One of the biggest complaints I used to receive from color clients was the smell and itchy/burning feeling from hair coloring. In 2010 I became an INOA by L’Oréal Professionnel Specialist and since then have only used INOA color on my clients.
Just recently I had a new client come in for a color and after having experienced INOA she called me to tell me how pleased she was with the product and her color. This call made me realize that although colorists may have knowledge of INOA, a lot of clients do not. Because of this I wanted to do a post on INOA and the many benefits of it.
Permanent color typically contains high levels of ammonia. The ammonia is used to swell the hair in order to help deposit the color however with such amounts of ammonia you end up experiencing strong odor, scalp irritation and frizzy, course hair.
Thankfully L’Oréal Professionnel has discovered a way to remove the ammonia and replace it with monoethanolamine or MEA (found in demi permanent color) along with a mineral oil gel that has a high affinity for hair (but not for MEA). L’Oréal Professionnel names this line of ammonia-free haircolor INOA, which stands for “Innovation NO Ammonia”.
Right before INOA is put on hair, oleogel (the mineral oil gel), is mixed together with MEA and the other key components for tinting locks—the oxidative hair dye and the hydrogen peroxide that develops the hair dye. Oleogel contains special emulsifying agents that allow the oil to mix with the other water-based ingredients. But, when the mixture is on hair, the oil coats the outside of hair strands and repulses the MEA, driving it to open the cuticle and penetrate the hair. Adding this oil changes the ability of MEA to penetrate the hair creating more powerful hair color.
INOA respects the amino acids and lipid balance of the natural hair color and has been laboratory tested to return hair to its natural state after 9 applications. The end result of INOA is infinite hair color that leaves your hair shiny and smooth with coverage on up to 100% of white (gray) hair. My favorite thing about INOA is it’s exact and predictable color palette.
Although the actual hair color does not contain ammonia, as you will see through many articles online, the post shampoo does. Since I like to provide all my clients with services that not only they are happy with but comfortable with as well, I do like to give the option of using a different shampoo after coloring to those who would like a 100% ammonia free experience.