Colour Theory Should you try INOA Ammonia-Free Hair Colour?

inoa ammonia free hair colour Should you try INOA Ammonia Free Hair Colour?

After reading some scary reports about the carcinogenic chemicals in hair dyes—not to mention living through some MAJOR dye-induced damage a few years back—I was super-eager to try INOA.

It’s a new, ammonia-free, in-salon permanent colour system by L’Oréal Professionnel (INOA is short from Innovation No Ammonia).

Now some salons DO use no-ammonia colours already—but the difference with this one is that it’s permanent (not a demi), provides 100 percent gray coverage, and it doesn’t damage or dry out your hair.

I gave it a try a few weeks ago at Toronto’s Taz Hair. (By the way, if you’re looking for a new colourist, I’ve been seeing Joanna for a few years now and she is amazing.)

Anyway, INOA was basically my last hurrah (I think) with all-over permanent colour. On the recommendation of my new favourite hair guy Charles Baker Strahan, I’ve decided to go back to my lightish brown base with blonde highlights. So I got Joanna to use INOA to colour-correct the non-highlighted pieces, in order to take out my previous reddish tint.

The dye takes a bit longer than most to mix up because it’s oil-based, but that’s also what makes it safe even on sensitive scalps. Not only does it give off ZERO odour (you know how most hair salons have that noxious ammonia scent, right?), it also won’t burn or irritate. My hair has been feeling silky-soft ever since—and from what I can tell beneath the highlights, the colour looks great.

Expect to pay a little bit more (about $15 or so) than you would with a regular dye. And understand that it’s by no means 100 percent natural—although it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

Have you tried INOA?
What hair colour system do you use?
Know of any other ammonia-free options?


Sunday, April 25/2010 at 10:50 am

I tried INOA too a couple weeks ago and like it a lot too.
My hair is soft, and the color seem to last. And my colorist make me snif the mixture and there was absolutely no odor, it’s magic!


Thursday, June 30/2011 at 5:14 pm

I use inoa in my salon and i must say it does not work wonders for me..whenever i seem to use it tends to make the hair really oily after you shampoo it out and i do use the inoa shampoo..i personally think its shit


Sunday, September 4/2011 at 6:53 pm

It’s really important to emulsify the color to lift the oils from the scalp before you shampoo during the last 3 minutes of processing time. At the sink you must also add a bit of warm water and emulsify again. The color will turn into a milky Grayish color. Then proceed to rinse completely and shampoo twice with your post inoa shampoo. Hope this helps!


Wednesday, December 7/2011 at 6:30 pm

Once you get a better understanding of how the ODS system works Martz, you should do fine. Be sure to follow the steps and you will get the same great results that other salons get.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, April 25/2010 at 2:20 pm

That’s awesome – glad you liked it too!


Christy Carlson
Tuesday, April 27/2010 at 7:02 pm

I currently use Organic Color Systems. I tried Inoa twice now and both times it seemed to leave my clients hair damaged and looking fried. Also, Inoa contains PPD’s which are highly carcinogenic and I cannot take risks with my client’s health. Their are other ammonia-free brands on the market. My advice – if you live in the US or Canada, go with a brand that is manufactured in Europe and especially the U.K. where they have much more strict controls on ingredients of hair color. OCS is the only government certified organic professional permanent hair color available as of now.


Thursday, April 7/2011 at 3:13 pm

Hi Christy

Do you know a salon in Los Angeles or Orange County that uses the organic color systems?


Wednesday, August 3/2011 at 1:15 pm

LA Salons that use Organic Color Systems:

Salon: Primrose Organics Salon
Stylist(s): Melissa Moore and Felicia Howe
Address: 4616 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: 323-664-5446

Salon: The Cottage Hair Studio
Address: 211 S Robertson Blvd. Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Phone: 310-967-0041

Salon: Dory’s Hair Design
Stylist: Dory Casa
Address: 2161 Colorado Blvd #101 Los Angeles, CA 90041
Phone: 323-344-9548

Salon: Ratana
Address: 916 1/4 N La Cienega Blvd Backdoor Los Angeles, CA 90069
Phone: 310-659-2239


Sunday, May 8/2011 at 8:44 pm

Please read the label!! Organic Color Systems DOES CONTAIN PPD’s. It’s written right on the label. Don’t want to burst your bubble, just want you to be aware. Also, OCS IS NOT ENTIRELY ORGANIC. It contains organic ingredients, but its not completely organic. As professionals we MUST be informed about the chemicals we use on our guests.


Louise Wood
Monday, June 20/2011 at 12:33 pm

Dear Christy
For your information all hair colour contains some level of PPD, even organic colour. Innoa was brought to the market as an ammonia free colour, not an organic colour, and whilst it does contain PPD because it is an oil-based colourant is is extremely gentle on the hair. I am really surprised to hear that it left your client’s hair in such a poor state, it could possibly be because the color wasn’t removed correctly. It must be dry emulsified thoroughly before water is applied otherwise the hair will feel that there is a residue – this is what could have happened in your experience. It will actually improve the hair condition the more it is used.


Karen Davis
Saturday, June 29/2013 at 1:59 am

“Organic Color Systems” uses PPD just like INOA. Do your research they both have an oil delivery system. I’ve used both and I’ve found INOA to give me much more dependable results, much less fading, and a lot more support.


Friday, April 30/2010 at 10:12 am

Do yourselves a favour: DO NOT USE INOA!!!
The salon that has taken good care of my hair for 3 years just switched to Inoa. They’ve applied it twice and my long hair – which was previously in good condition – is suddenly thin, dry, brittle, and continuing to disintegrate, with a halo of short frizzled broken bits. Never again!


Sunday, March 20/2011 at 10:19 pm

My lovely long hair thinned dramatically and turned to straw since I started using INOA. I’m switching back to the traditional dyes. Never again will I be the first out the gate to try a new product.


Saturday, September 10/2011 at 3:57 am

The same has happened to me !!!!!! Never again …


Monday, December 17/2012 at 2:37 pm

hi, i agree entirely. Since using INOA for over a year my long hair is a dry frizzy mess. What next I dont know, but no more. Maybe embracing the grey!


Friday, August 1/2014 at 4:03 pm

Help! I totally agree with you. I just switched colorist since I’ve had it my guy and his rude attitude. I’ve gone to him for 15 year and he is very good with color. Uses Wella. Well a I switch to a highly recommended salon. My hair is naturally curly and I’ve learned to manage it well over the years — after shampoo and conditioner, I don’t use a lot of product and I let it dry naturally — has always worked quite well for me. Since I just switched to new salon — the color is lovely but (with this L’Oreal Inoa) my hair is not curly but like you said a halo of frizz and the curl is now flat. I don’t know what to do. Any suggestions? Please help, I’m in a panic. My new color person said my hair may do well with ammonia-based — such as Wella or Framesi, which have always worked perfect for me.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, April 30/2010 at 10:36 am

Thanks for the tip Christy – I’m going to look into that brand (even though I’m just highlighting now – no more all-over permanent dyes for me).

Interesting that both Christy and Sheila say it dried out hair… that wasn’t my experience but that sounds terrible. Hmmm…


Monday, June 21/2010 at 12:06 pm

I was so excited to try INOA on my clients. I went to the certification class, I bought a kit and started using it. I have used it on about 5 or 6 clients and myself. I have been extremely disappointed. It has turned out lighter on everyone about two shades, it damaged my hair extremly bad. Just like Sheila, my hair is broken and very dry, I have always used Loreal products and have NEVER had this happen before. I am going to return all the rest of my color and go back to the other Loreal products.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, June 21/2010 at 4:24 pm

Thanks for the info Jennifer – I’m now seriously concerned about this product. Who knew that the regular chemical colour would be LESS damaging to your hair? I wonder what ingredient is causing this.


Tuesday, July 6/2010 at 6:57 am

Oh My Gosh I love the colour of that womans hair shown in the article

could you please tell me what colour that is and If i could purchase it anywhere


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, July 17/2010 at 4:29 pm

I assume it’s an INOA colour – so wouldn’t be available for purchase… you would have to go get the treatment done at a salon.


Monday, July 12/2010 at 11:10 am

Never again.
With much anticipation, I just had my hair professionally colored with L’Oreals new Inoa in golden blond tone – the same color I previously had.
And – although the oil delivery system left my hair feeling silky, it later became dried out and brittle after the next wash. Now I’m trying to save my damaged hair. Any tips from others in repairing the damage are more than welcome…


Wednesday, September 8/2010 at 5:05 am

Try coconut milk treatment, I have used it a couple of times and it works wonders! my hair is much smoother now even after all the damaging ive done to it with hair colors….


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, September 8/2010 at 2:50 pm

Coconut milk? Interesting – haven’t heard of that before as a hair treatment. I think I would be too tempted to drink it! :-)


Thursday, April 7/2011 at 3:15 pm


What is the “coconut” treatment? I’d love to try it. Where can I get that and is it a certain brand that works better than others?


Tuesday, July 13/2010 at 5:33 pm

I too have tried Inoa. Was wonderful after first use, silky and soft hair and covered grey well, but after three uses it has completely dried out my long hair and I won’t be using it again. Feedback from my hairdresser is that I am not alone in my experience with Inoa. Inoa suits some but does not work for all. Use with caution.


