What is the difference between ammonia and ammonia-free hair color?
Posted: Dec 13 2016
Dying our hair is a much more technical process that you may think, and sometimes figuring out the differences between various hair coloring options can be pretty confusing. One substance that tends to lend itself to certain confusion is ammonia, so here are some tips to help you understand ammonia-based hair coloring.
To understand the process of hair coloring we should first understand what purpose ammonia serves in the products. Hair coloring is a process that happens via chemical reaction, in which ammonia serves as the agent that allows the hair follicles to swell. When the hair is swollen, it becomes much more absorbent, which allows it to soak in hair dye. This absorption is what makes it possible for deeper and longer lasting coloring to happen, because the color is deeply connected to the hair from the inside out. Ammonia also aids in the lightening of hair because it works with the melanin and natural hair color while it undergoes the chemical reaction process. Because the ammonia molecule is small, it vanishes very quickly. This quick vaporization is the cause for the strong smell that occurs when dying your hair. The composition of this molecule also allows for effortless, fast, and clean washing when it's time to remove the coloring agents.
Despite its long-lasting effect, ammonia has many side effects, which has made a number of companies developing ammonia free hair dyes and colors. Here are some scientific studies conducted in recent years regarding hair coloring products.
Over 5,000 different chemicals are used in hair dye products, some of which are reported to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing) in animals. Because so many people use hair dyes, scientists have tried to determine whether exposure to the chemicals in hair coloring products is associated with an increased risk of cancer in people.
In 2007, the European Commission banned more than 20 hair dye ingredients after a study at the University of Southern California linked hair dyes to bladder cancer. Yet these products continue to be sold in the U.S. Additionally, over the years, some epidemiologic (population) studies suggested that there is an increased risk of bladder cancer in hairdressers and barbers.
Another study shows that women who have been coloring their hair with permanent dark or red dyes before 1980 have 40% higher risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cancer of the lymph system.
A 2008 report of the Working Group of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that some of the chemicals these workers are exposed to occupationally are “probably carcinogenic to humans”.
Interesting fact: Many people in the United States and Europe use hair dyes. It is estimated that more than one-third of women over age 18 and about 10 percent of men over age 40 use some type of hair dye.
Admittedly, these studies are indefinite. Some studies have declared hair dyes to be safe for occasional users, while others show that only hairdressers and barbers could be at elevated risk of health problems from continued exposure to dyes. Still, I reflect concerns like this as important, and I think you have to, as well. You're as of now being attacked by a large number of chemicals noticeable all around - in water, air, food, and substantial number of them are untested. Is it a good idea to intensify the issue with adding more chemicals? And here’s a news flash for anyone who thinks hair dye affects only your hair—not true! Many of the ingredients in personal-care products can be inhaled or enter your body when applied to your scalp. After all, that’s how “patch” medicines work, and that’s why hairdressers wear gloves—and sometimes even goggles—when applying hair products.
Types of hair dyes
Hair dyes vary greatly in their chemical make-up. People are exposed to the chemicals in hair dyes through skin contact. There are 3 main types of hair dyes:
Temporary dyes: These dyes cover the surface of the hair but don’t penetrate into the hair shaft. They generally last for 1 to 2 washes.
Semi-permanent dyes: These dyes do penetrate into the hair shaft. They typically last for up to 5 to 10 washes.
Permanent (oxidative) hair dyes: These dyes cause lasting chemical changes in the hair shaft. They are the most popular types of hair dyes, because the color changes last until the hair is replaced by new growth. These dyes are sometimes referred to as coal-tar dyes because of some of the ingredients in them. They contain colorless substances such as aromatic amines and phenols. In the presence of hydrogen peroxide, these substances go through chemical reactions to become dyes. Darker hair dyes tend to use more of these coloring agents.
Concern about cancer risk is largely attributed to the semi-permanent and permanent dyes. Because darker dyes have more of some chemicals that may cause cancer, these products are of greatest potential concern. That is why many companies have started developing temporary hair dyes, shampoos and creams. They allow people to strengthen their hair color as well as experiment when desired. A perfect example is Victoria Beauty’s Ammonia-free Hair Color Shampoo.
Victoria Beauty Hair Color Shampoo is a new product offered by BeautyShed.ca that aims at providing customers with a quick, easy and harmless alternative to hair dyes. It is offered in 24 different colors and applying it is as easy as the name suggests – apply on washed hair like you would with shampoo. It only takes between 20 and 45 minutes, and the color lasts for up to 8 washes. This is a perfect example of a product that allows consumers to experiment without any harmful side effects.