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Click here for a list of specific locations where L’Oreal INOA hair color is sold.

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Click here for L’Oreal INOA’s ingredients list.

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Click here to read what the New York Times had to say about L’Oreal INOA hair color.

[/three_columns_last] [hozbreak] L'Oreal Professional's Inoa Range Actually Contains AmmoniaIn March of 2010 L’Oreal Professional launched their “revolutionary” new professional hair color product known as INOA with great hype and fan-fair.  The very name INOA, L’Oreal claims, stands for Innovative No Ammonia.  As with many new products launched by “Big Beauty”, L’Oreal marketed to thousands upon thousands of hairdressers from around the country and many of them jumped on board by paying extraordinarily high prices, attending countless education seminars, and beginning to use the new product on their client’s scalps with the excitement that you would only expect to see in a young child on Christmas morning.  This excitement is well expected for such a revolutionary concept; a professional permanent color range that performs well and is free of all ammonia is certainly significant and definitely an innovation worth celebrating.  Unfortunately, there are two problems for L’Oreal: (1) INOA’s line is not free of ammonia and the product is far from new; and

(2)  The actual revolutionary professional permanent hair color line that is really ammonia-free has been available for over 15 years and is known as Organic Color Systems.

L'Oreal INOA line contains ammoniaNow, just a few months later, INOA salons are coming to a rude awakening – the INOA line is not ammonia free and is clearly labeled as containing ammonia hydroxide.  Imagine seeing a new client who is a cancer survivor, a chemotherapy patient, or simply allergic to ammonia and then assuring them that the professional hair color product you use is ammonia free.  What could you possibly tell them after their treatment in which you unknowingly applied ammonia hydroxide to their scalp?  Would they sympathize with you if you told them that you bought the marketing hype but failed to read the ingredients label?  Salon professionals are licensed professionals and as such have an obligation and duty of care when dealing with the trust a client places in their hands to provide them with a safe and positive treatment.  It stands to reason that a minimum level of care begins with knowing the chemicals being applied to their scalp.

INOA hair color line contains ammonia hydroxideWhat is exceptional is that salon professionals everywhere are using this product without reading the ingredient labels of the products in the line.  The ingredients label for INOA Post shampoo, recommended for post-color shampoo with INOA’s “no ammonia” line clearly contains ammonia hydroxide as indicated in their ingredients list on the left (simply click the photo for a close-up view).  While one side of the bottle indicates its contents as “Innovative No Ammonia” the other sides lists ammonia hydroxide on its legally required and government regulated ingredients label.

Organic Color Systems – Truly Ammonia Free Hair Color

Professional Organic Hair Color

Organic Color Systems is the most recognized and reputable ammonia-free hair color line word wide. Overwhelming chosen by natural, holistic, and organic oriented colorists and clients in over 42 countries, making it the world’s premier professional organic line.


With 67 intermixable colors plus 6 Concentrate colors, 6 Intensifiers colors, 5 Brightener colors, and 2 different bleach free lightening systems; Organic Color Systems empowers Professional Colorists like you to unleash your creativity. With Organic Color Systems, colorists no longer are confined to “paint by numbers”. Aren’t you ready to let your imagination go wild?

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Find out about trying the full Organic Color Systems line in your salon risk-FREE for 30 Days!

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Features and Benefits of Organic Color Systems Professional Ammonia-Free Hair Color Line

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  • Industry’s leading 100% guarantee allowing salon professionals to try the full Organic Color Systems line for 30 days risk-free.
  • Contains no ammonia, formaldehyde, parabens, thioglycolates, or other toxic chemicals commonly found in hair color.
  • Contains 100% certified organic ingredients, anti-oxidants, plant extracts, amino-acids and other nutrients.
  • Delivers supreme rejuvenation of the hairs health by revitalizing its natural protection and moisturizers and returning hair to its isometric ideal pH level.
  • Achieves 100% full white or grey coverage without risk of fading or translucent results.
  • Supported by a complete system of products specially formulated to deliver and support Organic Color Systems while providing supreme performance without the toxic chemicals.
  • The most recognized and respected Organic Hair Color brands around the world, backed by 20 years of ammonia-free permanent hair color history.
  • Specially formulated to maintain the hair’s proper level of pH, moisture, and protein leaving hair with a sustainable natural health, shine, and luster.
  • Backed by full time online, email, and telephone support provided by leading experts in the organic salon profession.
  • Supported with the most extensive and comprehensive Organic Salon education system available today.
  • The only 100% Cruelty-Free and Vegan hair color certified by the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) organization.
  • Utilizes activators that contain only pharmaceutical-grade peroxide, certified organic ingredients, natural extracts, and conditioning agents.
  • Primary colors that contain absolutely no PPD’s, PTD’s, or any of their derivatives.
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Why Organic Color Systems is different.