Karen Davis
Saturday, June 29/2013 at 2:04 am

It’s rarely the colors fault. Problem are almost always in formulation mistakes, application mistakes, timing mistakes and not knowing how to remove the color correctely.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, July 14/2010 at 10:15 am

@Suzanne – I’ll try and do a post on damaged hair tips soon. Just quickly, the line I used when I fried my hair with solid-colour bleach a few yrs ago was Redken’s Extreme line. (This was advised by a hairdresser who I think knew what he was talking about!) The range is here:

I liked it because my hair is fine and straight so doesn’t do well with really heavy products… this one didn’t over-moisturize but still did the job.


Sunday, September 25/2011 at 1:09 am

hmmm guys pls do help me im trying to do highlight my hair i wanted to use inoa but with all ur comments makes my mind sad soooo any good product that i can use……


Ethel Zivotofsky
Thursday, July 15/2010 at 3:17 pm

Please let me know where I can find a salon near my zip code—–94602, in the East Bay (Oakland, Berkeley etc) in California—that uses INOA,
a L’Oreal product, or Organic Color Systems.
Thank you!
My email is


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, July 17/2010 at 4:31 pm
Saturday, April 7/2012 at 4:42 pm

I’ve had both Inoa and Organic Color Systems used on my hair. The PPD in Organic Color Systems is quite a bit less than what is in Inoa. In addtion Organic Color systems PPD is derived from coconut. A salon is SF off Arguello & Clement in the inner Richmond district uses OCS. The salon is called Ingenious Salon. Tatyana did a great job on my hair.


Saturday, April 7/2012 at 7:11 pm

Neither one of these color manufacturer list exactly how much ppd is in their product. There’s not a test strip to tell you how much either one contains. We have no way of proving that statement.


Sunday, July 18/2010 at 3:38 pm

I think that ppl need to look at the facts! INOA does not damage hair as much as ammonia based color period! And how often do u use product or extreme heat styles? Most likely everyday…. And if u would do any research on INOA u will see that you don’t get results until after the fifth application and by the 9th use it will look and feel as if it had never been chemically treated or virgin hair! And maby u should look to a new salon or a different colorist because that means they are uneducated on this product it is an exact science and can easily b mixed wrong! Lots of luck to u all!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, July 19/2010 at 9:09 am

Thanks Ash – there’s been a lot of negativity here about INOA so good to have another perspective. I hadn’t heard that it takes 5 applications… will need to look into that. And yes, have heard it’s quite difficult to mix.


Tuesday, July 27/2010 at 3:50 pm

[Deleted - let's be civil please. -Ed]

How does using a color 9 times make your hair softer? If it has all the oils shouldnt it make it super shiny from the first use?

Anyways, I tried the color at my salon and its not that great, if only Loreal put the effort in their colors as they do with their marketing, it would be truly amazing. This INOA is another flop like Dia, Luo and will be dropped by many salons after they use it.

If majirel cant cover gray fully, I dont expect inoa will either!


Thursday, November 18/2010 at 4:54 am

Just for info, Luo and dia colour gelee, riches etc is used by fantastic salons across the uk. Low end salons tend to stick with less ranges to reduce costs as different ranges cost more to stock.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, November 18/2010 at 6:43 pm

Yes I feel like L’Oreal is the only brand the majority of salons use here in Toronto. Or very rarely Schwarzkopf. It’s too bad there isn’t more education of the different options out there so consumers can make a more educated choice.

Which colour brands do you recommend? I’ve never heard of Dia or Luo (not sure if they’re in Canada) but we have the commenter above saying they are a flop…


Saturday, December 8/2012 at 1:16 pm

Sorry Ash, but that is not true. My hair was extremely healthy before using Inoa on it. I don’t use heat sources on my hair, use Kerastase hair products and only wash it twice a week. My hair had NO damage at all. Now, after using Inoa twice, my hair is a dry, brittle mess. It’s thinning and looks like straw. I absolutely would not recommend Inoa and the more I read about it, the more I see that I am not alone.


Carrie Jacobs
Sunday, August 1/2010 at 7:15 pm

I have been a stylist for 10 years and somehow was swayed to try Inoa by our L’Oreal rep. They bought all my other color line from me and gave me a free credit for their line. I have never been so disappointed in a product my entire life.

The product line comes with a post shampoo that contains very high levels of ammonia. It also irritates scalps and performs horribly with grey hair. The product yields inconsistent color outcomes even when used exactly the same and exactly the same kinds of hair. In short, this product SUCKS!

I have asked for my old product back and they will not give it to me. I have given the rep back his garbage and told him I will buy my old product back myself. This is probably the worst product I have ever seen hit the market. It is marketed dishonestly and L’Oreal should be ashamed of themselves.

If ever I have witnessed such an egregious case of greenwashing, it is Inoa.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, August 5/2010 at 2:03 pm

But I thought the whole point was that it’s ammonia-free! Do you have to use the ammonia shampoo after applying the colour or can you use something else? (If not then WOW… that’s misleading.)


Sunday, August 14/2011 at 8:13 pm

I am a colorist in Alberta and have heard this ridiculous comment about the shampoo having ammonia in it.
1. Do you know anything about color? If so you would know ammonia opens and swells the hair cuticle. That would in turn be futile to put ammonia on the hair after the coloring process is done. You should NOT be coloring anyone’s hair if your logically thinking any coloring system would do that.
2. They have to legally list everything the product comes in contact with. This includes the ammonia of sorts they use to clean the vats they use to make the shampoo prior to making. They have also started to use different cleaning agents for people who can’t think logically about what ammonia would do after the coloring process is finished.
3. Chemists spend their life time making these products, this product works for most stylists because the chemists have made it stylist friendly as well have to make true claims. If you can’t make it work, it’s probably not the color… It’s probably YOU.


Thursday, October 6/2011 at 12:31 am

You’re right on target Jessi! Everything you said makes sense and is true! Why anyone would think there would be ammonia in the shampoo? A step taken AFTER the color process is done.
It’s too bad there are stylists out there who aren’t open minded, and ready to admit they’ve made a mistake whether it was their mixing, formula or application.
We are in an industry that is continually changing and we need to be open to it and willing to persevere for our clients.
Also wanted to add that the oil isn’t there to moisturize the hair or for cosmetic reasons. It’s a part of the oil delivery system to drive the colorants Into the hair. This way we do NOT need ammonia


Thursday, October 27/2011 at 12:40 am

No one has to list ingredients that are used to clean the materials they work in. IF they did all foods would have soap ingredients listed. You were sold some hogwash by someone. INOA DOES have and use ammonia in it’s shampoo. That’s why it’s listed. That’s why it’s there.


Monday, February 27/2012 at 3:49 am

It is embarrassing to me how many colorist on this board don’t understand the fundamentals of how the molecules work on a basic level… It is your responsibility to educate YOURSELF on new products and techniques, having an elementary understanding of your job does not equal a poor product! LOOSE the ego and do your research… You then might be able to get this or any product to work for you.


Wednesday, May 9/2012 at 9:37 pm

I am an individual who has a hairdressing licence acquired many years ago. I never practiced or got a job in the business but as a result know a bit more about hair color than someone with no industry knowledge. I was looking for a haircoloring product to replace Schwarzkopf Soft, which I was happy with and could do myself and Googled the INOA reviews last year, 2011. I came across a review by a NYC hairstylist and his review of INOA is basically the same experience as Carrie Jacobs. He did not say that he received a credit for his old stock but was unhappy that he had to buy the whole color line. He was dissatisfied with the performance and provided quite a bit of fact based data on why INOA is not ammonia free. I went to a Loreal salon today for a consulation and was told by the stylist that Loreal is phasing out the Majirel and replacing it with INOA. I haven’t had my hair colored in several years and wanted to make sure I was not making a mistake. I was unhappy with the result of my last haircolor experience which was with Majirel but I think the technician was as fault.


Katie Thomas
Friday, August 13/2010 at 8:30 pm

I have had similar bad experiences with the product. It does not cover grey, it fades after a week, it leaves the hair dry, brittle, and damaged after the first wash following the color treatment, and other products in the line, such as the shampoo and the oil that is mixed with the color, contains high levels of ammonia. I have had two clients that have developed horrible irritations and reactions to this color who told me they were sensitive to ammonia. I feel horrible.

This is one of those very bad products that is being shamelessly marketed by a pretty good company. I wouldn’t throw all L’Oreal products out the door, but if you’re using INOA you’ve made a horrible mistake.


Wednesday, August 18/2010 at 12:58 am

keep an eye out for upcoming austalian hair colour brand Original & Mineral i have been getting colour done by salons that use this product in australia and their colour is 100% grey coverage and entirely ammonia free and they achieve the most hi-lift blondes ever! they also have this beautifully packaged sulphate free shampoo line to compliment the colour. my hair has felt healthier since using this colour and their twitter updates say that they’re moving to the USA soon!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, August 18/2010 at 10:33 am

Wow – they have a nice site; product sounds good too. Hope they make it to Canada soon!


rachael suddes and all the girls xxx
Wednesday, September 15/2010 at 7:20 am


We at wags are loving this new professional brand off colour it leves the hair soft shiny glossy and the colours last longer.
It is harder to mix but a bit of time and effort goes a long way when using a professional brand. This new colour is ammonia free and has no odour with is fantastic esspecialy for sensative scalps.
we carnt wait for evan more fab colour!!


