Organic vs. Ammonia Color?

I get asked this question a lot, “Do you carry Organic hair color?”. This is a loaded question for me. If you ask me that question get ready for a one hour rant on why marketing can make you believe anything. The short quick answer is NO. Why don’t we carry Organic hair color if we are a naturally/Organic based salon? Well that’s because Organic hair color is a marketing scheme. Just because someone tells you their hair color is Organic doesn’t actually make it healthier for you. They only need a few Organic ingredients like extracts to slap a label on it and make you believe it’s healthier for you. Remember, there’s absolutely no one regulating our industry, but that’s another rant for another day.

Ammonia is 100% organic from the earth and evaporates as soon as oxygen hits it (hence the smell) and has been demonized for no good reason except to say that companies want to sell you their brand new “Ammonia Free” hair color. Instead we’ve replaced Ammonia with an even greater evil, MEA. This horrible, man-made chemical will not only dry out your hair but studies are showing that prolonged use can lead to hair loss! Any “plant based” ammonia free dye is going to have MEA in it.

When I heard Wella was releasing a line of hair color that would be PPD and PTD free I was shocked. PPD and PTD are the chemicals in dye responsible for adding brown tones and covering grey. These 2 chemicals are a real problem in the sense that over time a person can develop sensetivities to hair color. Sensitivities reveal themselves through an itchy scalp, swelling, and redness etc. I was skeptical. What did they use to replace these chemicals? Would it be another man-made crap solution or is this the real deal? After a 4 hour long seminar and meeting with two different chemists I am convinced this is finally the real deal.  Wella did the impossible and after 25 yrs of trying to make this dream happen it finally came true. Innocence (I’m not gonna lie I kinda hate the name) is a new color line formulated with a brand new dye molecule called ME+ to prevent sensitivities from hair color. They’ve taken the PPD dye molecule that is responsible for irritating our T Cells and changed the shape therefore creating a dye molecule that cannot bind to our T Cells. This prevents us from having any immune related responses to hair color. Finally safe, beautiful, flawless grey coverage color without being lied to! Let’s face it, we will never get truly 100% grey coverage organic hair color that works and is really what it claims to be, but we can get a solution that is much less irritating and actually works beautifully!

See how it works by watching this video!

I hope this will make you think twice before buying into the “label”. Do your research so you know what you’e actually using/buying/eating etc.


34 Responses to Organic vs. Ammonia Color?

  1. saida says:

    Today I used wella innosence on my client hair that she had itch and burning before with any color I used on her Matrix insider wella koleston perfect. Schwarzkopf and etc.. but very happy today no problem at all with innosence. 5/0 +5/7 . 20 volume. 🙂

  2. Celia Sridharan says:

    I am interested in knowing about the safest and least harmful hair dyes

    • admin says:

      It’t important to read your reactions. Does your scalp itch after you et colored? Is your skin red or do you get hives? Something may be harmful to one person and not to the next because our immune systems are so different. If you have concerns then definitely use Innocense or be natural and embrace your hair without color.

  3. I have had some problems with Hives in my face for about 2 yrs now..and I have reasons to believe it could be the Hair Dye that I am using..I go and have it done with Mitchum products am wondering if they might have added something to their dyes..

    • admin says:

      I’ve only ever seen Mitchum deodorant and I’m unaware that they make a haircolor. However if you are getting hives you most likely have a sensitivity to PPD a chemical used in every single permanent and demipermanent haircolor. Even the color Innocense that I wrote about in this blog has PPD in it but they’ve changed the shape of the molecule so it doesn’t attach to our T-cell and cause irritation. It’s the only haircolor on the market that has that capability right now. I would advise you to stop coloring your hair until you can find someone who has this color line. If you continuing coloring you hair with this sensitivity your reactions will most likely worsen as sensitivities can most likely develop into allergies. An allergic reaction can cause serious damage. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

  4. Hanie says:


    Let me start off by saying I think you’s are fabulous! 😀
    I am very interested in using the Wella Id Range after reading your info & viewing Wellas Vid on youtube…but can you tell me is this range environmentally friendly, as I am presuming the organic ranges are? is the wella range not only good for us, is it good for our environment too? Would you know if Wella is an environmentally friendly company and Brand?
    Waiting in anticipation for your wise reply & insight.


