Debunking (some of) the myths about organic and/or ammonia-free color
Lately we have been getting requests and questions about organic and/or ammonia-free hair color. Unfortunately, some manufacturers can be very misleading in their description and information. I spoke to some of my stylists and did some research on my own to find out the truth.
One of the first things I discovered was, I COULD NOT FIND ANY COMPLETELY ORGANIC COLOR LINES. Many color lines that claim to be organic, use organic and natural ingredients but almost all of them use active ingredients or chemicals that were synthesized in a lab. Therefore using the term “organic” to describe them would be a stretch from what most of us consider the definition of “organic.”
1. Of, relating to, or derived from living matter
2. Of, relating to, or denoting compounds containing carbon (other than simple binary compounds and salts) and chiefly or ultimately of biological origin
3. (of food or farming methods) Produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial agents
4. Of or relating to a bodily organ or organs
5. (of a disease) Affecting the structure of an organ
6. Denoting a relation between elements of something such that they fit together harmoniously as necessary parts of a whole
7. Characterized by continuous or natural development
The only truly organic color available is henna. However, there are many different types of henna: “natural” henna – only stains a rich, red brown, “neutral” henna – does not contain any henna and is used to condition, and “black” henna – indigo mixed with henna to dye hair black but may contain p-phenylenediamine (PPD) that can cause severe allergic reactions and permanent scarring. So if you do decide to use henna, please do the proper research to find one that is safe and meets your needs. Also, remember that henna reacts differently with everyone.
Another common misunderstanding is ammonia-free hair color. Ammonia is a chemical agent that provides alkalinity and raises the pH of hair color. It swells the hair, opening the hair cuticle and allowing more of the hair color to penetrate into the hair shaft. The deeper the hair color penetrates, the richer and more permanent the hair color. Ammonia also aids peroxide used to lighten hair as well. Recently, there has been a growing trend in ammonia-free color. However, most of the hair color labeled as ammonia-free contain other chemical agents similar and related to ammonia such as monoethanolamine (MEA) or aminomethylpropanol (AMP). These chemical agents do not open the hair cuticle as much and generally do not have the same results as hair color containing ammonia. They are less volatile but if you are sensitive to ammonia, you should conduct a skin test before using them by applying a small amount of product somewhere on your skin for 48 hours. Both monoethanolamine (MEA) or aminomethylpropanol (AMP) have not been used for a long period of time in hair color, making it difficult to predict their long-term safety. And based on most scientific evidence available, ammonia can be used safely when used according to instructions and under normal salon conditions without posing any serious health risks.
All hair color containing ammonia have differently levels – varying by manufacturer and different colors. Generally speaking, permanent color has more ammonia than demi-permanent color or glazes which do not contain any ammonia. To find out which would be most suitable for your hair and skin type as well as your needs, I suggest making a complimentary color consult with one of my stylist by contacting us at 212.496.1530 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer many different, carefully chosen lines of hair color to suit different hair types and needs – including some with very low ammonia levels.
I hope this post helps to clarify some of the misconceptions about hair color.Signed by Robert