Do a search for your current professional hair color line in Google and you’re sure to find hundreds of discount stores that carry their shampoos, conditioners, and treatments for sale including Wal Mart, Target, Amazon, and even your local drugstore. For decades these lines have been charging colorists a hefty premium for the privilege of promoting their hair color brand to the colorist’s clients, building up the brand’s reputation and client loyalty. Then, these companies just undercut the colorists, the very people that built up the brand in the first place, and sell directly to the colorists clients for cheaper. By taking advantage of the good reputations and hard work of professional colorists, as well as the rapport they have developed with their clients, these hair color companies have done a great job at diverting post-color revenue away from you and into their hands. This is an outrageous breach of trust and integrity.

Pursue Uncompromised Integrity;

Organic Color Systems is developed by Salon Professionals, for Salon Professionals. It is 100% non-diverted and its products (including shampoos, conditioners, and treatments) cannot be found in any non-salon establishment anywhere. Our company ethos and focus is on respect and integrity. Respecting the integrity of our relationship we have with our colorists. Respecting the hair’s health and structural integrity. Respecting the integrity for our shared responsibility for our environment.

Our Mission is to Nurture the Beauty, Dignity, Respect, Health, and Well-Being of All

Are you ready for a completely non-diverted professional brand? Are you prepared to realize the real earning opportunity of your art?

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  1. It is always sad to see charlatans attempt to STEAL innovative art and ideas with knock-offs. It is in fact an attack on true artists. No true professional would trade innovative breakthroughs for Madison Ave hype.

    Professionalism; definition from online business dictionary;


    Meticulous adherence to undeviating courtesy, honesty, and responsibility in one’s dealings with customers and associates, plus a level of excellence that goes over and above the commercial considerations and legal requirements.

    Each of us must ask ourselves, “are we an amateur, a charlatan or a professional?

  2. kris

    as usual, another shame for the “new york times” big puff piece:

    Ammonia Hydroxide was written on the bottle’s ingredients? amazing!

  3. At last people are a least questioning be it INOA or some of the other false and misleading hair colour claims.
    I have been questioning and writing blogs over the last months raising issues around this.
    well done for bringing it up as a topic.
    Mike B2MR

  4. […] INOA is loaded with Ammonia Unfortunately, the INOA line is packed with ammonia. If any salon professional actually read the ingredients label for INOA they would see that "Ammonia Hydroxide" is listed on the pre and post shampoo in large amounts. Then, simply look up "Ammonia Hydroxide" in Google or Wikipedia to find that it is simply ammonia and water. Pretty sad how easy it is for a big company like L'Oreal to take advantage of unwitting hairdressers isn't it? Try Organic Color Systems or Henna instead for something that is truly ammonia free. INOA Professional Hair Color Range Contains Ammonia | Organic Salon Systems […]

  5. cqmam

    “Ammonia Hydroxide was written on the bottle’s ingredients? amazing!”

    There is NO chemical species called Ammonia Hydroxide. What its says on the label is ammonIUM hydroxide. The ammonium ion, NH4+ is chemically related to ammonia, NH3 but it is not the same thing.

  6. cqmam

    And nary ANY chemical education amongst you.

    Ammonia and Ammonium aren’t the same things.

    Once again proving there are those who go to college and those who learn a trade…….stupid.

  7. cqman, you are sadly and sorely mistaken. Ammonium Hyrdroxide is exactly what this article says it is… ammonia water. You are a glaring example of why the Food and Drug Administration needs to get involved in state cosmetology licensing practices and increase the education requirement for beauty “professionals”. The thought that uninformed, uneducated, and mislead people like yourself are actually licensed professionals that conduct themselves in any way in which consumers would trust your advice is a fact that literally keeps me up at night!