Tuesday, October 19/2010 at 1:56 pm

INOA was an absolute disaster for me that will cost me for the rest of the years I want to color my hair. First of all, this product has very high levels of PPD. I had a bad allergic reaction to PPD for the first time in my life. Would that have happened eventually anyway? Probably, since PPD allergy develops after using hair coloring for years, but I’ve talked to other hairdressers who think more people react to INOA. On top of a lifetime of limited hair color options, my hair is ruined. The hairdresser, a certified INOA trainer, told me he was “required” to pull the color through to my roots, but not to worry, my highlights would still be there and would look great. Disaster! Ends are black; no highlights left. Meanwhile, roots went hot, but product did not cover grey. Now I have bright red and grey roots, black hair, and an allergy to hair dye. All for $120. (BTW, even though there is no ammonia, there is developer, up to 30 volume, and the product stays on your hair longer than normal dye. That may be the source of some of the damage. It’s ridiculous for L’Oreal to claim ammonia is more damaging than 30 volume developer on your hair for 45 minutes.)


Dayana Medina
Tuesday, February 1/2011 at 4:38 pm

I am very sorry for your bad experience with INOA hair color.
What you describe appears as if the hairdresser did not chose the correct formula.
Hi-light hair absorbs hair color very quickly. It is recommended to apply the color at the tips in the last 15 minutes before rinsing, using 20 vol.
I recommend only touching the roots to avoid ash tone or too much color saturation.
20 volume for coverage of white hair.

3 Hair Makeup in Los Angeles


Thursday, October 21/2010 at 6:48 pm

I am a stylist and have been using Inoa since it’s launch in Toronto , Canada. This is an amazing product, but it is very important to have a colorist that has been specially trained with this product. It is extremely important that it is mixed properly, and have the proper color choice. We were taught that Inoa appears to be a Shade or two lighter because it is a more translucent color , apposed to the matte appearance of most permanent colors, including L’oreal’s majirel. The product has to be DRY emulsified before rinsing and really rinsed well before shampooing with the Inoa shampoo. This stops all chemical reaction and gets all of the tint off the hair and scalp. This product works a little differently by having the color taken into the shaft by an oil delivery system ,ODS, and if this is done properly there is no reason for it to cause damage to the hair.
You also have to take into consideration that if you have previously chemically treated hair your results may vary. And one thing we also were trained to do was to analyze the client and their needs. Just because Inoa is the choice for one person it does not mean that there may be a better choice of color for another person . L’oreal professional has at least six different lines of permanent and Demi permanent coloring available.
I hope this helps


frankie lamb
Friday, June 24/2011 at 6:44 pm

i had my hair coloured yesterday inoa was used for the first time i had a terrible reaction i thought i was going to die i ended up in emergrncy were i received an injection in my backside , antihystamine i believe . I lost my voice for about an hour and was vomiting i felt really bad and could hardly stand up . now i am scared to get my hair coloured at all , i was also covered in welts and could not stop scratching , in other words i had the worse possible reaction ever .


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, June 25/2011 at 5:07 pm

Oh wow, hope you are ok now. This is why patch tests are so important – although most people never bother to do them.


Friday, October 29/2010 at 5:30 pm

Enjoy your online articles- could you tell me if there are any hair dyes from Europe/ UK that do not use PPD, ok if semi or demi or other type, just desperate for PPD free. Thank you so much for your time. Sincerely, JP


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, November 6/2010 at 4:00 pm

Good question. I don’t know about salon colour but I *think* Herbatint, Sanotint and Naturtint are PPD-free. I’ve ordered these from here (if you live in Canada):
Surya Henna is also supposed to be good (Pure + Simple in Toronto carries it) but henna is tricky to work with.


Saturday, November 13/2010 at 3:34 am

Actyva from the color Kemon has a beautiful line that is PPD free. However, like ammonia free color, PPD free color is replaced with MEA which is more dangerous than PPD. (Many stylists still prefer PPD color because PPD is a common allergen and is typically what clients are allergic too when they are allergic to color)


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, November 14/2010 at 7:19 pm

Thanks for your insight on this Erin – much appreciated! I didn’t know about MEA so thanks for the heads up, I’ll have to look into that. (Too bad when you get rid of one ingredient they replace it with something worse – ugh!)


Saturday, April 7/2012 at 7:17 pm

PPD is responsible for the pigment. MEA is responsible for the pigment penetration. You can’t swap out one for the other. MEA replaces ammonia.


Saturday, February 11/2012 at 5:56 pm

Yes, Sanotint light is PPD free, Sanotint Classic has a small amount of PPD. I love the way my hair looks when I use Sanotint products. I normaly dye my hair dark blonde, even though I thought my hair was pretty dark, when I used Light brown, the result was darker than my natural color. Now I use Dark blonde and nobody can say wether I color my hair or not. It also makes the hair shine, so it looks very healthy. I am very happy with the brand. I also use sanotint shampoo, Sanotint Balm and Sanotint oil non oil for my hair, so maybe that is what improved my hair . Oh, and I almost frgot – I buy it with free shipping at


Saturday, November 13/2010 at 3:19 am

INOA is a prime example of what is know as a marketing gimmick. If you take out ammonia you have to replace it with something. What they replace it with is known as MEA. MEA is a known carcinogen and is not natural to the environment and is not as effective as ammonia which is why most color companies do not use it. (Ammonia free color is not new technology). Ammonia is natural to the environment and is not a considered a carcinogen. Also, which is interesting is that color lines with ammonia decrease in ammonia contents as the color level decreases as a higher amont is not needed. INOA’s MEA levels are the same across the board. Lastly, many color companies are going away from oil in color because you need higher ammonia/MEA levels to fight through the oil in order to penetrate. Hence, why some of the newer color companies offer gel developers because they need lower levels of ammonia. Two great permanent color options are Artease color and Enjoy colors. Artease has 92 percent natural ingredients and has .58% to 2 % ammonia and you can achieve 100 percent gray coverage with even 10 volume developer. Its 99 percent unoxidized color so essentially no color fadeage. Enjoy color uses gel developers so they use less ammonia because it does not need higher amounts to fight oil in creme developers. I don’t know a ton about enjoy color but the shine is like NOTHING I have ever seen. And the bleach is the best bleach on the market. Bottom line don’t fall for major corporations marketing gimmicks. Loreal is the same company that takes away hair stylists business by advertising to buy their box color and do it at home…


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, November 14/2010 at 7:28 pm

Again (as I said above) thank you Erin for your insight into the formulation and MEA. So disappointing. But now I definitely want to look into Enjoy and Artease! Thanks for the recommendations.

I just wish these lines and the salons who use them would make it easier for us consumers to find them! I would totally switch salons if I could find a place that uses a high quality dye that does as little damage as possible. It seems like most places are locked in with L’Oreal.


Monday, December 6/2010 at 4:10 pm

Hey Michelle,

I’d be more than happy to get any information about arteasecolors to you. I’m loving the blog and your voice on the industry!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, December 7/2010 at 6:19 pm

That would be great, thanks!


Sunday, November 14/2010 at 4:58 am

Hi. I have been using henna and switched to color recently as i have a lot of grey hair. used Inoa for the past 2 months. And I hve developed severe reaction immed both times after use. Scalp itches badly, crusts over and there is clear discharge. No apparent issue with hair , but reaction on on scalp is bad. So theres something in INOA thats causing a severe reaction. PPD? Wondering wht to do – switch colors? I defn need to color becos of the grey. Any advice?


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, November 14/2010 at 7:41 pm

Yikes!! I would definitely stop using – I doubt changing INOA shades would give you a different result. It’s hard to say what is causing it without knowing – have you ever used regular hair dye before? And did you ever have a reaction to that? It could be the MEA in INOA or something else…. you might be sensitive to PPD as well.

So my advice: Whatever you do, before colouring again I would definitely do a patch test to make sure it’s not going to give you a reaction.

Also I thought with henna you weren’t supposed to be able to dye over top of it? Just be careful… it can end up turning green or get really dry and damaged…

Just found this article; there’s some info here about people having a reaction to INOA so you’re not alone:

You also might be able to find some suggestions here:


Hair DYI
Wednesday, November 17/2010 at 4:40 pm

thanks for all these postings; was thinking of trying but definitely won’t now! I have been doing my own hair forever, and find that the best solution is to stick with the demi-permanent! I have also used 10 volume developer with permanent dye, and it worked fine! gave me colour that stayed! why not just do that? I also found that for some reason the best colour I’ve used came from Sally Beauty brand (Ion), but Colorianne (Italian brand) is also amazing.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, November 18/2010 at 6:41 pm

I know, I’ve found these comments very enlightening as well. Thanks for the other brand recommendations!


