Ammonia and hydrogen peroxide are important ingredients in hair color because they are both chiefly instrumental in keeping the hair color for a longer duration. Without these chemicals, hair color will fade off after a few shampoos. Ammonia is usually included only in permanent hair dyes.
Temporary hair dyes are generally ammonia-free. Even the hydrogen peroxide contained in semi permanent hair color is of low concentration. Ammonia-free, low peroxide content hair color usually lasts for about a month and a half.
In actuality there are four basic ingredients of hair dye that are low in popularity. They are ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, lauryl sulfates and alcohol. In hair color products however, the first two substances are more commonly used.
Hydrogen peroxide is used in permanent hair color. Permanent hair color attempts to change the color of the hair by penetrating to the center of the hair shaft. It will pass through the outer hair layer and move into the inner regions and acquire a state of stability that it will neither flow out again nor react with the basic composition of the hair shaft. Hydrogen peroxide is an essential and inevitable ingredient in most hair products.
Harmful effects: Hydrogen peroxide, if used in large quantities has a corrosive effect. Harmful side effects of the nervous system, digestive system and respiratory organs were apparent when hydrogen peroxide was tested on animals (more than three decades ago). Further testing on animals has also indicated the possibility of both damage to the DNA and cancer due to inordinate exposure to hydrogen peroxide.
Ammonia is usually an important ingredient in permanent hair color. Ammonia has the capability to penetrate tot eh center of the hair shaft to commence the coloring process. Once the outer layer of the hair has been penetrated by ammonia, it is usually seen that the hair does not return to its original quality. One advantage of this is that fine hair too appears thick after an ammonia treatment.
Harmful effects: Once the outer layer of the hair is penetrated to allow the ammonia into the hair shafts, hair becomes rough and brittle with a tendency to tangle easily. This eventually leads to split ends, weakening of hair, hair break and hair loss.
Other allergies caused by ammonia are irritation of eyes, itching in the scalp and unexplained coughing. Low ammonia content in hair color is always a healthy option and ammonia free products are advised for pregnant women and those with cancer.
Hair color products that are ammonia free, containing low peroxide
- Clairol’s Herbal Essences (1) Bold ‘n Brilliant Color Gel (2) Loving Care (3) True Intense Color Gel
- L’Oreal (1) Natural Match No-Ammonia Color-Calibrated Crème Hair Color (2) Castings ColorSpa
- Schwarzkopf (1) Country Colors (2) Live Color
- Revlon Frost and Glow (1) Highlighting Kit (2) Blonding Kit
- Revlon Color Silk Permanent Hair Color
- Naturtint range of gentle