Why you don’t Want or Need Ammonia in your Hair Color
by Hilton Bell
affects different people in different ways. I’ve seen this happen in salons time and time again.
Client Number One has her hair colored with a product that contains ammonia apparently without any side effects at all. Client Number Two has her hair colored using the same product and ends up with headaches, stinging eyes, trouble breathing or a nasty rash. Or ends up in bed feeling terrible.
I’ve talked with many hairdressers and hundreds of clients about this and the most common answer goes something like this: “It’s the price you have to pay if you want your hair colored”.
Often the clients will add “Thank goodness I don’t have to get it done every week”. Or “I figure every 6 or 8 weeks can’t do too much harm.”
But I say “If ammonia can affect our clients like this, then what about the hairdressers and colorists who are breathing it in every day?”
There’s plenty of information available about the adverse effects of ammonia. It’s no secret. Ask any doctor or check it out on the Internet. You’ll find statements like this:
“Inhalation of lower concentrations in the air or solution can cause coughing, and nose and throat irritation. It can also produce rapid skin or eye irritation. Ammonia’s odor provides adequate early warning of its presence, but ammonia also causes olfactory fatigue or adaptation, reducing awareness of one’s prolonged exposure at low concentrations”.
At the same time as ammonia is getting into your eyes and lungs, it’s getting into the cuticle of the hair. In fact the shaft of hair is starting to resemble Swiss cheese (see the photos below).
Ammonia not only negatively affects the cuticle of the hair, it also damages the amino acid or protein called Tyrosine which is found inside the hair shaft. Tyrosine is responsible for producing melanin (thepigment in the hair shaft).
When the Tyrosine is damaged, the hair’s ability to hold onto color is greatly reduced (or eliminated altogether). When you introduce color into the hair shaft without damaging the Tyrosine the color lasts longer because the color has something to bond to.
The main purpose of this web site isn’t to put down ammonia. It is to simply to inform professional hairdressers and colorists about a product that is readily available that doesn’t contain any ammonia at all. And at the same time gives better results.
Better color. No fading. Happier, healthier clients. And happier, healthier colorists.
Under The Microscope
The hair sample pictured on this page is from exactly the same natural hair (level 5 virgin hair). The top picture shows hair colored with Organic Color Systems’ color level 6 and Activator One (20 vol.).
The picture below shows the same hair colored with a leading manufacturer’s ammonia-based color, using a level 6 and the manufacturer’s corresponding 20 volume developer. Same hair, same level of color used, same (H2O2) Hydrogen Peroxide strength.
Click on either photo to load a larger version in a pop-up window.
You can clearly see the difference in these photographs. Organic Color Systems’ colors do not compromise the state of the hair’s cuticle, therefore, the shine and the length of time that the color lasts is superior to ammonia based colors.
The protein balance in the hair is also left intact so you don’t get unwanted warmth coming into the hair which also promotes the longevity of color.