Vol. 133, No. 2 | February 2018 Cosmetics & Toiletries® | 47
Hair colorants are in high demand. According to a recent survey, the hair color market will continue to
grow and its compound annual growth rate
(CAGR) could reach 21% by 2021.1 As such,
many manufacturers have introduced their
own brands and rendered various claims to
gain a competitive edge and differentiate
their products from those of competitors.
Although such claims should inform consumers about a product’s benefits, they also can
be misinterpreted and misleading, causing confusion about well-established and
Hair dyes provide a prime example. Claims
such as ammonia-free may be stating a fact—
the omission of ammonia—but they also give
consumers a negative impression of ammonia.
What’s more, such claims may be irrelevant;
perhaps ammonia was simply the best option
for a given application.
The present article touches on misconceptions about ammonia versus
monoethanolamine-based hair dyes. It also
analyzes facts about these ingredients and
their mechanisms, to arm formulators with
both the consumer perspective and scientific
rationale to choose the best ingredient for the
hair dyes they develop.
Perceptions of Ammonia
Since permanent hair colorants containing
ammonia (NH3) have a pungent odor, hair
color users believe they must be harsh on hair.
And indeed, the oxidation/coupling reactions
that occur during permanent dye use cause
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