Should you switch to ammonia free hair colour?

What is ammonia free hair colour?

To understand what ammonia free hair colour is, it’s important to know what role ammonia plays in many traditional hair colouring process.


Ammonia, an alkaline chemical, is used to raise the pH level of our hair during the colouring process. This then lifts the cuticles of the hair fibre and allows the colour to be deposited onto the cortex (the inner part of the hair protected by the cuticles). Ammonia is also used to lighten the hair’s natural pigment so it can be re-coloured.


Ammonia-free hair colour replaces ammonia with different ingredients and technology. But not all “no ammonia” products work in the same way, and have varying results. Which brings us on to the next important question...


The no ammonia hair dye trend: a global movement

In hair colour, L’Oréal Professionnel has been at the forefront of ammonia free hair colour for years. But what’s the reason for this? Why is ammonia traditionally used in hair colour, can you get great results without it, and are all no-ammonia hair dyes the same?

Is no ammonia hair dye effective?

The quality and durability of ammonia free hair colour can vary. When products first started appearing on the market years ago, many clients found that their colour faded quickly because the colour was not fully infused into the cortex. This meant that ammonia-free hair dyes were mostly semi or demi permanent.

Then, a decade ago, L’Oréal Professionnel brought out their innovative, no ammonia INOA hair colour collection. It used pioneering technology to replace the use of ammonia. Instead, INOA uses a unique oil delivery system, where oils are literally used to deliver the hair colour to the fibre.

How? The process is actually quite simple. The colour formula is blended with oils and applied to the hair. The pigments are then attracted from the oils towards the moisture in the hair’s fibre, and penetrate through into the cortex, depositing their colour right at the heart of the hair. INOA was the truly effective permanent solution that removed the need for ammonia in hair dye.

What are the benefits of no ammonia hair colour?

There are five main reasons why ammonia-free hair colour has developed such a following among hairdressers and clients alike.

1. Gentle colour: Ammonia-free hair colour has an extra gentle formula. This is great news for those with sensitive skin and hair that feels frazzled from previous colouring and/or styling processes. That said, to be on the safe side, your stylist should always do a patch test before colouring to check for sensitivity. 

2. Protection and shine: Healthier hair means softer, smoother and improved hair quality thanks to the INOA oil delivery system. It not only infuses the hair with nourishing oils to give it a silky smooth finish, but protects the hair’s natural moisture levels to prevent dryness and prolong your colour.

3. Grey coverage: INOA gives permanent colour that offers up to 100% grey blending, meaning it’s an ideal solution for subtly covering any unwanted white or grey hairs. You could also take the opportunity to ask for a multi-tonal finish which can make thin, aging hair look thicker and healthier.

4. Look natural: These days the major hair colour trend is all about a natural looking finish. This is why neutral shades like bronde, ash blonde and ash brown hair have become so popular. Ammonia free hair colour offers a wide range of ultra-natural-looking hair shades, so you can stay ahead of the trends without using harsh chemicals.

5. Odourless: One of the main criticisms about ammonia-based hair dyes is the strong ammonia smell that some products can give off. INOA contains NO AMMONIA so it doesn’t have that strong smell, which takes hair colouring to a new level, making it an enjoyable moment that both you and your hairdresser can take pleasure in. Hair colouring becomes part of a luxurious pampering treat!


With millions of women around the world colouring their hair, the INOA ammonia free hair dye offers a real alternative for those who want permanent colour, perfect coverage and healthy-looking hair. No compromise, just great colour: meaning there’s no reason you shouldn’t switch to ammonia free hair colour.