Sunday, November 21/2010 at 1:02 pm







Thank you, I will check back to see.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, November 22/2010 at 5:39 pm

I haven’t, I’m sorry – anyone else care to weigh in?


Monday, November 29/2010 at 10:05 pm

I have a client who is highly allergic to PPD and i need to know if there is a professional color line that has a PPD free color.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, December 3/2010 at 7:10 pm

Can any of the hairdressers on this thread weigh in on this?


Friday, February 11/2011 at 10:31 pm

Hair stylist chiming in!
MEA and DDP is in every conventional haircolor. There are some off brands that do not include these chemicals. As stylist we need true, consistant results. “Organic” hair color may work beautifully for some, but in a salon, where we apply hundreds of applications in a year, we must use predictable color.
Henna is the only true organic color. Those of you that have used it frequently, and I’m not talking once or twice, can attest that the results vary greatly.
MEA is a non volitive ammonia. Is it better? Well, it is not swelling your cuticle open the same degree that traditional ammonia. It has been used for DECADES in demi permanent color and in almost all “organic” permanent colors. That’s right. Every recognizable brand contains MEA.
DDP, it is the second bad boy of color. This is pigment in color and usually the reason behind allergic reactions. It too is in virtually every tube of color.
I am shocked that with the hype of ammonia versus MEA, and DDP, why people do not stress about the latex gloves that most salons use. It is far more common of an allergic reaction.
What it boils down to is find a stylist that you love that listens to you. Trust that they stake their talent and the reputation into the color they use. They have put more time than you can ever imagine selecting the best color for the effects of the climate you live in.
Side note…we switched from the most popular “organic” color to INOA and could not be happier.


Thursday, December 2/2010 at 12:30 am

I have only tried INOA once. Kinda surprised at all the negative experiences. My hair came out absolutely gorgeous! The color was so rich & lasted a very long time. It covered all my grey. My hair turned out very soft.
My stylist must have mixed it just right.
I have not gone back because of the expense. Now that I have read all these comments about the ingredients I will not use INOA again. The risk with MEA is not worth it,


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, December 3/2010 at 7:07 pm

Same here! I used it once and was really happy with how my hair looked… but based on these comments I don’t think I’ll be doing it again :-(


Saturday, December 11/2010 at 2:38 pm

Tints of Nature works great. Box color at Whole Foods. Under $10.00 a box and covered my grey, and I have a lot. It doesn’t last quite as long as the old, toxic brands, but I still love it. IT smells good when coloring and came out a bit darker than I thought, but that is fine. All around fantastic, my hair is softer! I used Light Golden Brown, I have naturally dark, brown hair.

Tints of Nature is a good way to go:)


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, December 14/2010 at 3:29 pm

Thanks for the reco… I see this line is sold at too.


Healther Collins
Tuesday, December 14/2010 at 10:36 am

I was sold into INOA from my rep. This was the biggest mistake I have ever made in the salon business. The color takes 2x – 3x longer to mix and apply. The outcome is very inconsistent and unreliable by about 2 shades. Many clients reported irritated scalps and very dry hair with some breakage after the second application. Grey will cover at first, but fades off tone within a week or two. I complained to my rep and he outright called me a liar and said that such problems have never been reported. I have sensitivities to ammonia and the product gave me some severe irritations.

I found an article online saying the INOA contained ammonia. I checked the ingredients label and the shampoos do contain ammonia. My rep literally told me that Ammonia Hydroxide was not ammonia and that I was wrong. I showed him the Wikipedia entry on ammonia hydroxide which said it was ammonia and water. He said that I can’t believe everything online and that I was gullible. He then came back and said that L’Oreal told him Wikipedia has a biased against L’Oreal and is trying to discredit it. He would not return, exchange, or refund anything.

I sold the product on eBay for a fraction of what I pay for it. I have returned to my previous line that is truly ammonia free and works great. This mistake has cost me about $10,000 and probably 15 clients in addition to months of irritation from the product and insult from the rep.



Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, December 14/2010 at 3:34 pm

Yikes! That does sound terrible but are you behind the L’Oreal hate site you linked to? Unfortunately that makes me question your story as it appears to be affiliated with PETA and I disagree with *a lot* of things they do.


Tuesday, December 14/2010 at 8:24 pm

Here it is……the true Ammonia free Color line is Organic Color Systems from the UK. The only reason that Loreal is because OCS has been taking more and more market share from Loreal and all the other Major color brands. None of the crap INOA has is in OCS. They were the first to use oil to enter the Cuticle. This is done by processing with heat. Loreal INOA cannot be compared to OCS. I am not a hair stylist, I am a Hair Colorist in NYC with 16 years experience. I use other lines in the Salon but OCS seems to be what I am using more and more.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, December 18/2010 at 1:31 pm

Thanks Roger. Has anyone heard of Farouk colour? (makers of Chi)
Just discovered this is what my hairdresser uses and it’s supposedly ammonia-free as well. They’re really happy with it, it works great for balayage.


Saturday, January 22/2011 at 6:16 am

Glad to know you are giving your clients options. Great that you use OCS. One day I want it done professionally. Cheers!


Saturday, December 18/2010 at 2:03 pm

I posted a couple months ago after INOA ruined my hair and caused a terrible allergic reaction. After talking to a couple colorists whom I trust, I decided to do a patch test using some high quality European colors mixed with Sweet and Low (the stuff in the pink packets.) Well, I barely reacted to Goldwell level 6, so my hairdresser has used that twice now. Both times, I reacted a little at the hairline, but the redness went away in an hour. She also re-highlighted my hair with bleach. Thank goodness! My hair looks pretty good. Dry, but good. Here is what my hundreds of hours of research has taught me: 1. Colors MANUFACTURED in Western Europe, especially Germany, tend to have lower amounts of PPD than colors manufactured in the US. (Note that some colors that were previously manufactured in Europe now are made in the U.S.); 2. Many people find that Sweet and Low buffers the PPD reaction. My hairdresser adds four packets per batch and usually makes two separate batches per appointment; 3. Lighter colors have less PPD than darker colors; 4. Lots of people have problems with MEA ; 5. There are A LOT of people on the web unhappy with INOA. Shame on you, L’Oreal! I will never buy anything from you again.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, December 23/2010 at 9:35 am

Thanks for the insights Tsippi! So funny – I JUST heard the Sweet N Low thing from my colourist the other day. I will agree with you re: going with a high quality European colour line. From now on that’s what I’ll be sticking to. Was really happy with the Farouk used on me the other day.


Monday, January 3/2011 at 3:11 pm

Dear stylists, Be professional, don’t be a fool from being misled by l’oreal …. INOA is NOT ammonia-free coloring process. Check the fact!


Thursday, January 20/2011 at 12:49 pm

Hey Michelle!
I am on the look out for a new hair colourist and was wondering who you would recommend? Do you still see Johanna from Taz salon? I have been going to Vidal Sasoon for a few years but still haven’t found a colourist I love…Any recommendations would be great!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, January 20/2011 at 5:23 pm

Joanna is great, really sweet… I’m trying someone new right now though, just because she always wants to give me all-over colour plus highlights and I wanted to give my hair a break and just do highlights. Right now seeing Jeff at Angst – he does balayage (freehand painting of the highlights) and they use a really high quality colour with NO smell – by Farouk (makers of Chi flat irons). Taz uses L’Oreal colour and I think it’s a bit harsher on the hair.

Also good is Luis from Hair on the Avenue… he did my Ombre: I ditched it just because I didn’t like being brunette, but technically Luis is very good!

Have to say overall Angst is my fave place though because I’m a longtime client of Bill’s…he cuts my hair. They’re very casual and are the one place I always trust – they’re realistic and don’t try to push anything too fashiony/high maintenance on you.


Saturday, January 22/2011 at 6:13 am







Wednesday, January 26/2011 at 2:54 pm

My stylist has used INOA on my hair twice now. No horrible reactions, thank goodness. But, the color fades quickly and I don’t like the in-between color. She took my bleached level 9 hair to approximately a level 5.5 with the INOA and wove it in with the remaining highlights (my natural hair color is dark ash blond, maybe level 6-7). Looks great, and my hair is healthier, but I’ve decided I want to go back to light blond with caramel and brownish lowlights. Anyone know if this can be done with INOA color in one appointment? I’d rather not bleach, but I’d rather bleach than stay with the darker hair. I know zilch about hair color, but wondered what I can expect now that I’ve decided to go lighter. I’m willing to sacrifice some of the length if it means my hair will be blond and healthier.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, January 26/2011 at 8:22 pm

Anastasia, I have no idea (unfortunately!) – anyone else on this thread care to comment?


Friday, January 28/2011 at 3:57 pm

Thanks for responding anyway!


Dayana Medina
Tuesday, February 1/2011 at 5:14 pm

Anastasia, you need a Full Head Highlights and your hair will be blond again.
15 to 20 volume.


Thursday, July 4/2013 at 3:45 am

Hello, same here: no bad reactions but the original colour went away quickly leaving me with another one that did not look natural. I will not be using it again.