  5. tc says:

    Is me bad for your hair what is the difference between me and me+in the innocence,wella line

    • admin says:

      Me- I think you meant MEA (the greater evil, is a man made substitute for Ammonia monoethanolamine).
      ME+ Is Wella’s name for a new molecule they created (chemical name is :2-Methoxymethyl-p-Phenylenediamine) basically it’s the same as PPD but the shape is changed so it does not irritate our T-cells and cause allergic reactions.

      • Leda says:

        Your explanation was a breakthrough for me. Could you please tell me if Color Touch Demi Permanent has MEA? I have been using it for few years and now I’m concerned because I have a big problem with hair loss. I did not see it in the box but trust you more to give me a honest guidance.
        Thank you!

        • admin says:

          Yes color touch does use MEA. I would suggest switching to innocense to rule it out as a cause for the hair loss. Hair loss can be caused by many factors like stress, anxiety, hereditary, malnutrition etc. Evaluate each of these and if any of them might be a factor rule one of those items out at a time or else you’ll never know what’s causing it.

  6. tc says:

    I really appreciate your help with this

  7. Vickie says:

    Hi , I have used the Wella regular stuff and Eufora and got hives from the Wella but slightly then the Eufora I did months later and have been battling hives for 6 weeks but as time passes it’s getting to be less and less…I cannot finpoint exactly what I’m allergic to as I don’t know what’s in each but do you think this could be ok? I know you can’t say for sure and I don’t want to ever go threw this again. Can a patch test be certain? Vickie

    • admin says:

      Hives are a clear sign of an allergic reaction. Unfortunately every time you use color your reactions may worsen. You are most likely reacting to Resorcinol or PPD found in grey coverage hair color. Innocense may stop your allergic reaction from happening but you need to have someone give you patch test to make sure. You can also see an allergist to pinpoint exactly what you are allergic to.

  8. sofia says:

    Hi Clarissa,
    I have not used conventioanl hair color for a year as I had an allergic reaction to it. I have been using Hairprint for a year but it does not cover greay very well and is very drying to my hair.
    Have you read about the ingredients in Original and Mineral (O&M) hair color? What is your take on that?
    Have you seen clients of yours use Wella Innosense and not have a reaction to the modified PPd molecule?
    If that is the case I will do a skin test..

    • admin says:

      Hello Sofia,

      I have not used O&M color and am currently waiting for it to do some tests. I haven’t been given a very clear answer on how the color can possibly cover grey without PPD and Resorcinol. I’m sorry I don’t have an answer for you on that yet but hopefully soon. You are more then welcome to come in for a complimentary patch test of Innocense as it does have amazing grey coverage. We haven’t had anyone allergic to color that has a bad reaction to the line but ever case is different and we do not do color services without a 48hr patch test to guarantee safety.


  9. TMmc says:

    Hi there–

    I’m thinking of switching from henna to a salon dye but have always been concerned about the possible carinogenic effects of hair dye chemicals. Do you have any insight on this? Thanks!

    • admin says:


      As far finding a link between Cancer and haircolor the results are conflicting. If you are coloring your hair once a month I think you are totally fine especially since hairdressers are exposed to color dozens of times over a month and we still haven’t been able to find a link to cancer.
      Here’s a great article from the National Cancer institute on the subject.

      We use a Rabbit air in the salon and it tell us what the air quality is like throughout the day. I can say with confidence that I feel more concerned for myself and my clients when I’m blowdrying their hair versus coloring it especially when the rabbit air turns red every time I blowdry someone with petrochemicals in their hair. Color never causes me to get a sore throat however bleach does. Have you ever seen white smoke in the hair during a blowdry? That’s the stuff we should be very worried about.

  10. Raman says:

    Where r the salons n where can I buy the innocence product as I m allergic to PPD, PTD.

  11. Raman says:

    Where r the salons n where can I buy the innocence product as I m allergic to PPD, PTD. Could I please try any samples to do patch test first??? I’m in sydney Australia.

  12. Very curious... says:

    Hi there! What do you think of Aveda hair dye? Does it have MEA in it? Is it safe- safer to use? What about Teinture? Shades in Bev Hills is suppose to be toxic free as well- on their site store they sell at home kits- do you know anything about their hair color? Also, INOA claims “damage with coloring will be a thing of the past”- but it has MEA in it- do you know anything about this product? It’s by L’oreal Professional US. Thanks!!!

