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What Do Ammonia and Peroxide Do to your Hair?

August 14, 2020

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Ammonia and Peroxide are a Harmful ChemicalMany people can reinvent their look with new hair color and well-placed highlights. On top of their styling benefits, hair dyes can also be the answer to conceal grey hairs, dark roots, and other pesky hair problems. There are professional hair products specially created to color people's hair, with effects that may last from a full day to several months depending on the product's composition. When it comes to permanent hair dyes, ammonia and peroxide are key ingredients that are present in most of the brands you see at stores and hair salons. They are partially responsible for fixing the color to the hair for extended periods, but do they have other side effects? If you color your hair regularly, it's important to know how dying formulas can affect your hair and change the structure of your strands.

Ammonia and Peroxide in Hair Dyes

Unlike other treatments that usually fade after a certain number of washes, permanent hair dyes stay fixed on the hair and only start fading as the hair grows and new roots become more noticeable. Ammonia and peroxide are responsible for this permanent result. Being an oxidizing agent and an effective lightener, hydrogen peroxide is a mandatory ingredient in bleach and most blond hair dyes. Meanwhile, ammonia is an alkaline chemical that raises the hair's pH and fixes the color on the strands.

Since the ammonia and peroxide must go through the hair cuticle, the hair's outer layer is lifted and weakened in the process. When the hair is constantly attacked by these components, it gets frizzy, with the strands breaking and getting split ends in the process. Getting your hair colored at a salon might reduce the risks since hairstylists take care of diluting some of the chemicals in hair dyes to reduce hair damage.

Researchers and doctors have studied the effects of hair dyes in triggering chronic illnesses like different types of cancer. While none of these studies have given conclusive results, the progressive damage of hair dyes on the strands is a different matter with proven results. The chemical composition of permanent hair dyes weakens the elasticity of the hair, making it more brittle and easy to break. If you don't want to quit the practical benefits of permanent hair dyes, you should set a limit of coloring sessions per month and enlist your stylist's help to try less invasive formulas with shades that resemble your natural hair color.
Ammonia can be harmful to the ecosystem too
It's important to know the extent of the damage caused by these ingredients, so we leave a clear list for you to review before making a decision.


  • Lifts the hair cuticle to infuse the dye's color into the hair fiber, weakening its inner structure in the process.
  • Causes permanent damage, so once the strands have become weak and brittle, there's no way to restore their initial springiness.
  • Reduces the amount of protein in your hair.
  • Reduces the natural oils on the hair and scalp.
  • Burns the scalp.
  • Irritates the nose and throat, and could lead to other respiratory problems.


  • It damages the hair cuticle.
  • Makes the hairdryer.
  • Strips the hair of its color to better fix the artificial shade of the hair dye, destroying the pigment cells in your strands and fading your hair's natural color more permanently.
  • Irritates the scalp, as well as the skin around your neck and hairline. The peroxide in hair products is known for causing burns and dermatitis.
  • Causes hair loss, either by damaging the cuticles or by the chemical reaction caused on the hair cortex.
The Ammonia Vapors That the Salon Professionals Are Exposed to, Can Cause Lung Problems

Alternatives to Permanent Hair Dyes

In time, the risks of permanent hair dyes have become public knowledge and the hair care industry has developed a variety of alternatives to help people color their hair more safely. There are organic hair dyes with a lower concentration of chemical ingredients and natural pigments to make up for the lack of ammonia and peroxide. While their effects might fade sooner, some of their formulas can remain on the hair for a considerable time. Many renowned brands and coming up with new ammonia-free formulas that minimize many of the side effects caused by ammonia-based hair dyes. Some of these formulas replace ammonia with other harmful chemicals, so research their composition as much as you can before trying any of them.

Natural ingredients can help change your hair color when you're not looking for a drastic color change; remember that straying too much from your natural shade will only increase the damage. Chamomile, lemon juice, and honey and common ingredients in hair-lightening shampoos can also be mixed in homemade formulas to prompt a progressive change in your hair color. You need to consider how greasy or dry your hair is before trying any of these natural solutions.

When it comes to coloring roots and touching up highlights, root concealers are safe alternatives with the same shade variety provided by permanent hair dye. For many people, short-term solutions like root concealers, serums, and shine-enhancing treatments are enough to revitalize the hair to the point that its natural color shines through after a consistent hair care routine. Deep conditioning treatments are also useful to reduce some of the damages on your hair cuticle.

Do you want more information to protect your hair's color and shine? The Cosmetic Republic USA has all the products you need, along with the recommendations of reliable hair care experts. Just call Tag.Sitetelephone or fill out the contact form in our website to get the best resources in the industry. Also, subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest news and tips straight to your inbox.

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