Thursday, July 4/2013 at 8:51 am

Yes, same here… I coloured my hair a vivid copper tone but after 2 weeks ther was no trace of it left! In stead left with a dull washed out/ bleached sort of strawberry blond colour. My friend who hadn’t seen me for a week actually thought that I had put some colour stripping treatment in my hair!
My hairdresser claim it’s my own fault for not washing it with Inoa shampoo. I did however use a shampoo for colour treated hair and in the two weeks my hair was only washed 3 or 4 times… They now rather unwillingly re-coloured it and made me buy the shampoo bu I am not holding my breath that it will last.
I will change not only the brand of colour but also my rather rude hairdresser…


Friday, January 28/2011 at 1:34 am

Hi. I have a two part answer. First, if you choose to go use color remover, go to a professional and make sure they use one of those sulfur removers. (I think the most common one is Vanish.) I used a bleach-based remover once and it was too hard on my hair — and I have hair of iron. The second part of my answer is based my experience going lighter after Inoa. My hair was crazy dark after my Inoa disaster. I did shampoo lightening (a “shampoo train”) for a week. (Use a powerful high sulfate shampoo — get that Malibu one, if you can — and use it on your hair, vigorously rubbing your hair between your flattened palms for as long as you can spare. I spent 10 minutes a day doing this for a week, usually soaping up two or three times each wash. My hair lightened about two levels in that time.) I then had very light highlights done, but I didn’t touch the base color. The base continued to fade; a few months later, it is almost the color it was before the Inoa treatment.


Friday, January 28/2011 at 4:03 pm

Thank you, these are great ideas. I’ll ask my stylist about the sulfur remover and get started with the shampoo lightening. I’m not going in until the end of February so my hair should fade considerably by then. Thank you so much for the suggestions, they are much appreciated!


Dayana Medina
Tuesday, February 1/2011 at 1:23 pm

3 Hair Makeup use INOA Hair color in Los Angeles CA
As a consumer and hair stylist I know the importance in hair color for me and my clients… to keep the hair as healthy, shiny, and as rich in color as possible.
As a stylist, throughout the years, I have used several lines of hair color and have never really been satisfied a 100%.
With Inoa, by L’Oréal Professional, the experience is different. Am…


Friday, February 4/2011 at 1:14 am

Has anyone used Pravanna color. Just wondering what you think of it.


3 Hair Makeup
Friday, February 4/2011 at 1:52 pm

We use Pravanna like 4 years ago is a good product but the colors are a little bit flat.


Pacific Girl
Sunday, February 6/2011 at 6:49 pm

Thank you guys for the valuable information. I was about to book an appointment with my hair stylist who tried very hard convincing me into trying INOA to cover grey hair. She mentioned that she had positive results on all her clients ! But since this is a new product, I was a bit hesitant. After reading all those negative comments, I will not use INOA.
I have heard about Garnier coloring system, and the reviews were mostly positive. Has anyone used this product? I need some feedback please.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, February 9/2011 at 10:50 am

Do you mean Garnier box colour? My hairdresser used to recommend it but I’ve never tried it personally…


Friday, April 1/2011 at 4:34 am

Just to add to this from a customer’s perspective.

I had the INOA hair colour about a year ago rather than my usual ammonia-based colour and it was the most unpleasant experience I have ever had at a salon,

Even though I’d had a patch test about a week before for this new product the product was very itchy and irritating as it sat on my scalp for 40 mins or so. Then the removal was even worse. The product needs to be emulsified before it can be rinsed off and this involved the assistant having to vigorously rub my hair and scalp for probably 5-10 mins. On top of an already irritated scalp that was just awful.

The colour was nice enough and condition of hair OK – and there was no lasting irritation on my scalp from the procedure. But my scalp was sensitive for about a week or so and needless to say I have now gone back to my usual hair colour system.



Monday, April 4/2011 at 12:07 pm

I have been going to a salon who switched to Inoa from Majirel color system. Don’t know anything about the chemistry of color, but can say that my hair is naturally a very dark brown. I have lots of grey, but want to stay pretty true to my natural color. After at least 4 times using the Inoa, she still can’t get the color right. I am at least 2 shades lighter and lots of copper. The color fades within a week. I have it colored every 4 weeks. I am going tomorrow and she said she will use a 10 instead of 20. Don’t know what that means. I like the stylist, and she is a Loreal trainer, so I have given her the benefit of doubt. Should I give up on Inoa?


3 Hair Makeup
Monday, April 4/2011 at 1:25 pm

Hi Nancy your stylist will find the right formula for your
hair color Inoa hair color is a great product just takes time for some hair stylists get the corect formula because is a very different hair color.
video of INOA hair color in Los Angeles CA


Thursday, April 7/2011 at 6:57 am

I just colored my hair with INOA 1 hr ago and now I see this…. gosh.

I must say it did not cover my white hair AT ALL. I can see clearly my white hair.
The most disappointing thing was the hair stylist didn’t follow the instructions at all….he only put in one and a half tube instead of two.

That will be the first and last time I visit that salon.
I hope my hair will not turn dry & brittle like the rest above!


Wednesday, December 14/2011 at 8:22 pm

Hi, I am a hair stylist in Miami Florida , I have been using Inoa for 9 month, my clients love it, the colors are beautiful, but the aplication take more time than the traditionals hair colors, and the application have to be perfect because since is an oil base color, the color don’t grow so you have to make sur e cover the gray.


Saturday, April 9/2011 at 5:43 am

I would definitely not recommend using INOA. The first time my hairdresser used it on me my roots were bright red – she had to apply semi permanent over the top to correct it. The following two times I used it I had no real complaints, although suspected that my hair had become a little thinner. I lastly had my hair coloured with INOA a few days ago and I immediately noticed that my hair looked extremely thin on top – I am horrified that I can see my scalp at the front of my head – and I have – or at least HAD extremely thick hair. The dye was only applied primarily to the roots and that is where the damage is. My scalp is also hot and itchy and irritated and I’ve never had a reaction to any sort of hair dye before. I am so worried about how to restore the quality of my hair so that I don’t look thinning on top – which is what I look like now! I will certainly NEVER be using INOA again and I do not recommend that anyone else uses it. I can also vouch for the unreliaility in colour outcome – my hair is much redder this time, while I am sure my stylist would’ve mixed it in exactly the same way. I should have avoided INOA after the first awful reaction, but my stylist persuaded me that she could correct for the first bad outcome – which she said had happened to a few clients but not everyone. Do not take the risk with your hair unless you want to look half bald like me. My hair just looks incredibly thin where it was once thick. Avoid this product like the plague!


Saturday, April 16/2011 at 11:11 pm

This is a message for Kim. If you read this I would like to talk to you about your experience because I had the exact same reaction as you did. I think this is a big problem which needs to be more widely known.


Saturday, April 9/2011 at 1:36 pm

Had a patch test a few weeks before the application. I had told the stylist prior to her applying that I was allergic to any products with ammonia and she reassured me that there was no ammonia in Inoa. Within five minutes of applying Inoa to my head, I could feel a very hot burning sensation on my head. Had to have my head rinsed immediately in cold water, not a pleasant experience, and had to leave the salon with unstyled hair as stylist would not risk blow drying the hair in case of damage. Researched this product on internet and discovered that this product does actually contain ammonia! Totally agree with the comment above, avoid this product like the plague!!


Saturday, April 9/2011 at 10:47 pm

I would definitely not recommend using INOA, my scalp was extremely irritated for 1 month and this was driving me crazy… …. Ammonia-Free is good thing but not for INOA…


Sunday, April 17/2011 at 11:41 pm

HI, Kim, Eliana and all the women who’ve had bad experiences with Inoa.. I’m from Argentina and I’ve had my hair dyed with Inoa a few weeks ago.. All I can say (and excuse me if there are some errors in my writing) is that it has been the worst hair dying experience ever . The product started itching after 20 minutes but the too-young-and-unexperienced-stylist did not remove it for 20 minutes more (by that time the itching was terrible). After they washed my hair (I don’t have any idea of what they used!!!) I could feel something wasn’t right cause the guy who was combing my hair was having a hard time doing so and it also hurted!!!!! I have very thin hair and was looking for a mild product that wouldn’t damage it and could give it a shinny and healthy look. All the contrary happened. My hair felt hard, it was darker at the ends, it looked dull and I had to wash it again as soon as I arrived home cause I couldn’t stand the way it felt… as if I had a broom in my head!!! On top of things, and the reason why I started researching about Inoa, is that MY HAIR IS FALLING BY HUNDREDS and I’m so afraid of becoming bald!!!!!!! If anyone has had a similar experience, I hope they can write about it too as it’s been really difficult for me to find bad reviews/information about this product and from what I could read on this site, there are lots of women with the same reaction. I also hope that if there is a L’oreal representative reading this stuff, you will do something about it and not “erase” all the bad comments and make it look like this product is better than anything ever created in the hair dying industry.
I want my hair back!!!! I’ve lost 50% of my hair in just 2 weeks…. Thank you Inoa….


Friday, April 22/2011 at 5:53 pm

I have to add my wonderful INOA experience to the mix.

I have a very sensitive scalp and a lot of grey hair in a patch at the front of my brow line. I’ve been getting permanent and semi dyes for a decade, but hated the way they left my hair (the build up, and dry, brittle ends).

