Hair coloring is a much more scientific 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 the differences between ammonia-based and ammonia-free hair coloring.
To understand the differences between ammonia-based and ammonia-free hair coloring, you should first understand what purpose the ammonia serves in the products. Since coloring hair is a process that happens via chemical reaction, the 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 the 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 very small, it evaporates very quickly. This quick evaporation is largely the culprit for the very strong smell that occurs when you're coloring hair. The make up of this molecule also allows for easy, quick, and clean rinsing when it's time to remove the coloring agents from the hair.
Ammonia-free products, while free of the actual ammonia molecule, still contain certain alkaline ingredients, which are closely related to ammonia. When using ammonia-free products, you're likely to experience results that are less optimal than their ammonia-based counterparts. One major reason for this is because the ammonia-free products utilize agents with much larger molecules. The larger the molecule, the less capable it is of saturating and infusing itself into the hair follicles. The larger molecules actually cause less swelling of the hair, which may sound counterintuitive at first thought, and the dye does not have the ability to penetrate as deeply into the hair. The result will likely be a less vibrant color. The superficial penetration of the dye also generally results in color that doesn't last as long as it would if ammonia-based products were used.
The larger molecules found in ammonia-free hair coloring also tend to leave a residue on the follicles. Although it may be nice that these products don't let off such a harsh odor, the lack of odor is actually indicative of the fact that the chemicals aren't evaporating very quickly. Along the same lines, the slower evaporation can mean a more difficult time rinsing out this coloring agent. Often times, a residue is still left behind even after a thorough wash.
You don't have to be confused about the differences between ammonia-based and ammonia-free hair coloring. This breakdown should help clear up some of the confusion so you can make sure you have the proper product for your hair and your clients' hair.
Ready to find your new look with a beautiful new color? Contact the stylists at Shaggins Salon today, and color yourself happy!