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L'Oreal Ammonia-Free Permanent Dye Goes From Drugstore to Salon

L'Oréal Debuts Ammonia-Free Permanent Hair Dye

L'Oréal's new INOA (Innovation No Ammonia) permanent dye is debuting to a lot of fanfare, since ammonia is not only damaging to your hair shaft, but it's bad for your health as well. Only thing is, ammonia-free permanent colors have existed for years already — they just never caught on in most salons. And L'Oreal's even put out an ammonia-free permanent color before: Natural Match, which was available cheaply for home coloring and got discontinued just before INOA's debut. INOA, like Natural Match, is supposed to provide full, even coverage without damaging the hair shaft. Unlike its predecessor, which retailed for about $12, INOA costs about 15 percent more than traditional salon hair color — so expect already pricey salon coloring to get more expensive.

If you want ammonia-free permanent color at the salon but don't want to go the INOA route, there are two other brands, Organic Color Systems and Teinture, already available at some salons. If you could choose to go ammonia-free, would you?

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GiovaniColorExpert GiovaniColorExpert 5 years
I am the owner of a leading New York L'Oreal Flagship salon with 30 chairs, 46 Stylists/Colorists, and 105 staff that has used INOA for over one year. Because of this horrific product, I have almost lost my entire business. The first color application produces wonderful shinny results. However, after the second INOA application, you will find that it leaves the hair dry and brittle. It only gets worse after successive applications after that. As importantly, the color produces inconsistent results and, despite what the marketing says, gray coverage is very poor. INOA will cover gray initially with some translucency, but that color will fade in a couple of weeks. When I spoke to our reps and even the L'Oreal Director about my problems, they said that it was only my salon that was having the issue. We had continual in salon education (almost twice a month for six months) and the models that were used by the education staff that they sent had the same experience. In the end, I lost most of my most loyal clients, was accused by L'Oreal of "Not being able to follow simple instructions", and belittled by our reps. Suffice it to say, INOA is the worst product I have ever experienced. Insult, injury, and humiliation also seems to come with a product that doesn't work and damages hair.
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