My Salon recently convinced me to try INOA and I’ve never looked back. I love the lighter coverage as my hair looks multi tonal and not block coloured. My scalp never stings or itches like it did with the more traditional dyes.

I’m totally shocked that anyone could come out of an INOA treatment with dry hair as I have exactly the opposite! My hair feels so glossy, soft and rich with moisture.

I totally recommend INOA but I guess these mixed reviews prove that everyone is different, a scalp test is definitely recommended and you should give it a go to make up your own mind.


Tuesday, April 26/2011 at 12:19 pm

Hi Kim and Eliana,
You aren’t the only ones with the problem. I coloured my hair with INOA and it has been quite terrible. So not only am I having huge hair loss, but also my hair’s turned wispy fine, and it looks straggly and terrible. Each strand has become thinner. I’m not having so much dryness, but that’s probably because I’ve been super careful about conditioning and the works. The colour is fading out already (it has been barely a month!) and I can see gray roots. This is my first colour ever, and I’m so disappointed. It itched quite a bit during the application, and continued to itch for nearly 2 weeks. I think my stylist did a good job – he was properly trained and all that.
I’m through with INOA.


Sandy Ostbye
Sunday, May 1/2011 at 2:16 pm

My stylist, who I’ve faithfully followed for more than a decade, owns the salon and switched to the INOA system last year. I was unaware she had switched systems — but I sure knew it after my color treatment. I have thin, fine, naturally curly hair. At first, almost immediately, it felt overly fine, thin and baby soft — which is maybe nice if you have thick long hair. But for me, my style would no longer hold a shape. Even if I back-combed and sprayed, it would go instandly flat within an hour. It was like “baby hair” and then I noticed that the color was fading and not covering my gray as well as the older product. Within a month, my hair was dry and brittle. I complained a great deal. It was a struggle.. When my hair was ready for a new color, my stylist once again used the same product, despite my objection. The same thing happened again. Limp limp limp. soft at first … then dry looking. I am “beside myself” with what to do. I do not like INOA … whatever it is.


Sunday, May 15/2011 at 8:17 am

I have been having my long hair colored with INOA for over a year. I am 80% gray and due to the rapid growth of my hair have to have the roots colored every 14-18 days. I love the product as my hair has never been so soft, silky and shiny. On two occasions when my colorist was unavailable the gray coverage wasn’t as good, so I am convinced some of the problems people are experiencing are due to the hairdresser not applying the color correctly. I should add that my hair only gets blow dried when I visit my hairdresser to have my roots done, I get it cut twice a year but have no split ends and my hair is in the best condition ever and I have been dying my hair for 30 years!


Sunday, May 15/2011 at 8:19 am

Oh I forgot to add my hair is colored dark brown!


Sunday, June 5/2011 at 4:03 pm

I’ve used INOA for the past year and have had absolutely no problems! In fact, with my hair being so silky soft, it is hard the next day to tease. Make site what ever stylist you are going to is trained. They have a special training they must go to, and pay attention in or else they will not understand. I have been a hair model in several classes for this product and their is always some people that never pay as close attention. Try switching your hair products if you have dry hair- I’m a huge fan of pureology. Best of luck to all!


David mayor
Wednesday, June 8/2011 at 2:36 am

I have been using INOA for about a year now, i have to admit, at the beginning i notice it wasn’t covering grey hair completely, the color looked very translucent, but soon i realized that the problem was the way i was mixing it… INOA is a three part mixture.


Thursday, June 9/2011 at 7:13 am

INOA does have ammonia in it, or something very like ammonia, without the smell. Also the special shampoo they must use with it definitely has ammonia. Just look at the ingredients on the label. I used INOA three times. The final experience was unbearable and I felt the burning for at least a week afterwards. Also I had welts on my scalp for several weeks. Now I have a pre-cancerous lesion on the top of my head. Don’t know if it was caused by INOA but certainly not helped by it. There is a product that is much better – Organic Hair Color Systems.


Monday, June 27/2011 at 6:59 pm

I love Inoa ! I had a few problems when I first started to use it, but found that they were errors I made from not being educated enough on the product. I’ve had more classes on it and have an educator that I can call with any questions. I love love love it and so do my clients! Inoa has transformed some of my clients hair into the beautiful,shiny,healthy hair they have always dreamed about!


Thursday, June 30/2011 at 10:54 pm

Iv’e always had chemical allergies big time !!! Just so everyone knows and this may help you, the product LOGONA is great !! but all LOGONA is HENNA that it for the hair it’s the exact same you can find it in any arabic grocery store. I just found this out my friend was using LOGONA and i opened the box and i said Wow this is Henna and she said really i said yes their is such a thing as henna for the hair, i asked how much she paid and she said $23 INCLDING SHIPPING. I took her to an arabic market here in downtown Phoenix and the had boxes of henna in every color for $5.00 and yes it is the same exact porder same smell same color everything. PPD FREE no allergies and pure henna is all but you have to make sure it’s for the hair. When you see the box there is a woman on each box and every box shown different color black, red, blonde etc…You can leave Henna in your hair for 7 hours and it will catch all your gray just make sure you wear a cap if you do leave it on..i would not reccomend that you leave it on for 2 hours it wont do much of anything. Henna in the arab world the woman leave it in over night and sleep with it on remember you can leave it on overnight no problem you will get no reaction. Myself b efore i started using Henna i was in the emergency room 3 time getting steroid shot..not anymore EVER !!! make sure to leave it in as long as possible for best results especially if your covering gray otherwise it will not catch the grey.

PS. II lived in Dubai and Lebanon and all the woman use this as myself incluing so i do know what im talking about there is know difference between LOGONA and Henna for the hair you can buy in any ARABIC grcery store…do the homework.


Friday, July 1/2011 at 9:14 pm

Again I love Inoa ~ just finished another great week at work with Inoa. Every client that I have switched over LOVES it , and their hair feels incredible!!!!!!! We just celebrated our one year anniversary of using Inoa at our salon and I couldnt be happier with the product!!!!!!
So excited for next week when we start using INOA Supreme .
I also love all the support and advertisements in great magazines and that so many big time salons and stylists( check it out online ) are using it and posting such great reviews!!!


Monday, July 25/2011 at 2:34 pm

I have dark brown hair and have been using INOA for the last 6 months. My hair is now very thin with lots of breakage. The question I would like to ask a hair colorist is that I am about 75 percent gray and they are resistant ; what would be the best professional color I can use to cover all that gray and to stop all the damage to my hair?


Wednesday, August 3/2011 at 1:22 pm

If you are having grey coverage issues I would definitely turn to Organic Color Systems. How their product works for grey coverage is very innovative. This color line does not contain PTDs, parabens, SLS, or Thioglycolates.

OCS uses an ingredient naturally derived from coconut to raise the hairs pH (in comparison to the corrosive element- ammonia). The cuticle is softly swelled so the color particles may enter, the conditioning process of this color treatment then allows the cuticle to close. When the cuticle is able to close and the normal pH levels restored this allows for better color retention and less fading. Ammonia blasts the hair shaft open and damages the hair’s Tyrosine (which is responsible for melanin product-color production).

It’s true not all the ingredients are organic, but the fact they even have organic fruits, oils, and minerals used is remarkable to me. They also have over 60 color choices.

Check out this lady’s full research on the color line. She even has photos of her color service with Organic Color Systems week by week. She is a 100% grey head client and notice had no fading!

Hope this helps.


Wednesday, August 10/2011 at 11:12 am

I was going to get a fab make-over with INOVA pre a wedding and vacation. I am amazed at how bad all of u have been affected with similar symptoms. Thank u for ur feedback, there is no way i want a sore scalp and scanty hair. I hope L’oreal sorts this out!!!


Saturday, August 20/2011 at 3:20 pm

I am not a stylist, but someone concerned about the condition of my hair. I had a colorist damage my hair to where it was breaking off in clumps! I went to a salon that used the Redken products and my hair color had unwanted red tones and continued to break. Then I went to a salon in Durham, NC, Bella Trio, that uses INOA hair color. I couldn’t have been happier!! The damaged hair looked so much healthier after just one color application. The grey roots were gone and my hair felt soft again! I will not go anywhere else now and am sold on INOA. I have had my hair colored multiple times now with no adverse affects. I don’t know why others had a bad experience, but I have nothing but good things to say about it. LOVE IT!!!


Wednesday, August 24/2011 at 12:18 pm

I was about to book my appointment at an INOA salon and after reading the comments on this website, I will DEFINITELY NOT be going with INOA. Thanks to Michelle and everyone else who have contributed with their comments.

Michelle, would you happen to know of any trusted salons in Toronto or the GTA that use Artease or OCS?

Thanks again!


Monday, September 5/2011 at 9:58 pm

My stylist tried INOA on me a couple of months ago and I must say that I love it! Everytime I’ve tried color in the past, my hair would fall out so I kept a short cut. Now, my hair has a beautiful color (been getting a lot of compliments) but it maintains it’s silkiness and shine. I love it and can’t wait to try more!


