INOA Hair Color

INOA Hair ColorINOA Hair Color (which stands for Innovative No Ammonia) is, according to its manufacturer L’Oreal, a revolutionary new hair color system that does not contain ammonia and has “supreme respect for the hair”.  While we are not accustomed to talking badly about competitive brands, we are particularly disturbed by the actions of this company with this specific product as their advertising and marketing practices for against the ethics and standards that we are proud to hold ourselves to. Because of this, we felt duty-bound to disclose some of the disturbing facts that are just beginning to be uncovered about this brand.Here are just a few issues that we feel warrant careful consideration and further examination before making a decision to carry this hair color line in your salon:

1.  The INOA Hair Color Line DOES Contain Ammonia:

A recent government review has not only revealed that the INOA Hair Color line does in fact contain ammonia, but also ordered L’Oreal to cease making the claim that their line has “no ammonia”.  In fact, INOA has multiple times the concentrations of PPD’s found in traditional hair color and more than 10X the amount of MEA (Monoethanolamine) found in some non-ammonia based hair colors.  This should not be surprising at all because according to Stacy Malkan, co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and author of Not Just a Pretty Face “it’s also worth noting that L’Oreal hair dyes commonly score a 10 for their high hazard level in Skin Deep.”

We find L’Oreal’s claims about INOA Hair Color to be dangerous as some women who may be pregnant, be recovering or current cancer patients, be allergic to or otherwise have adverse reactions to ammonia may seek out INOA Hair Color because of their false perceptions that the entire line is free of ammonia as their advertising indicates.

2.  L’Oreal INOA hair color, or a remarkably similar product, was previously sold in drugstores for almost 12% of its current cost:

In March of 2010, L’Oreal abruptly discontinued their popular and affordable non-ammonia hair color that was retailed for at home use which was heavily marketing under the brand Nature Match. Interestingly, that is the same month they launched their INOA hair color. A quick comparison of the ingredients list for Nature Match Hair Color and INOAHair Color will quickly reveal that the products have basically the same ingredients except for a single fragrance and conditioning agent. What’s the biggest difference between the two products? Nature Match retailed for about $3.99 per application and INOA Hair Color is sold to salon professionals for about $24 per application.

3.  INOA Hair Color is Cumbersome, Limiting, Stifling, and Time Consuming to Apply:

According to a recent article on from the American Board of Certified Hair Colorists, INOA was found to take 3X longer to mix and another 3X longer to apply than another leading color brand.  This is a due to a number of factors including the small (and very non-eco-friendly) tube packaging, the requirement of mixing a separate oil ingredient, as well as the fundamental poor consistency of the INOA hair color.  In the test, conducted by the American Board of Certified Hair Colorsist, the entire mixing and application process for INOA Hair Color is almost 19 minutes while the same process only took approximately 7 minutes with another leading color brand.

Interestingly, the same article noted that the consistency of INOA Hair Color would make it difficult to accomplish a single application with 4 ounces of color.

Finally, with truly-professional hair color lines like Organic Color Systems, stylists are able to express their artistry and truly unleash their creativity in their hair color which provides an excellent platform for differentiating their services.  With Organic Color Systems, colorists have 67 intermixable colors, intensifiers, and concentrates available to them as well as a range of pharmaceutical-grade activators with varying consistencies and volumes. Whereas INOA Hair Color and their limited and stifling tube dispensing system where colorists are unable to uniquely individualize their art.  INOA Hair Color is more for the colorist who wants to safely “Paint by numbers” where Organic Color Systems is for the truly professional hair colorist.

4.  Very poor performance of INOA Hair Color has been reported by both salon professionals and clients, especially after the second application:

Online reviews of INOA Hair Color will reveal that both hairstylists and clients have indicated significant problems with color fading off tone, grey coverage, and “inconsistent and unreliable results”. The American Board of Certified Hair Colorists found that INOA Hair Color exhibited “significant fading” and that their were “mixed results” when it came to grey coverage.  They also concluded that the INOA Hair Color produced a “corse cuticle” and “became increasingly difficult to comb the hair the more it was exposed to the sun”.

Online reviews about INOA Hair Color also consistently indicated it that had a strong tendency to damage the hair on the second application of the product and even more with further applications.  Also, their were several indications of significant scalp irritation which seems to be consistent with the unexpected ammonia contents in some of the lines products.

5.  L’Oreal INOA Hair Color is not an organic, natural, cruelty-free, or eco-friendly product:

Clearly signified by the neon glowing orb that is INOA Hair Color halmark logo, INOA is not an organic, natural, cruelty-free, or eco-friendly product. INOA Hair Color contains multiple times the amount of PPD (Paraphenylenediamine)  contained in other hair colors and more than 10X the levels of MEA (Monoethanolamine).  While these ingredients are required to provide an exceptional and permanent result, it is generally considered to be in the best interest of both the client’s and stylist’s health to minimize both.

While L’Oreal has made great strides in improving their animal testing policies in recent years, their track record or animal testing has not been favorable with many consumers throughout the United States and the rest of the world boycotting their products for this very reason. Even today L’Oreal’s practice of not testing final products on animals but, but excluding individual ingredients from this practice, simply aggravates many animal rights activists who are against the practices of cruel and unnecessary testing on innocent animals.

The INOA hair color packaging is not efficient or eco-friendly as the tubes are small and produce a lot of waste.  As salons professionals and clients become more and more conscious about preserving the environment, such wast has been becoming increasingly unappealing.

Maintaining high levels of product integrity is among the most important core values at Organic Salon Systems which we feel shines through in our Organic Color Systems line.  From our cruelty-free and vegan certification from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), our comprehensive range of salon products that are 100% ammonia-free and contain no SLS, thioglycolates, parabens, resorcinol, or formaldehyde, or all of the Certified Organic Ingredients in the products throughout our range; the integrity of our products is apparent and as important to us as their superior performance.

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