    • admin says:

      Teinture, and INOA both use MEA. There’s nothing else on the market other then ammonia and mea. If the product claims to cover grey or lift the hair it will have either of these ingredients (Ammonia or MEA) in it. As far as “damage with coloring will be a thing of the past” with the right colorist you should never have damage from coloring. Also check out Olaplex. They have revolutionized the world of haircolor and will protect and fix even the most damaged hair. I never color anyone without it. I don’t like Aveda as they use MEA. Don’t forget ammonia is organic. MEA is man made. Organic and natural really don’t mean anything in this context. If a haircolor like Teinture markets their unique antioxidant remember it’s just an additive and not the main coloring component. It’s a way they can market their haircolor to seem different and interesting. There’s never a substitute for a really great colorist though. Having the right person makes all the difference. That being said I know nothing about what Shades in Bev Hills carries. Maybe you can find the right colorist for you there!

  13. Marina Williamson says:

    I use Naturtint and get bad itching and now numbness at the back of the scalp. Dies it contain MEA? Can you tell me anything about this product? It claims to be totally natural and does cover completely grey hair very well

    • admin says:

      Naturetint uses Ethanolamine is also known as acetamide MEA and the European Union classifies it as corrosive and harmful if in contact with the skin. However, the industry body, Cosmetic Ingredient Review, proclaims it is safe in concentrations up to 7.5%.

  14. I use Naturtint which covers grey well. but I get itching and lately numbness at the back of the scalp. Can you tell me anything about this product. It claims to be totally natural with no chemicals.

    • admin says:

      Below are the ingredients for Naturetint. The claim that they are natural is due to the hydrolyzed vegetable protein. The color contains PPD (p-phenylenediamine) which is what you are allergic too. You need to use a PPD free color line like Innocense or Kevin Murphy Color Me. This is the exact reason I wrote this blog. DO NOT and I repeat do not buy something just because it says it’s all natural. Hair color that covers grey will be made from chemicals no matter what. It is not possible to color the hair and cover greys otherwise.

      PEG-2 oleamine, aqua purificata (purified water), cocamide DEA, alcohol denat (alcohol), propylene glycol, oleic acid, ethanolamine, sodium sulfite, tetrasodium EDTA, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (triticum vulgare, soy, corn, avena sativa), sodium erythorbate, p-phenylenediamine, 4-chlororesorcinol, 2-amino-4-hydroxyethylaminoanisole sulfate, N,N-BIS (2-hydroxyethyl)-p-phenylenediamine sulfate, 4-amino-2-hydroxytoluene, m-aminophenol.

  15. michelle says:

    I am a hairdresser for over 13 years and am suffering health issues (bladder) I am sure are related to toxin overload in colours / fumes etc. I am searching for the least harmful pro colour brand in particularly to what I am breathing in. None of my clients are allergic but I am concerned my health is suffering from being around the smells. Do I have to give up hairdressing..? I have been searching brands like O and M and Natulique but they contain the just as bad stuff even thou they are ammonia free.

    • admin says:

      Hi Michelle,

      I’m so sorry to hear you are suffering from bladder issues. Since I’m not a doctor I cannot comment about the toxins being related but I do understand the toxin overload that happens when working in a salon. I want to ask you though do you or anyone else in your salon do Keratin, Brazilian or Smoothing treatments on a regular basis?


  16. Lu says:

    What about Wells Koleston Innocense (amonia free) versus Wells Koleston Perfect? My salon carries both so which one is safer? Both make my scalp itch for a few minutes then it subsides. Trying Koleston Innocense for the first time right now. Thanks

    • admin says:

      Innocense is not ammonia free. Do you mean Color touch? The color touch and Koleston perfect will make your scalp itch if allergic to PPD but innocense should not. Innocense is not ammonia free though. You are more then likely not allergic to ammonia but allergic to PPD. Let me know how it goes!

      • Lu says:

        Innocence was fine and my scalp did not itch so is it safer then Perfect? Or stay away from both? No I did not mean color touch. Thx

  17. Cindy says:

    Hi, do you know anything about Oway hair color by Simply Organic Beauty? A local salon uses it as well as O and M. They claim to be an “Organic Salon”. The salon I currently go to uses Wella and Aveda products. I had a very itchy, irritated scalp from the Wella until they switched me to the Innosense line. They are also exploring Eufora products as of late. I have done better with the Innosense but I’m always looking for the least toxic products possible…that actually work.

    • admin says:

      I have had great success with Simply Organic’s hair care products but have not tried their color line yet. I will give them a call tomorrow to find out more about their ingredients since they don’t list them online and get back to you.

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