Hair stylists long believed that ammonia was absolutely necessary to artificially color hair with lasting results. Ammonia is a harmful chemical that damages hair and leaves it dry and unhealthy. However, natural, more gentle solutions have grown in popularity in recent years.
Herb UK, A small company in England, has produced an organic solution to hair coloring that has been available in the US since 2002. It is known as Organic Color Systems (OCS) and is available in a range of 65 colors. The base of OCS is alkaline, which raises the pH of the hair, allowing color to enter, but it also conditions and softens hair. It does not destroy the tyrosine, which creates the melanin that give your hair its natural color, in the cuticles of the hair, so the artificial coloring can bond to it and remain vibrant over time. Not only is the active compound monoethanolamine safer and less damaging, it is also odorless. This means that your salon visit will be much more pleasant, and your hair will be much easier to style and keep healthy.
L’Oreal Professionnel has recently entered the non-ammonia game, as well, with their INOA (Innovation No Ammonia) coloring system. An oily mixture containing dye molecules and monoethanolamine is applied to dry hair where the dye bonds with the moisture within each cuticle and escapes the oily substance. This allows the hair to be colored and conditioned at the same time. The vice president for marketing at L’Oreal, Peter Schiraldi, says that INOA delivers “vibrant color, great coverage and maintain[s] the condition of the hair prior”. This is really important because L’Oreal has the potential to inform and educate their vast audience of women about the importance of non ammonia based dyes.
These natural and gentle hair dyes present a very compelling alternative to ammonia based treatments. With the added benefits of softer, healthier hair and an odorless application, before long, non ammonia treatments will be the norm for salons across the country. The next time you visit your stylist, ask about non ammonia hair dyes and the benefits to your hair and health.
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