Ammonia Vs Ammonia-Free Colour: Is The Ingredient Ammonia Bad For Your Hair?

Ammonia Vs Ammonia-Free Colour: Is The Ingredient Ammonia Bad For Your Hair?

Many customers request ammonia-free colours when entering a salon. They blame the ingredient for scalp reactions and even serious health risks. While it’s important for customers to be informed about services, their information needs to be accurate.

Ammonia is painted as a villain in the haircare world, but is this claim actually true?

Let’s look towards science to discover whether ammonia is bad for your hair. We will discuss the differences between ammonia and ammonia-free colours. Plus, there will be two different brands to choose from: Limitless Illuminates Colour and Limitless Lustre Collection. 

We think the results will be quite surprising. 

Ammonia Permanent Colours

Did you know most colours contain less ammonia than before?

The ingredient continues to be used because of its stability and reliability. Customers can also enjoy 100% grey coverage and a wider range of colour options. 

Ammonia permanent colours even create longer-lasting pigments than other alternatives. This is because ammonia softens, opens and swells the cuticle allowing the colour molecule to penetrate the cortex, expand and develop In the cuticle. The result is permanently altered hair colour.

There can be reactions to any chemical. However, the risk of a reaction using ammonia is very slim. Most recent scientific evidence shows ammonia presents no serious health risks to hairdressers or clients when used according to instructions.

One of the few downsides is a strong smell.

 Key Features:

  • Ammonia permanent colours last longer.
  • Enjoy 100% grey coverage.
  • Stable and reliable. 
  • More colour options mean you can work with a larger colour range.
  • No scientific evidence that ammonia leads to health risks.
  • There is a strong smell. 

We Recommend: Limitless Hair Colour

If you’re looking for low-ammonia options, we have a recommendation. 

Limitless is an Australian brand specialising in hair colour. You can check out incredible bond-builders, developers and accessories. However, the hero is Limitless Colour. 

There are 104 shades, 9 super lighteners and 8 correctors to choose from. Our favourites include Limitless Colour 5.3 Light Golden Brown, Limitless Colour 8.4 Light Copper Blonde, Limitless Colour 9.26 Very Light Champagne Blonde and Limitless Colour 10.102 Platinum Lighest Ice Blonde

Each colour offers intense nourishment and lasting pigment. These effects are unsurprising when the wholesome ingredients are revealed. Australian Kakadu plum hydrates, moisturises and helps colour retention. Another addition is bisabolol, which is filled with anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory goodness. 

Limitless Colour is also 100% vegan and cruelty-free. 

Ammonia-Free Permanent Colours

If you’re still unsure about ammonia, try ammonia-free permanent colours. Keep in mind these have their own advantages and disadvantages.  

Ammonia-free permanent colours contain mono-ethanolamine, which is commonly known as ethanolamine, or another ingredient sometimes used is aminomethyl propanol. Expect an incredible shine from root to tip and an odour-free scent. However, that doesn’t mean damage-free. 

Like ammonia, this ingredient swells and penetrates the cuticle to deposit pigment. Higher amounts of ethanolamine are often needed to have this effect on the cuticle and deposit long-lasting colours whereas smaller amounts of ammonia are needed. There is also less grey coverage and less range of colours with ammonia-free colours. 

Most frighteningly, there have been studies to show that ethanolamine can lead to hair loss.

Key Features: 

  • Experience incredible shine.
  • There is no odour.
  • Colours are permanent, but there is less grey coverage.
  • You need high amounts of ethanolamine.
  • You cannot make as many colours.
  • Ethanolamine may lead to hair loss. 

We Recommend: Limitless Lustre Collection

If you’re committed to an ammonia-free alternative, there is a new colour range in the works “The Limitless Lustre Collection”. To create without boundaries, the Limitless team developed a superbly gentle option for professionals and their clientele.

The Limitless Lustre Collection is a permanent colour range with 45 shades to choose from. Lustre means ‘glow of reflected light,’ which is perfectly fitting for a collection that reflects the most amount of light to create intense and shiny colours. 

The success of Limitless Lustre Collection can be attributed to three active ingredients. One of the most remarkable is argan oil, which provides maximum shine and highlights the hairs hues. Extra benefits include strengthening, moisturising and softening. Another powerhouse is vitamin E. The ingredient moisturises, increases shine, reduces free radical damage and forms a protective barrier on the surface of the skin. This is especially important to reduce irritation during and after the colouring process.

The Lustre colour collection have incredibly high-quality pigments. After all, having vibrant long lasting  colours is the purpose to hair colouring! Limitless Lustre Collection does not disappoint. Their pigments are small enough to penetrate the cuticle and cortex. Then, these develop into larger colour pigments, which hold in the hair. You can enjoy optimum grey coverage and longer-lasting stable colours as a result.

Limitless Lustre Collection even has a delightful fruity fragrance instead of the strong ammonia odour. 

Why Do People Have Reactions To Hair Colour?

One of the main reasons that people have reactions to hair colours is PPD (paraphenylenediamine) — not ammonia. 

PPD gives colour a more natural look. Yet, the chemical substance is more likely to cause a reaction than ammonia. PPD is often the cause of itchiness, irritation and even dermatitis. 

If you want a shade that feels like a dream on the scalp, look for PDD-free options. Stay informed and find the colour that works well on your hair and scalp. 

The Verdict: Ammonia Vs Ammonia-Free 

Although ammonia is often villainised, both ammonia and ammonia-free have benefits. 

Most colours contain low levels of the ingredient, but this small amount means stability, reliability, 100% grey coverage and plenty of colour options. Ammonia colours even create longer-lasting pigments. Although the smell is strong, the risk of reactions is slim and most scientific evidence shows no serious health risks. The brand Limitless is one of our top choices for this type of colour.

The ammonia-free alternatives create incredible shine and do not have an odour. However, these products often contain ethanolamine, which means less grey coverage and less range of colours. You may even experience hair loss over time. If you still want to try a safe ammonia-free colour, watch this space for the new ammonia-free Limitless Lustre Collection. 


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