    Simply look up Ammonium Hydroxide on wikipedia and you will find the first sentence says “Ammonium hydroxide, also known as ammonia water”. For your reference, in case you don’t know how to use “The Google”, here is a link

    Please stop trying to pretend you know anything about what you are talking about because you do not. Pretending that you do is simply dangerous. Please don’t trust companies like L’Oreal, they have the worst animal cruelty record of any company on the planet and do nothing but lie and cheat from the salon professional and their clients. Why don’t you do some research before you make feeble attempts to perpetuate more lies and misinformation that do nothing but hurt the very people that some “friendly rep” has fooled you into thinking you are helping.

    Oh, and one last thing…. SHAME ON YOU!

  8. Karen Lee

    This label, along with the Wikipedia link, makes it annoying clear that L’Oreal has duped hairstylist yet again. I have always been against their practice of testing on animals and diverting their products after salons build up a name for their brands. This is yet another example of this god forsaken company taking advantage of unwitting, hard working, stylists.

    I am tracking a case out of California where a client, allergic to ammonia, is suing the stylist who used INOA on them. L’Oreal is claiming that the stylist “knew or should have known” that the shampoos contained ammonia and also is claiming that the stylist “was educated and tested by the state cosmetology board and should have been well informed that hair color needs ammonia to be permanent and effective”. L’Oreal also correctly points out that the ingredient is listed on the label. Once again, L’Oreal will screw the stylist. When will it end? I have written an email to the plaintiff’s lawyer but doubt he cares. It is much easier to go after a salon with little money to defend themselves than a big company like L’Oreal.

    In addition to being disingenuous about their ingredients, L’Oreal INOA is also simply a bad product. It does not work well, is hard to use, and produces inconsistent outcomes. Inexperienced hairdressers will buy into the marketing hype surrounding INOA, but experienced hair colorist will never use it because it simply does not work and results matter when you have a loyal clientele.

    I use Organic Color Systems almost exclusively and bought the entire INOA line when it first came out because my rep hyped it so much. I threw most of it away because my rep would not take back the hair color. This was one of the worst mistakes I made in my salon career and I am embarrassed about it now.

    L’Oreal could not pay me enough money to use their INOA crap! I know they have a lot of money to spend, but integrity, professionalism, and the art of delivering exceptional results for your clients every time they visit is something that money can’t buy. Even if you are a French company with their noses up their rear-ends!

  9. pat

    L’Oreal knowing that there is ammonia in the product, inspite of it’s labels of ammonia free- and subsequently passing the buck to the stylists in a sort of “you should have known we were lying !” sort of thing, then this has the makings of a scandal.

  10. Niobe

    Does anyone know which is a safe free of ammonia hair color that would cover grey well??

    • Of course. It’s Organic Color Systems. This ammonia-free, oil delivered system has been around for 20 years. It is excellent at covering grey hair, but you must not cut corners and must follow the directions closely. There are plenty of excellent videos on The Organic color Systems YouTube Channel regarding grey coverage. We invite you to view them for inspiration and confidence when moving into this proven ammonia free line.

  11. Loreal will be taking the ammonium Hydroxide out of the shampoo. That being said, don’t use the shampoo, use something else, it works.

    As for allergic reaction….uh….PD test. And if you say you don’t have time, get a new job, its clearly marked.

    Or use organic color systems color.

    Most of the reaction from INOA is the client not mixing it correctly since it needs to be done literally exactly to the gram or they say, you will get a burn or discomfort.

  12. Carmela

    Wow this is scary ! I went to the salon today to get a hair cut and the hair stylist told me to buy this hair dye INOA and said it was organic and that its good for your hair and scalp. I was ready to buy it until I came across your comments.

  13. Cristina

    It is true. I paint for the first time in my entire life (age 39) my hair yesterday with INOA and after application on my hair it start to burn a bit(I was wondering why…). Today I had some etches. Not to mention that my white hair here-there still remained unpainted….
    I shall think if ever painting again.That is for sure.

  14. J. Sutton

    INOA is definitely not a friendly product for those who are chemically sensitive. Avoid it!

  15. […] Hair Color is Cumbersome, Limiting, Stifling, and Time Consuming to Apply:According to a recent article on from the American Board of Certified Hair Colorists, INOA was found to take 3X […]

  16. […] As stated in our posts, we are disappointed that L’Oreal would chose to market an ammonia-free hair color line which does in fact contain plenty of […]

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