Posted by in News | September 10, 2013

There’s been a lot of debate about ammonia in hair colours. I delved into a fair bit of research when I changed over to our new colours so I want to share what I have learnt and hopefully put some myths to bed…………..

Many colour companies are formulating ammonia free hair colours to keep in line with trends. I was going to go with an ammonia free hair colour system until I read some information.  Although they were telling the truth and their products did not contain ammonia, it was what they contained instead that was surprising. Much like taking sugar or fat out of food, the lack of ammonia needs to be replaced with something. In order for a permanent colour to penetrate, the cuticles of the hair must be opened. This is what ammonia does. It swells the cuticle, allowing colour to penetrate and colour the hair so its a fairly important ingredient and one that needs to be substituted in order for a colour to effectively lighten or cover grey hair.

This begs the question – what do they substitute it with?

The ammonia substitute that most of the ammonia free colours use is a chemical which actually falls into the same family as ammonia. So it is almost ammonia anyway, it just has a different name. Maybe the substitute chemical is better for you? Or maybe they use less of it? Surely they can’t say something is ammonia free and then load it up with a whole host of other chemicals? Unfortunately as the saying goes, if something is too good to be true, it probably is!

The problem lies in the fact that ammonia is the best chemical to do the job of swelling the cuticle. Any other chemical used as a substitute has to be used in a greater quantity to have the effect that ammonia has. This is the reason why ammonia has long been used for this job –  because it’s the chemical which does the best job in the lowest concentration. The other bonus with ammonia is that it’s a gas so the fumes and chemical load disperse after a few minutes. The substitute chemicals do not.

So this is why I chose not to go with an ammonia free system and to rather go for a system which contains the least possible amount of ammonia. Pravana is our new colour company and we are loving the colours! The concentration is less than 2% ammonia which is a lot less than most other brands and a hell of a lot less of a chemical load than the “ammonia free colours”.To alter the colour in your hair, you must understand that some form of chemical reaction needs to take place. So bearing that in mind, isn’t it better to minimise these chemicals rather than use something with no ammonia but with twice the chemical load of ammonia?