3 Best Ammonia-Free Hair Dyes
There are many of us who experiment with over-the-counter hair coloring. It seems almost a right of passage to play around with a store-bought box of hair dye and see where it takes us. If we do not like the color, we can quickly change our minds. They say 4 weeks is a good enough time range to wait between coloring. Of course, this is the standard wait for coloring our hair when we use ammonia-based hair dyes. But, when we use ammonia-free hair dyes that wait is virtually cut in half. It seems that there is a growing number of ammonia-free hair color popping up on the scene.
#1 Garnier Olia Ammonia Free Permanent Hair ColorAmazon product
The Olia is available in several shades of blonde, red, brown, black, and bold. It is made of 60% natural flower oils. These oils make the Olia one of the best choices for hair color on the market today. There are many who choose to color their hair from a box. To get the best results from the Olia, you should select a shade that is within 2 shades of your natural color. This shade can be either lighter or darker.
The best ammonia-free hair dyes are not easy to come by. The Olia has to be one of the best in today's market. The Olia is not only free of ammonia but it also leaves your hair looking vibrant and healthy. There are standard instructions for use of the Olia, however, you should always have someone assist you for the most perfect touch up.
Do you want your hair to look healthy and vibrant? The Olia is one that offers users 100% gray coverage. There are natural ingredients in this product. It can be a difficult choice to decide on what hair color to use but the Olia is a top-rated hair color.
#2 Clairol Natural Instincts Semi-Permanent Ammonia-Free Hair ColorAmazon product
Natural Instincts is available in 8 shades of blonde. This is an excellent choice if you are wanting to go blonde. The Clairol is made of 80% natural ingredients. Some key elements in Natural Instincts include aloe Vera and coconut oils. Natural Instincts is one of Clairol's best selling lines. It is it any wonder why? This hair color adds depth to a person's hair.
If you are looking for an excellent blending of gray, look no further than Natural Instincts. The application process for this hair color is only 20 minutes. Natural Instincts is a semi-permanent line for Clairol. That means the color will last for 28 washes. It will look vibrant and full of no visible gray hair.
The 8 shades of blonde should be easy to select from. Use the color guide on the box to find the shade that most closely matches your natural hair. Select a blonde that is 1 or 2 shades lighter or darker than your natural hair. Doing so will give you the best results for your hair coloring.
#3 Herb Speedy PPD Free Hair Dye, Ammonia-FreeAmazon product
The Herb Speedy is by far, the least expensive hair color on this list. If you are on a budget and want quality hair color, look no further than Herb Speedy. This semi-permanent hair color offers gray coverage and boasts you will not have irritation from using the product. Those with a sensitive scalp can use this product without worry of irritation. There are no known allergens used in the creation of this hair color.
A key feature of the Speedy is that it is quick and easy to apply. This is not like the Speedy of the past where many made complaints of sensitivity on their scalp. This is a new and improved formula. The gel-like substance is easier than ever to apply.
The Herb Speedy has not been tested on animals. It has been given many reviews. Most of these reviews are positive in nature. The time it takes for the hair color to work is minimal compared to any of the other products on this list. One need only wait 10 minutes before washing their hair. Herb Speedy is a product available in a variety of shades. Anyone is certain to find a shade most suitable for them.
Everything You Need to Know About Ammonia-Free Hair Dyes
People all around the world have been artificially coloring their hair for centuries, but it’s never been easier or more common than it is today. The market is saturated with dozens of different brands and hundreds of different colors of hair dye. In recent years there has been a surge in demand in hair dye that is healthier for the consumer and their hair. Thus, ammonia-free hair dye has become increasingly popular. But is it really better?
Why is Ammonia Used in Hair Dyes?
Traditional permanent hair dyes tend to use the same general formula across most brands. This is because the science behind hair coloring is actually pretty involved. It takes a chemical reaction in order to change the color of a person’s hair, whether you’re lightening your natural hair or adding a darker color to it.
In typical hair dye products, ammonia is the chemical that is used to facilitate that chemical reaction. The ammonia in the formula reacts with hair follicles in a way that causes the hair to absorb the color more easily. Ammonia is a good tool for this reaction because it changes the natural PH balance in your hair and opens the fibers for the color to soak deep inside the hair strands. In addition to that chemical process, it’s also excellent at lightening darker hair, which allows the user to choose from a wider range of hair colors.
It should be noted that this process is only necessary for permanent hair dye. Semi or semi-permanent hair dyes don’t need to change the hair itself in order to deposit color, so ammonia should never be found in either of these products.
What’s Wrong With Using Ammonia?