Sunday, September 18/2011 at 12:01 pm

I have been sitting reading all these comments on the inoa brand and can’t beleive some of the results people have been getting!
I work in the uk at a top London salon and we were one of the first salons to start using inoa.
I have read the comments that have been said to defend this product and agree. Your stylist has to be trained fully on learning this product before applying this product.

You will not cover grey hair with anything other than 20 vol so no wonder you are not getting coverage with 30 vol????

It is ammonia free product one give away is that it has no smell ect it has to state what is made on site just like if you are buying a Product that doesn’t contain nuts they have to tell you that the factory does contain nut for other product ect

Plus if you are haveing the same colour then why is your amazin stylist running the product through the ends of your hair? It should only be put through for the last 5 mins to refresh the ends so that is why your hair is feeling dry!
Unless you have copper or red hair then I would only run it through every 3rd application and if your hair is red or copper then do your roots then the ends for the last 15mins to get the vibrancy.
Due to the fact it is ammonia free you have to apply more product to get the correct coverage which could also be why it I’d not covering White hair properly.

Also loreal always say do a skin test which we are very strict here with. Even if you have been haveing colour for years it doesn’t mean that you will not have a reaction. We do a skin test if the client comes under the following
If they are pregnant
If they have just has a baby
If they are on medication or new medication
If they have never had colour before or only ever had highlights
if they haven’t had there hair coloured in the last 8weeks ( anything can happen in 8weeks they could have had flu etc therefor the body had been weakened and could likely develop a reaction
You have has a new tatoo or any hena ratios done sence your last colour.
These are all things your colourist should be asking before they put any colour directly on the scalp if they are not doing this then inform them or have colour done at your own risk.

But I love this colour it’s amazing!!!!!


Louise Wood
Friday, September 23/2011 at 6:26 pm

Re: Jodie
Thank God, someone talking some sense at long last!
What are all these people ranting about, it’s not possible to create the damage with Inoa that some of these statements make and I have to seriously question how the stylist’s in question are using Inoa. Allergic reactions can occur with anything so a skin test should always be carried out when using any colour. Any brand of colour has it’s teething problems when you first work with it and they all have their idiosyncrasies i.e having to go a shade darker, lighter to get the right result – to know these, that’s the skill of a good colour technician!


Monday, October 3/2011 at 7:47 am

Well someone had to say something because some of the comments were just a joke that I was reading.
The one that some stylist have said clearly dont no the product and therefor shouldn’t be using it full stop unless they are doing a model. You can’t just pick this product up and use it. It has strict mixing and if that is not right then you a doomed straight away.

With colour shades if you are a base 6 or below I would always go a shade darker to get the same colour as a majirel or in better cases do a quick gental cleanes for 5/10 mins , dry and then go it with your inoa shade. Then you will remove the residue that majirel leaves on the hair.
Inoa is designed to give you more of a true colour. And you will only get White hair cove with a base only ie: if your shade is 9.13 with 70% White you would do 1 tube 9 and 1 tube 9.13 this rule is the same if shade is warm or cool.

This is the only thing that will give 100% coverage unlike majirel where you have your natural base, .0 , .3 and your .03

Other that that all I can say is make sure as I have said before your colourist is asking the right question ect because this is the new form of colour and soon there won’t be majirel anymore


Saturday, October 15/2011 at 11:27 pm

I tried inoa and I have a question regarding gray coverage. How important is the step that involves working the color into the hair before it is rinsed? What does that do? I have had great results until the last appointment. New colorist and she didn’t massage the color in after the 35 minutes. The gray seemed covered but now about a week and three shampoos later the gray is mostly back, what did she do wrong?


Sunday, October 16/2011 at 3:34 pm

Did the non-grey hair go hot (strawberry red), or did it turn out the right color?

Normally, failing to emulsify the color wouldn’t affect grey coverage. Failing to emulsify can, however, lead to the color continuing to oxidize (process) for hours or even days. That’s why some people’s ends go black hours after leaving the salon and is also why some people’s color lightens too much or fades very quickly or becomes quite damaged. I have read on some sites that the grey coverage problem is sometimes related to not using the proper ratio of the various components of inoa, or of not using heat, or of using the wrong developer. The continuing oxidation problem may also be why so many people seem to have bad PPD reactions. With normal hair color, once the color is rinsed, the PPD stops oxidizing. Since getting INOA out of people’s hair can be hard, especially if hair is porous or the client has a lot of hair, etc, stopping oxidation can be a challenge. Again, though, I’m not sure that the rinse issue would be related to the grey coverage problems that so many people have reported on this and other sites.


Friday, September 23/2011 at 7:26 pm

Inoa did damage my hair a little. even my current hair dresser said my hair looks like straw, but in all fairness even other dyes damaged my hair. She said that several clients have gone there with frayed hair after INOA. It may have to do with the technique…The hairdresser who did INOA on me didn’t know what she was doing since she made my roots 3 shades lighter than the rest of my hair! My guess is that INOA can be very dangerous in untrained hands!


Wednesday, October 5/2011 at 3:24 pm

I have been coloring hair for over 25 years and have never had any problems with dry hair, grey coverage, or breakage with my clients. When the last salon I worked in decided to add INOA to their line I was so excited to try it! I was the model for the instructor who decided she was gonna apply INOA with 20 vol to my entire head that had been previously lighted and dry from summer. I told her to only use 10 vol so it would not lift, only deposit, At the time she said the 10 vol wasn’t available in the states yet but that INOA was so gentle I would be fine with 20 vol. It was the worst experience ever. my hair broke off for five months, it faded immediately and was brassy ( I went form a level 8 to a level 6, not a big change.)

Anyway knowing she was wrong for using it with 20 vol, I still used the product on my clients. She had told me that I had to add n to cover grey so a client I had that had red hair that I never had to add N to in my other series of L’oreal color, I added some N and her hair turned brown! made sense to me, since I added the N to it , but she told me I needed the n to cover her grey which did work but not as good as our old color.

The mixing was a pain because the scale kept turing off in the middle of measuring the grams, and the oil mix was so slimy when it got on your hands that too was hard to mix. the instructor said you have to measure it perfect for it to work right and the small tubes of color are very hard to be sure all the color is out! I spent way too much time formulating and not on the floor, then also at back bar you have to time color for 30 min then also emulsify at back bar for at least 5 min to release the oil or the hair is super oily, it was all a pain and my little old ladies that got perms also…their hair would fry! I twas so much easier to measure and mix all the other colors I have used in the past so I took all my clients off of it cause it was a pain in the butt and not worth the results. I felt our original brands were best. If you use the Loreal richese and put the client under the dryer for 15 min as recommended you got great grey coverage, shiny hair, and beautiful shades to work with. I argued with my boss so much about her wanting me to get everyone on the INOA color I had to leave (my owner was never a stylist, just owns the salon and believes everything her rep tells her, and ofcourse INOA is more expensive to apply therefore making her more money) I am now working at a salon that uses Paul Mitchell and Wella permanent and demi permanent. all my clients followed me and are happier then they ever were at last shop. I have talked to more stylists and clients than who are just on this blog that are very unhappy with INOA results. We have had many of the clients from my old salon come to our salon to get away from the pressure they feel to use the INOA even after they don’t like it. They are being told how great their hair will be in 9 applications, well if you get your hair colored every 6 weeks that means it would be over a year to see the results? who wants to look dull and have breakage for a year? No thanks. They are delighted to see me here, and I never slam the old shop since its in the same town that just isn’t right in my book. I will never use INOA again.

Oh and by the way. my old boss came over and asked my new boss to come outside. told her i was slandering her product and she was gonna take me to court if I continued. So I called my lawyer and he said in my profession (oh yeah, I am a licensed professional…she is just an owner with no license or degree in anything) it is my job to tell my clients what is right and wrong for their hair. So I am so happy that everyone on this board felt free to give their opinions also so we can all make our own decsisions after hearing the proper information.


Thursday, October 6/2011 at 6:16 am

There are several lines out that that are permanent but use a substitute. Chi is one of them. And it also contains a substitute called M.E.A. This a the most used substitute for ammonia. Here is what you should know about both!

Ammonia first sets the stage for color to penetrate the hair strand by opening up the surface of the strand so that the dye can penetrate properly. It then bust through the natural hair pigment so the color can penetrate and deposit. Ammonia is the most effective way to penetrate with color.

MEA (mono-ethanolamine) and other substitute work very similar to ammonia but have there differences. They are effective in the first step (lifting the the cuticle) The second not so much. MEA molecule is 3.5 times larger than ammonia, It cannot penetrate the as effectively, so it therefor is not as effective when it comes to lifting the natural color out of the hair and depositing artificial color. Beth Minardi says that MEA can remain in the hair after the color being lifted out, which can lead to progressive darkening and dulling.) To fix this problem Chi and other color companies have made a shampoo that is HI in Alkalinity that further strips the residue out. (so in my opinion you still are exposing the hair to further damage if you have to lift it out of the hair)

So really the only pro of using an “ammonia free permanent dye” is the odor.
permanent hair color results obtained via ammonia based formulas provide excellent predictability, long lasting color and the best gray coverage.

