We all want gorgeous hair, but we don’t always think about the potential pitfalls of dyeing it. Ammonia is one of the most common components found in hair dyes, and it can cause a lot of damage to your locks!
But no need to worry; there are plenty of ammonia-free options on the market that will give you beautiful color without the harsh chemicals.
Let’s explore what ammonia does to your hair and some top choices for ammonia-free hair dyes too.
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- 1 What does Ammonia do to hair?
- 2 Watch and learn: Is ammonia bad for your hair?
- 3 The benefits of ammonia-free hair dyes
- 4 Ammonia-free hair dyes
- 5 Regular hair dyes
- 6 Top 5 Ammonia-Free Hair Dyes
- 7 #1 Clairol Natural Instincts Demi-permanent hair dye
- 8 #2 Garnier Olia Oil Powered Permanent Color
- 9 #3 Schwarzkopf Simply Color Permanent Hair Color
- 10 #4 Herbatint Permanent Haircolor Gel
- 11 #5 Naturtint Permanent Hair Color
- 12 How to dye your hair at home.
- 13 Ammonia-free hair dyes FAQs
- 14 Is ammonia in hair dye harmful?
- 15 Is ammonia-free hair dye good for hair?
- 16 Does ammonia in hair dye cause hair loss?
- 17 What is the most toxic hair dye?
- 18 Parting words.
What does Ammonia do to hair?
Ammonia is a chemical ingredient commonly used in traditional box dyes to open the cuticles of the hair shaft, allowing the chemicals and colorants to penetrate more deeply into the strand.
This helps create a longer lasting result, but it can be incredibly damaging to your tresses in a few ways:
It can be irritating for those with sensitive skin or scalp conditions.
Unfortunately, ammonia can irritate sensitive skin or scalp conditions like eczema or psoriasis if left on too long.
This can lead to redness, itching, irritation, burning sensations, and more. Not exactly a good look!
If you have any preexisting conditions that affect your scalp or skin in general (or if you’re just prone to irritation), it might be best to avoid products with ammonia altogether.
It strips away essential oils from your strands.
Another downside of using ammonia on your hair is that it strips away all the natural oils in your strands—and those oils are essential for keeping your locks healthy and hydrated!
Without them, you run the risk of having dry and brittle hair over time.
Plus, with all those precious oils gone from your strands and scalp, they become more vulnerable to damage from heat styling tools and other products like gels or waxes.
It can lead to long-term damage like split ends.
Without proper nourishment from natural oils or regular trims at the salon (which we highly recommend!), split ends may start appearing—yuck!
Over-processed strands from using ammonia-based products regularly quickly become unmanageable and difficult to style.
The only way to get rid of split ends is by cutting them off completely—so better safe than sorry when it comes to using products with high concentrations of ammonia!
Watch and learn: Is ammonia bad for your hair?
Here’s a great video that tells you simply whether or not ammonia is safe for your hair and some of hte risks involved in using it!
The benefits of ammonia-free hair dyes
You want to keep your hair looking vibrant and healthy, but you’re worried about the harsh chemicals in traditional hair color.
Enter ammonia-free hair color. It promises healthier, shinier locks without all the fuss. Here are a few of the benefits of using hair dye without ammonia:
Ammonia-free products are gentler on your strands than traditional dyes because they do not contain other harsh chemicals like peroxide, alcohol or silicones.
This means that they will not strip your strands of essential oils and proteins like regular dye does, which could lead to dryness and breakage over time.
There are no harsh chemicals involved, so you’ll have less irritation and fewer allergies when you opt for an ammonia-free product.
They’re easier to use. There’s no need to mix with a developer solution before application like regular permanent box dyes. So you can easily apply them at home.
It will leave your hair feeling softer and silkier than ever before. Since there are no harsh chemicals involved in this kind of color process, your strands remain relatively untouched during coloring so they don’t become brittle or dry from being exposed to too many ingredients at once.
