The internet can be extremely overwhelming when you want to find out information for those moments of important decision making, especially when it comes to anything to do with hair.
Hair is a very interesting fibre which consists of many layers, these layers all have an important function and all react differently through the process of hair colouring. So before we explain why ammonia is used in hair dyes lets first find out…
What is Ammonia?
Ammonia is a colourless gas with a distinct odour composed of nitrogen and hydrogen atoms, when dissolved in water it gives a strong alkaline solution. It is described as a building-block chemical as it is a key component in the manufacture of many products we use today. Do you know that it occurs naturally throughout our environment? It’s found in the air, in soil and water, plants and animals, even us lovely human beings.
Is it safe to use Ammonia based hair dyes?
Ammonia found in hair dyes are classed as being used for industrial and manufacturing purposes, as a compound used in many cosmetics today the amount used within hair dyes to be considered safe are too small to pose a risk to human health. 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?
As mentioned above, hair fibre is made up of many layers one of these layers is called the cuticle, now the cuticle layer plays a very important part of the make up of the hair. It forms a protective membrane, a bit like a shield, around the hair shaft. Naturally the cuticle layers remain closed and is 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.
With our hair having a natural PH balance of 4 to 5.5 which is classed as acidic, ammonia is an 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 form 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 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.
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…