Dangers of Ammonia in Your Salon
The average career of a salon professional is only eight years and 11 months. Most stylists’ careers end because of health issues related to skin irritations or complications with breathing. Salon professionals are three times more likely to be inflicted with obesity, depression, or social anxiety disorder at some point throughout their lifetime. More and more salon professionals are turning to ammonia-free and more natural and organic products to maintain their health and prolong their successful careers. Well-informed salon professionals are learning how to revitalize their health and wellness through the use of organic salon products.
Ammonia is a gas with an extremely sharp, pungent, irritating odor. Its fumes come from the substance of Ammonia Hydroxide. It is commonly used in hair color to open the hair cuticle as it is a corrosive substance that extracts water from the cells causing an inflammatory response which damages surrounding tissues. This is completely counterproductive to nurturing healthy hair as ammonia has many detrimental effects on human hair.
Ammonia is a Toxic Chemical
The professional salon industry is generally under the impression that ammonia is safe. However, this caustic toxin which is commonly used in commercial cleaning products and manufacturing explosives is actually considered TOXIC by the World Health Organization and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. There is also strong evidence that ammonia disrupts and destroys the cells in our body, causing tissue necrosis. This leads to the following health problems:
- Long-term exposure to ammonia fumes can cause obesity, depression, and social anxiety disorder.
- Daily exposure to ammonia can cause high blood pressure, pulmonary edema, and bronchitis.
- Continued contact with ammonia hydroxide will dry the skin and damage skin cells and eventually cause serious skin complications.
- Exposure to ammonia fumes can damage eyes, liver, kidneys, and lungs.
- Even brief exposure to ammonia fumes can trigger asthma and irritate or amplify allergies.
Ammonia Should Not Be Used in Hair Color
Ammonia has the following destructive effects on hair:
- The corrosive characteristics of ammonia destroy the tyrosine in human hair. Tyrosine is the protein that regulates the production of melanin, the hair’s natural pigments. Therefore, using ammonia in hair color destroys hair’s natural ability to “hold” color.
- Ammonia causes a destructive inflammatory effect on follicles rendering them dormant for an indeterminate amount of time and causing hair to thin.
- The corrosive characteristics of ammonia – while an important property in opening the cuticle – irreparably damages the cuticle which sacrifices the hair’s structural integrity. Although conditioning the hair will help temporarily close down the cuticle, it does not restore the hairs structure or repair the cuticle.
- Because ammonia extracts water from the cells, it depletes the hair of moisture. Also, the corrosive characteristics of ammonia will destroy and incapacitate the sebaceous glands which produce sebum, the hair’s natural moisturizer. Although moisturizing hair treatment will temporarily restore some of the moisture, it will not replenish the moisture deep in the hair’s cells that ammonia has extracted.
There are more effective, safer, and natural ways to open the cuticle, but they are rarely used in hair color because the organic raw ingredients are significantly more expensive than the synthetic ammonia they replace.