be continued protein and moisture loss. The artificial coloring will fade for the same reason, as well as the fact that tyrosine, the protein that produces the melanin responsible for naturally coloring your hair, is destroyed. This means that the artificial color has nothing to bond to.


Not only does ammonia seriously damage your hair, it is potentially very harmful to you and your stylist’s health. Ammonia exposure has been shown to irritate and burn the ears, nose and throat, as well as cause severe coughing and choking. If ammonia is accidentally mixed with bleach, the results are disastrous. The combination of these chemicals produces toxic chlorine gas. This gas will seriously harm and possibly kill those exposed to it.


There are very serious risks associated with the use of ammonia in hair salon products. Thankfully there are natural, more beneficial alternatives to ammonia based hair dyes. When you visit your salon, ask about non ammonia based permanent hair coloring.



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About Benoté Salon

Benoté Salon in Shreveport is not just a salon - it's an experience! With a welcoming atmosphere, we're committed to healthy, beautiful hair. We are located at: 3650 Youree Drive St 1, Shreveport, Louisiana 71105. Contact us today! (318) 828-2437 View all posts by Benoté Salon

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