Why Ammonia is Used in Hair Dyes

Why is ammonia in hair dye

Ammonia in hair dye is always a hot topic! The internet can be extremely overwhelming when you want to find information. Especially for those moments of all-important decision making, when it comes to your hair.

Hair is a very versatile fibre which consists of many layers, these layers all have an important function and react differently through the process of hair colouring. So, let’s find out more…

What is Ammonia?

Ammonia is a colourless gas which has a distinct odour. Composed of nitrogen and hydrogen atoms, when dissolved in water it creates a strong alkaline solution. Described as a building-block chemical; it is a key component in the manufacture of many cosmetic and household products today.

Did you know that it occurs naturally throughout our environment? Ammonia is present in the air, soil and water, plants, animals and even us as human beings.

Is it safe to use Ammonia-based hair dyes?

Yes, it is! The amount used in hair dye is considered safe and is too small to pose a risk to human health. It is a compound used in many cosmetics today and is strictly used for industrial and manufacturing purposes.  At Cognito Hair, we refuse to use any products that can cause harm or damage to your health or ours.

With all that said, now the big question!

Why is Ammonia used in hair dyes?

The hair fibre is made up of many layers and one of these layers is called the cuticle. Now the cuticle layer plays a very important part of the makeup of the hair. It forms a protective membrane, a bit like a shield, around the hair shaft.

Naturally, the cuticle layers remain closed and are responsible for healthy shiny hair. With approximately 4 to 8 overlaying cells the cuticle is strong and resistant, however, like Kryptonite affects Superman everything can be weakened or manipulated somehow.

Hair is acidic and has a natural PH balance of 4 to 5.5. Ammonia is alkaline with a PH balance of 11 so it causes the hair to swell and the cuticle layer to raise. In hair colouring, the cuticle layer of the hair needs to open to allow the colour molecules to penetrate deep into the hair to form ones desired hair colour.

Ammonia helps to do precisely that, by opening the cuticle layer colour molecules now have deeper access into the hair. The ammonia then activates the peroxide in the colour developer so the colour can develop in the hair. This is why after every hair colour service we use a Sulphate-free Shampoo and Conditioner that regulates the PH balance of the hair. This Sulphate-free PH balance shampoo stops the oxidisation process and neutralises the hair. The conditioner protects the hair structure and hair colour improving the moisture and lustre of the hair.

Can ammonia damage my hair?

Ammonia in hair dyes itself cannot damage the hair, however, incorrect use of it within hair dyes over a period of time can. This is why it is so important that hair colour services are carried out by qualified professionals. So we, as professionals, can give you perfect hair colour results and care for your hair.

So there you have it, ammonia used in hair dyes simplified!… Until next time…


14th May 2020 by Shareefa


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