Plus, many brands offer conditioners with their colors that help to lock in moisture so that your locks stay soft and shiny even after coloring!
Ammonia-free hair dyes
Ammonia-free hair dye vs regular hair dye
- No strong chemical odor
- Gentle on the scalp
- Not so long-lasting color
- Natural ingredients nourish hair
- Ideal for previously dyed hair
- Can be more expensive than traditional dyes
- Not as wide a variety of colors available compared to ammonia-based dyes
Regular hair dyes
Ammonia-free hair dye vs regular hair dye
- Wide variety of colors available
- More affordable than ammonia-free dyes
- Color can last up to 12 weeks
- Strong chemical odor
- Can cause scalp irritation or burning sensation
- Not ideal for previously dyed hair.
Top 5 Ammonia-Free Hair Dyes
Here are our favorite tried and tested hair dyes that you can use to dye your hair at home without any worries about ammonia.
#1 Clairol Natural Instincts Demi-permanent hair dye
- If your goal is to cover gray hairs while maintaining natural vibrancy and shine, this product is perfect for you.
- It’s formulated with aloe vera and coconut oil so that you get smooth coverage plus moisture and nourishment benefits as well.
“I love this hair color! It left my hair soft, shiny, and healthy-looking. And the coverage on my gray hairs was amazing!”
“I wasn’t sure if this would work on my gray hairs, but I’m so glad it did! It gave great coverage and shine.”
“I’ve been using this product for months and it’s still going strong!”
“My friend recommended this one and now I’m hooked! The color is beautiful, natural-looking, and long lasting.”
This is perhaps the most well-known ammonia-free hair dye out there and the first one we tried on our list. It’s easy to apply and smells good too.
The combination of aloe vera and coconut oil made our hair feel very nourished and hydrated throughout.
We tried medium brown on already dyed brown hair and it gave us glossy results with fab overall coverage. You may a couple of boxes if you have longer than shoulder length hair.
Best for: Great gray coverage.
#2 Garnier Olia Oil Powered Permanent Color
Made with 60% natural flower oils, this one has major conditioning power! Expect long lasting results that won’t fade out after a few washes—plus lots of shine from the oil infusion that helps lock in color molecules for maximum vibrancy.
“This hair dye is amazing! It’s so easy to use and it really does give you a glossy finish.”
“The color turned out beautifully and I love that it came with an oil-enriched conditioner as well.”
“My gray hairs were covered, but the natural tones of my color were still there…it looks so natural!”
This was another great ammonia-free option we tried. It left our hair feeling soft and had plenty of shine.
The application process was quite simple—just make sure to shake the bottle before using! We tried dark brown and found that the coverage was excellent, even on previously dyed hair.
This one also comes with an oil-enriched conditioner that should be used after the dyeing process to lock in color and provide additional nourishment.
Best for: Great coverage and conditioning power.
#3 Schwarzkopf Simply Color Permanent Hair Color
With no ammonia and a nourishing formula that helps protect hair from damage, this is an ideal product for those looking for long-lasting color with a natural result. It contains avocado oil to help keep your hair soft and hydrated, plus it’s enriched with aloe vera so you know your strands are getting the best kind of care!
“I love how soft my hair feels after using this product! The color lasted for weeks too.”
“I’ve been using Schwarzkopf products for years and this one did not disappoint.”
“I love how it’s free of chemicals but still looks like a permanent hair dye does.”
If you’re looking for a healthy and glossy result, this one is definitely worth trying. The no-ammonia formula was simple to use, though it did take us a bit longer than other options on the list.
We tried light brown and found that it blended well with our natural hair color while still giving us noticeable highlights.
Plus, the avocado oil and aloe vera made sure that our hair felt nourished and hydrated after the coloring process.
Best for: Long-lasting color.
