Ammonia-Free Hair Color Lines

Ammonia-Free Hair Color

Ammonia in Hair Color Lines

Until recently, Organic Color Systems was compared to hair colors containing ammonia and the difference was obvious and easy to understand. As a result of the increasing number of non-ammonia hair colors coming onto the market it is important to understand the difference between the difference between each ammonia-free professional color line including Organic Color System. This evolution has caused a fundamental change in how salon professionals view hair dye.

To fully understand this it is vital to understand ammonia’s primary role in a hair color. This main function is to raise the pH of the hair sufficiently so as to open the cuticle and allow the color to enter the cortex of the hair.

Depending on the percentage of ammonia in each colour this can vary as to how high the pH of the hair is taken. The more ammonia there is in the product – the higher the pH of the hair.

It is an extremely effective method as the cuticle is generally opened to such an extent as to allow the color to flood into the cortex.

Unfortunately there are three main side effects to this method:

  1. At the same time that the color is flooding INTO the cortex – the protein and moisture of the hair is flooding OUT. This is how the hair is damaged during coloring.
  2. The pH of the hair is raised to such an extent by the ammonia that it is physically impossible to return it to its ideal pH after coloring. This means that the cuticle remains open, the hair continues to lose protein and moisture and there is also an increased risk of color fade.
  3. As a result of the cuticle remaining open the percentage of pigment in the color needs to be as high as possible. This is necessary as a relatively high percentage of color will be lost when rinsing off at the backwash.

More and more companies are now removing ammonia from their hair colors. This is commendable as ammonia is an extremely harsh chemical and doesn’t need to be in hair color. Unfortunately the vast majority of these colors have merely removed ammonia from the color and replaced it with an ingredient called ethanolamine.

There are no health concerns about ethanolamine, as long as the percentage used is reasonable – but the same three side effects mentioned above still apply. The rule that the more ammonia there is in the hair color – the higher the pH applies to ethanolamine as well.

All they have achieved is to remove ammonia from their colors – they haven’t managed to decrease the pH that these colors take the hair to.

The key difference with Organic Color Systems is that the base of the hair color (the main ingredient) is not only alkaline, so it raises the pH of the hair but it is also a conditioning agent so it softens the cuticle at the same time. This softening process means that Organic Color Systems is able to work at a far lower pH and is a far gentler way to color the hair.

As a result the three side effects mentioned above don’t apply to Organic Color Systems. Organic Color Systems contains cocamide, a naturally occurring fatty acid derived from coconut oil. It is used to increase the alkaline of the base to open the cuticle enough for the color to enter the cortex.

Beware of Ammonia-Free Lines That Are Really Not Ammonia Free

Many lines, including L'Oreal's popular INOA line, advertises ammonia-free hair color but actually includes ammonia in it's required pre or post shampoos. Note that the ingredient "ammonia hydroxide" is simply ammonia and water.

Organic Color Systems

Organic Color Systems is a professional, salon-only, permanent, ammonia-free hair color that does not contain parabens, formaldehyde, resorcinol, thiogycolates, sulfates, or plastics. It contains certified organic ingredients and is 100% Vegan and Cruelty Free as certified by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Organic Color Systems is exclusively distributed by Organic Salon Systems throughout the United States and Canada.

Hair Color without Ammonia

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Comments 5 comments

Salon Expert 6 years ago

It's great to see an actual hairdresser make a testimonial about a line in a video which actually looks unsolicited. This is even more true about an ammonia-free line. I have tried several ammonia-free hair color lines in my salon like L'Oreal's INOA and Mastey Teinture and they all seem to fall short on grey coverage, fading, and inconsistent or unpredictable color results. If this Organic Color Systems line performs well at all, then I would like to try it.

Jack Honoway 6 years ago

This is such an informative article. Ammonia free hair color is certainly the trend for the future of hair color!

scottmitchellfl profile image

scottmitchellfl 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida Author

Thanks Jack! It's rewarding to know that we are helping to raise the awareness of ammonia free hair color. Have an excellent NY!

Bj 5 years ago

How many color lines are made in the United States?

Hemant velaskar 17 months ago


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