If you have a client that cannot handle the smell. Then an ammonia free product is your best bet! But until they figure out how to make it as effective as ammonia I would just continue using what works.

I only use permanent color when needed. (covering 50% or more gray) lifting 1-4 levels, and in some cases highlighting.

For toning, matching depth, adding depth (lowlighting), refreshing, tint back, cover 49% gray and lower. I use a translucent or opaque demi permanent color.


Sunday, October 16/2011 at 3:36 pm

This is a great post and a great explanation. Thank you very much.


Sunday, November 27/2011 at 5:19 pm

I started using Inoe a year ago. I started with thick hair and now it is thin and I can see my scalp. I stopped and went back to ammonia color. I will see if it improves!


Sunday, December 18/2011 at 6:46 am

Why do they love the INOA color over the traditional color? Have you investigated the differences between ppa?mea? and ammonia? Even though the client may love the color that doesn’t mean its good for them and again if not mixed perfectly there could terrible results so as far as being a hairstylist I’d rather have the easier mixing time to get out of the dispensary and back to my client sooner and also at least I know I am using something that is more natural.


Thursday, December 29/2011 at 9:31 pm

Do you know any place here in Miami FL that I can buy the Inoa?


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, January 2/2012 at 3:43 pm

It’s a professional service so not for at home purchase… you can find a location here:


Tuesday, January 24/2012 at 11:01 am

I am a hair stylist, and I use Inoa , but if you are a hair stylist go to Salon Centric they will tell you what to do to buy inoa.
I use inoa for over a year and I love it .
Mileidis hair stylist at blueberry’s salon 12691 S. Dixie Hwy Pinecrest fl


Saturday, January 21/2012 at 2:32 pm

Hi I too am experiencing my hair thinning after using Iona for some time now and just put 2 & 2 together that it might just be the hair color. I have fine hair to begin with but have noticed after having my hair colored I would loose so much hair while shampooing. It seems to have happened gradually and now I am concerned what do you recommend to treat thinning hair and will it grow back?


Sunday, January 22/2012 at 10:08 am


I had beautiful long curly hair – in perfect condition – after the use it is thin, dry, brittle, no curls and short frizzled broken bits.

Does anyone has any idea how to get my hair back??? It is so disappointing! I was thinking to colour it again but with a NORMAL colour and maybe my hair gets shiny and soft again?


Thank you,



Tuesday, February 21/2012 at 8:32 pm

Im a hairstylist and my salon uses Inoa, from the start ive seen how switching to inoa had an effect on not only the customers but the hairdressers themselves. Im terribly sorry for anyone who had a bad reaction, but i do have to say..almost everybody who commented on a bad experience and everything ive read so far…it is clear that your bad expereince was caused by an uneducated inoa hairstylist. Ive made a few of my own mistakes at first and was extremely frustrated with the change..and the unpredictabitily of my results..but after a much needed inoa am very satisfied with the results..i havent had a problem since.and my clients are RAVING about Inoa..even refering their friends..many mistakes i saw my fellow coworkers do were:
1. not mixing accurately-rushing mixing due to time
2.not doing patch test-anyone with allergies and reactions should get patch test..not doing so is a big risk for sensitive clients
3. not using correct volume developer-only 20 covers greys-inprecise mixing such as 1gram off even affects coverage
4. pulling through the first time with 20 or 30 vol as used on scalp- when u can use 10 vol which is deposit only and not damaging for lenghts and ends
5. incorrect mixing for color correcting underlying pigments- these ppl do not understand color theory-regardless of what brand they use, roots
6.pulling through repeatedly with inoa permanent on ends..(only 1st time is absolutely necessary) other times can be done with demipermanent in sink for 5 min..
7. using permanent in the first place for people who can use a demipermant for same results..
8. pulling inoa through lengths and ends immedietly for same color refresher instead of last 5-15 min..(color changes excepted, and first time applications excepted)
9. Skipping dry emulsification, (or not thorough enough) and skipping emulsification in sink until creamy gray color (or not thorough enough) before washing with inoa post-2 times
10. many people just didnt like scared them to have to learn a new line when they already knew majirel inside and out and didnt want to embrace it at all, some avoided it like the plague lol

There may be a few more misunderstood mistakes of inoa..but I can not remember them all… I do have to say i was skeptical of the grey coverage..but i was pleasantly surprised…especially with the dm vivid red shades..they covered much better than majirel ever did..even when mixing half of the gold or naturals into them..majirel cant even produce a striking vivid red for someone who is 100 percent white. Inoa is meant to give a more natural multidimensional grey coverage and not so harsh and matte majirel..especially on mature clients..the regrowth for them is very unatural looking and may benefit from a softer technique.. again im very sorry for anyone who had such unfortunate experiences..and i do not wish to persuade u to keep using it… it may not even the the most best suited for you..but i do wish to inform those who have a negative opinion the reasons behind their unsuccesses … Take Care


Tuesday, March 20/2012 at 9:02 pm

I love Inoa!! My hairdresser must be using it correctly. Been using it for 6+ months, and my hair is very healthy and manageable. I am 65 years old.


Wednesday, March 21/2012 at 9:06 pm

still feel that every other color I have ever used (27 yrs managing cosmetolgist with many color classes and been taught by many different insructors)is better if also used correctly. and the best part is you don’t have to worry about being so accurate or possibly messing up your clients hair if your mix isn’t ‘perfect” its just not worth it. if you are a good colorist you don’t need this stuff to do a great color and again the mea is just as bad as ammonia. if not worse, it just doesn’t smell. Hair should be healthy and manageble with ANY color as long as its done correctly


Monday, March 26/2012 at 9:38 am


Just had my hair coloured at a salon in Dubai, and it is the second worst hair experience ever. Just wanted my greys coloured, and instead ended up with copper coloured roots. The hairdresser had to then apply semi-permenant colour on top to cover the copper colour. I am now left with a swollen, puffy face, and burns to my scalp. My hair is dry and limp. Never again, I am now off work trying to recover.


Kimberly White
Friday, May 18/2012 at 7:37 pm

Inoa did a horrible job covering my grey hair and my hair colorist had to redo it for me. After she did it again, like most of the people that posted here, my hair became completely dried out (it felt like hay) and was horribly damaged. It took me months to regrow healthy hair. I have since switched to a salon that carries Organic Color Systems and the results are amazing! My hair is incredibly elastic and has unbelievable shine.

My advice is to stay clear of Inoa, but if you don’t, I told you so.


Sophia jardine
Wednesday, June 13/2012 at 3:27 pm

If you don’t have grey hair for which Inoa states to cover, is a wonderful format of technology colour devised, I have tried Inoa three times, it did not cover any of my grey hairs, due to this i lost £86.00 x 3 times…. Back to my normal loreal Blue Black!!!!!


Anna Olive
Tuesday, July 17/2012 at 8:03 pm

I live in London and have tried lots of different semi-permanent and permanent hair dyes for my hair, and decided to try INOA since they stylist told me that “with 7 uses it brings your hair back to virgin state” i.e undamaged. I’ve used it twice at top salons– firstly because its semi-permanent you can’t go more than 1 shade or so lighter or darker, so the colour result wasn’t ideal. What was really disappointing is that my hair is now SO dry and SO frizzy and unmanageable and this is much worse than I ever had even with permanent dyes so unfortunately I’m going to try something else now. Be careful it sounds amazing but its only nice while the blowdry lasts once you wash it the texture changes completely.


Sophia jardine
Saturday, December 8/2012 at 2:45 pm

Well I am back to using Matrix, should have never changed!
Hair became thin and brittle, after nearly 4months of not using INOA my hair is becoming to gain its restoring health along with morrocan Aegean oil!


Trudy Johnson
Friday, December 21/2012 at 12:16 pm

Tried new Inoa Ammonia Colour Free System Thursday Dec 20th at Mega Salon on 152nd Street in Surrey to try a colour without ammonia for a sensitive scalp. After processing 35 minutes or more my golden blonde hair turned brown. I was told looked fine but could lighten slightly with streaks. Colour was corrected somewhat with foils but when arriving home realized was still brown at the back by the neck.
I am very disappointed in the service and product and although was give a 20% discount was not enought for the stress, poor colour and 3-1/2 hour
wait in the chair.
I would not recomend anyone trying this system expecially when you have to sign a release form.


Thursday, July 4/2013 at 8:52 am

I coloured my hair a vivid copper tone but after 2 weeks ther was no trace of it left! In stead left with a dull washed out/ bleached sort of strawberry blond colour. My friend who hadn’t seen me for a week actually thought that I had put some colour stripping treatment in my hair!
My hairdresser claim it’s my own fault for not washing it with Inoa shampoo. I did however use a shampoo for colour treated hair and in the two weeks my hair was only washed 3 or 4 times… They now rather unwillingly re-coloured it and made me buy the shampoo bu I am not holding my breath that it will last.
I will change not only the brand of colour but also my rather rude hairdresser…


Wednesday, October 2/2013 at 9:48 am


Can you please tell where we can find INOA in Toronto? My friend looking for it for few last monthes there without any success. Will be thankfull to anybody who can drop some salon’s addresses here.


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