#4 Herbatint Permanent Haircolor Gel
This ammonia-free hair dye is as gentle as it gets—it uses herbal extracts to get the job done without harsh chemicals. The color lasts for weeks and fades out gradually, so touch-ups are kept to a minimum. Plus, it contains proteins that help strengthen your strands while you color!
“I’m amazed by how natural this hair dye looks! It’s super easy to use and gave my gray hairs great coverage.”
“My hair was still soft and shiny after coloring with this product!”
“The color lasted longer than I expected and didn’t fade too quickly either. Loved the henna color.”
If you’re looking for an ammonia-free hair dye with a natural finish, this is the one to try.
We tried rich red light brown and found that it gave our hair a subtle boost of color without looking too extreme. Plus, the protein-enriched formula left our strands feeling strong and healthy after the coloring process.
Best for: Natural-looking results and gentle ingredients.
#5 Naturtint Permanent Hair Color
This ammonia-free hair dye uses natural ingredients like argan oil and shea butter to give your strands some extra TLC. It delivers long lasting color that doesn’t fade too quickly and comes with an ampoule of protective treatment for added shine. Plus, it’s gentle enough for use on previously dyed hair!
“I love how vibrant my color is after using this product.”
“My hair felt soft and shiny afterwards—I’m definitely a fan!”
“The coverage was great and the results lasted for weeks.”
This was another great option if you’re looking for an ammonia-free hair dye that can give you long-lasting color.
We tried light brown and found that it blended well with our natural hair color while still giving us a noticeable boost of shine.
Plus, the protective treatment left our strands feeling nourished and looking healthy after the coloring process.
Best for: Long lasting color and added nourishment.
How to dye your hair at home.
Ammonia-free hair dyes FAQs
Is ammonia in hair dye harmful?
The good news is that although ammonia plays an important role in how the color develops in your hair, modern hair dyes are formulated with a focus on safety and gentleness.
Great news for anyone that loves experimenting with color!
Plus, many salon products are specially formulated without ammonia so you can get gorgeous locks without any worries either.
There are definitely precautions that should be taken when considering ammonia-based hair dyes, but despite common fears of long-term damage, you don’t need to worry about its usage ruining your beautiful mane!
So don’t let ammonia be a deterrent when choosing your next lovely color.
Is ammonia-free hair dye good for hair?
Ammonia free hair dye is a great option if you’re looking to switch up your style without the strong odour of harsh chemicals.
Not only will you be avoiding the burn associated with ammonia, but you can rest assured that the colour won’t be fading anytime soon.
And given it’s a natural alternative, it’s less damaging to your hair and scalp- so not only do you get to make a bold statement but keep your locks healthy too!
Does ammonia in hair dye cause hair loss?
The truth is, ammonia in hair dye does not cause your hair to literally fall out—phew!
But, over-exposure to certain types of hair dye that contain a high concentration of this chemical could potentially damage the follicles and weaken the strands, resulting in an unhealthy look—which no one wants.
So while ammonia isn’t necessarily the cause of balding patches, it’s definitely something to be mindful of when asking yourself “to dye or not to dye?” It always pays off to be extra cautious with any sort of chemical treatments and be sure to check in with a professional before taking the plunge.
What is the most toxic hair dye?
Most synthetic hair color contains ingredients like ammonia, hydrogen peroxide and PPD (Paraphenylenediamine), all of which are said to cause allergies and even worse respiratory issues or nerve damage in some cases.
To avoid any potential health issues, opt for ammonia-free or natural henna based products which contain a much lower level of irritants and chemicals.
Always do your research ahead of time and go with what is best for your locks!
And always do a patch test and a strand test before you begin!
When it comes to making a change with your hair color, ammonia-free hair dyes are definitely the way to go! Not only is this safer for your scalp and follicles, but you’ll be able to achieve long lasting results while still having healthy looking strands.
Do some research on what options are available in terms of colors and ingredients before committing so that you can make sure you get the perfect look without any worries. Good luck!