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What's the truth about Ammonia?

“Ammonia Free” or “Organic Hair Color”

These are marketing terms that make you think that hair color is edible and healthy.

As a hair colorist for 30 years, I have spent a lot of time and money learning the science behind color. One of the things I’ve learned is: manufacturers tell lies.

I know that sounds a bit harsh, or maybe they are just not telling us the whole truth.

The science of hair color requires mixing ammonia + peroxide + dyes = hair color.

If mixed properly with quality dyes, you get the optimal effects without damaging your hair. However, box color is a one-size-fits-all color. It’s like saying someone with blond hair and someone with black hair will get the same results out of the same box hair color….you just know that is not going to work! Don’t get me wrong, if you are happy with your box color, it fits you! However, this is not always the case - that is why custom blending with the correct peroxide, like you get in a salon, fits with Della Ricca’s custom color system.

Let’s take organic hair color: the image we have are plants and flowers going into your hair making it stronger than it was before. Unfortunately this is not the case…..the molecules are too big! We need color to go inside the hair shaft, and to do so it needs to be tiny! Thus man-made cream tiny pigment is the best option. (I’ll talk about cream vs liquid hair color in my next blog). Now how do you get them in there? That’s where the ammonia comes in. Ammonia is natural; it’s a gas. It smells bad, but it dissipates into the air as it leaves the hair strand, allowing the tiny pigments mixed with the appropriate peroxide to go deep into the hair strand, leaving your hair in great shape and the desired color! However, color companies are now replacing ammonia with something man-made (MEA’s), calling the color “Ammonia Free” – well, it’s still doing the same thing as ammonia, however, it stays in the hair and keeps causing damage. That’s right!

The natural ammonia is better for your hair than the man-made ammonia they replaced it with. If your ends keep getting darker after you colored your hair, that is why.

Hope I didn’t get too sciency here and I hope this helps you understand some of the confusing marketing terms being used out there.

Keeping it simple is organic.

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