Which color line to choose for your salon or coloring your own hair? With or without ammonia?
To understand how ammonia or its substitutions work - most commonly MEA, we must first to realize that hair coloring is a chemical process. This should not scare you, because cooking soup is also chemical process.
The natural PH of the hair is 4,5-5 (acidic). In order to permanently dye your hair or cover gray hair, we need it us is a PH regulator that will increase PH hairs, that is, make them alkaline. We need that to open cuticles (surface layer of hairs) so that pigments can penetrate the cortex and with the help of hydrogen of peroxide to lighten the natural pigment and deposit the color we have chosen.
For almost a century, ammonia has played this role. Ammonia is at room temperature colorless gas, pungent, characteristic odor, lighter than air and easily soluble in water. It can be toxic and corrosive to individual materials. The action of ammonia in hair dyes is quick and effective. In the very in the short term it opens the cuticle and allows the pigments to penetrate deeper into the hair. Exactly that speed in
combined with improper handling, can result in hair damage or protein loss and lipids.
Ammonia in hair dyes often mentions its unpleasant odor.
Nowadays, thanks to the development of technologies in the field of hair coloring, its unpleasant the scent is minimized in most professional hair dyes.
MEA or monoethanolamine is an organic-chemical compound of the ethanolamine family. It is a colorless, viscous, ammonia-like liquid, but because it is a liquid, not a gas, it evaporates slower than ammonia which is why it is odorless. It can be toxic, flammable and corrosive for individual materials.
The action of MEA is slower than that of ammonia, which is why it has been used in semi and demi for many years that is, tone upon tone of hair dyes.
Its slower action and the fact that it has a much larger molecule than ammonia allows us tone to tone staining without lightening and like tone to tone flushing without a sharp outgrowth.
It is only perhaps in the last decade that permanent MEA colors have emerged that successfully color and brighten hair and really cover gray hairs (e.g. Kyo). By adding a variety of oils to the paint, this became possible. Specifically, since the MEA molecule is much larger than that of ammonia she needs it "carrier" (oil) to successfully penetrate the hair and achieve satisfactory pigment saturation.
Whether we are talking about ammonia or MEA, the higher the percentage of color PH regulators the hair becomes alkaline which causes more damage to the cuticle or loss of protein (keratin), and then lipids and moisture.
Therefore, when choosing a color line for use in the salon and for coloring your own hair is necessary pay attention to the percentage of the PH controller, but also to the quality of other color components.
Always try to choose colors that are enriched with keratin, oils and amino acids to help nourished the hair during the dyeing process and prevented possible damage.