As you can imagine, ammonia is a fairly corrosive chemical. That’s the very nature of how it works within hair coloring kits. In order to deposit color inside your hair, it needs to break the hair down, at least slightly. This process can damage hair significantly. Due to the destruction of the hair cuticle, hair treated with ammonia-laden hair dye will often be weak and fragile, breaking easily and leading to lackluster hair and hair loss. Over time, with repeated use of ammonia-based hair dyes, the hair cuticles can become permanently damaged. When that happens, the cuticle is unable to close completely, causing hair to become coarse and unmanageable, or “frizzy”.
Not only is the use of ammonia not healthy for your hair, but it also might have a negative affect on your overall health as well. During the chemical process, ammonia releases potent vapors that are known to cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, especially with prolonged exposure. Sometimes this irritation can cause respiratory issues, such as trouble breathing. In some cases, this respiratory distress is accompanied by chest pain. People who have sensitive skin may also suffer from chemical burns or allergic reactions when using ammonia based products.
What is Ammonia-Free Hair Color?
About 20 years ago, the general public began to become concerned with the off-putting fumes in ammonia-based hair color kits and began to seek an alternative that didn’t damage their hair as much. That was when the first ammonia-free hair dyes arrived on the market. Just as the name suggests, non ammonia hair dyes use alternative ingredients to create the same general effect as ammonia-based hair dyes. Common alternatives include baking soda, hair oils, and chemicals that are similar to or relatives of ammonia such as ethanolamine.
Is Ammonia-Free Hair Dye Safe?
The general answer is yes. Both ammonia based and non-ammonia hair dyes are safe for the general public to use when proper precautions are taken. It’s true that ammonia-free hair dye does not release the strong vapors that cause irritation, but users should still be mindful of the ingredients in every product that they use.
Many people have the misconception that a non-ammonia hair color kit is more natural or healthier than the traditional hair color kits. However, many permanent, ammonia-free dyes use ingredients that are equally as corrosive and damaging to hair. Ethanolamine or monoethanolamine, is one common ingredient that does the same job as ammonia without releasing vapors. It’s a chemical that is equally as corrosive in order to deposit hair dye and can also cause permanent damage to hair with repeated use.
Cons of Ammonia-Free Dyes
As with any product, there are both pros and cons to using non-ammonia hair dyes.
The most common complaint when it comes to ammonia-free dye is that it doesn’t work as well as ammonia-based colors. Since ammonia is the ingredient that is responsible for delivering the color into the hair for permanency, the absence of it can mean that the new color isn’t absorbed as fully. This will lead to early fading and the color not lasting as long as the ammonia-based dye. Sometimes, this will also lead to a much less vibrant color, since the dye isn’t as well absorbed.
In addition, the weaker chemicals used in ammonia-free color might not lift and lighten as powerfully. That means that when someone uses the product, the color will turn out darker than wanted or won’t show up at all. Some people will then have to turn to bleach in order to achieve the color they want, which can be just as harmful as ammonia.
Another unfortunate aspect of non-ammonia dyes is that the larger particles used in the formula will coat the hair more firmly, making it harder to rinse out and leaving behind a residue. Hair treated with non-ammonia dyes will then sometimes appear dingy or dull. It can also result in wet hair staining certain fabrics.
Pros of Ammonia-Free Dyes
Despite the complaints associated with non-ammonia hair dye, there are several positives as well.
To start with, ammonia-free dye is more gentle on your hair. If you are careful to buy hair kits that don’t substitute the ammonia for equally as damaging chemicals, you can color your hair without causing injury to the hair or follicles. Less damage means that you can avoid common problems that arise from frequent hair coloring. You’ll see less breakage, less hair loss, and less unsightly frizz.
Not only is ammonia-free dye generally more delicate on the hair, but it can also be quite nourishing. Many non-ammonia dyes use formulas rich with healthy hair oils in order to deliver the color into the fibers of the hair. These oils are great for nourishing and moisturizing your hair, making it both strong and shiny. The combination of gentle coloring and nourishment result in hair that is smoother, softer, and overall more healthy than hair that is used to ammonia-based treatments.
Using ammonia-free dye also isn’t as irritating for your body and skin. It doesn’t release toxic vapors and the chemicals that are used ventilate quickly. That means that you aren’t exposed to them for nearly as long. That means that even if they don’t smell particularly pleasant, they won’t be a risk to your respiratory system. Many people find that non-ammonia dyes are less irritating on sensitive skin.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, the only one who can decide which type of dye is best for you is you. There are many factors that go into deciding which hair color will work best for your hair. The key to making that decision is to always read product labels carefully, weigh your pros and cons, and to be as informed as possible.