Career member colorists here on our page have a very deep interest in how hair color works.
I listen ALOT! Speaking with our members here, with chemists, and with color experts
who communicate directly with chemists, in manufacturer labs. Let's discuss "lift" which is really the only "permanent' effect of permanent hair color.
Any color product that has the ability to lighten the hair's natural color, is ALKALINE in
nature. This property allows the color molecules to interact with the developer and to
soften and penetrate into the hair's cortex (where natural color melanin is located). For
many years, salons could rely upon permanent hair color and hair lighteners to do
everything... as no real semi or demi permanent colors existed. Clients enjoyed their
new lighter or brighter shade, but accepted the uncomfortable presence of ammonia
"fragrance".... Let's face it..... NOT PRETTY!
Smart manufacturers decided to create 'non-ammonia" hair color... wonderful (my opinion) to create just enough alkalinity for a liquid or creme semi or demi color the ability to penetrate
and to cling to both the outside of the cortex and the inside of the cuticle.
REMEMBER THIS: "Non-Ammonia" does not mean "super gentle and non-alkaline". Read
the ingredient listing! Many products contain MEA. Monoethanolamine. This is a liquid alkalizer which can be beneficial. But, Remember, MEA is an ammonia substitute. It is ALKALINE! Unlike ammonia which is a. gas, MEA remains alkaline throughout the coloring process. Ammonia, however, is a gas.. and leaves the hair and absorbs into the air as
the hair is colored.... So the strength of the formula decreases as the hair processes.
I share this because, even today, color chemists share that the very best alkalizer in permanent hair color is AMMONIA. And, new color chemistry offers ammonia-based products which no longer..... smell like ammonia. The choice is yours. Let me know your thoughts. B.