Hello, and thanks for visiting my hair color review blog, www.organichaircolorreview.com where I review organic hair color, natural hair color, non-toxic hair color, ammonia-free hair color, and on occasion, traditional hair color products when I feel it’s appropriate. I purchase all products tested & reviewed with my own money to avoid any perception of bias whatsoever. I DO NOT SELL HAIR COLOR.
For those of you who don’t know, I’m Melanie Nickels. I am a ranking member of The American Board of Certified Hair Colorists, as well as an exam evaluator for the organization, one of only 19 nation-wide. I am the only organic / non-toxic educator in the entire ABCH. I am the owner/founder of Raw Hair Organic Salon in Naples, Florida, which was the first organic / non-toxic salon in all of Southwest Florida, where I spend no less than 60 hours a week behind the chair. Also, I’m the founder/owner/creator of Raw Hair Organics, a 100% natural / organic professional salon-quality hair products line. Feel free to visit that website for more valuable insight, info and product reviews, as well as more of my bio. However, please do NOT feel obligated to purchase anything. The site is: www.rawhairorganics.com
I was internationally trained, part of Inter-Coiffure, a Broadway stylist on the hit show “42nd Street”, and I have certifications in dozens of product lines too numerous to name here. I have worked with about every major professional hair color line on the market. I take part in a large amount of continuing education every single year. In my free time, I donate one day a month to The American Cancer Society, where for about the last 6 years I help facilitate the Look Good Feel Better program for cancer patients in the Naples / Ft. Myers area. I am the owner / editor of two blogs, http://www.organichairproductreview.com & http://www.organichaircolorreview.com which I write on a monthly basis. That’s not my full bio, but it should give you at least an idea of why I’m qualified to be editor this blog. For a more complete bio, visit http://www.rawhairorganics.com .
A while back, I wrote a review of a new hair color line from L’Oreal called Inoa, that was launched in 2010. If you have not read my review of it, please take a few minutes and scroll down a few reviews back and read it. It will get you up to speed for this review. Otherwise, you might not fully understand what I’m talking about here.
That being said, in mid-2012, L’Oreal did a Re-launch of it’s Inoa hair color line…you can draw your own conclusions…! Inoa is a hair color line that replaces ammonia with a “minimal amount” of MEA & Oil…hence the term ODS(Oil Delivery System). It combines the oil, which is listed as mineral oil in the ingredients with the MEA (the alkalizing agent) to boost it’s performance (again, if you have read my last Inoa review, you are up-to-speed at this point). The ODS coats and softens the outside of the hair strands and uses MEA to raise the ph and swell the cuticle. This pushes the color inward, toward the hair cortex, to help it penetrate more deeply than it would on it’s own. The ingredients in Inoa preserve lipids (the natural conditioner of the hair) much better than ammonia can. In other words, it is less corrosive than ammonia therefore preserving the integrity of the hair. This means less porosity and more shine and better color retention.
In the 2012 relaunch, one of the major changes is ODS 2 (oil delivery system 2). It is, for all practical purposes, the “new & improved” version of the original ODS. It’s less greasy, has an altered fragrance and is now combined in one traditional size tube of color. The ODS 2 is an improvement in the way their color is formulated and ultimately applied. It achieves this in two basic ways:
1) The Formulation: The original ODS was a 3-part system that required the use of separate tiny tubes of color, which L’Oreal and some stylists found expensive, cumbersome, and complicated, especially in countries (or in some cases United States) where a person can become a licensed stylist / colorist with as little as 6 months of formal training (gasp!) and be considered “qualified”. The colorist was required to mix the pigments with the oleo gel and then the developer. The new ODS 2 comes in ONE tube, which makes it much easier for new and experienced colorists alike to use it. It was also decided by L’Oreal that the “Inoa” mixing system was too complicated to convert over into other L’Oreal brands such as Redken and Matrix, which are mostly American brands and not-so-much international brands. In short, L’Oreal wanted to simplify the process to suit more of it’s international markets, as well as making it easier to transfer across to other L’Oreal brands. The NEW Inoa system is now a two-step system of color & developer. The tubes are 60ml (or 2.1 oz in the U.S.), and the mixing ratio with the developer is 1:1 and it processes at room temperature 35 min.
As a side note, they came out with the same “revolutionary, new and improved” product in the Redken line known as Chromatics (see my review of this product on this blog site as well). Also, Matrix is expected to launch in fall of 2013. (All of these lines are currently owned by L’oreal).
2) The Client Benefits: Their pre-blended formulation insures uniformity of color. In their original INOA system, there was always the chance that the pigments may not mix properly with all of the other ingredients which could lead to the possibility of the client experiencing irritation and / or variations in color. Wth the new ODS 2, there is less of a chance of this happening. With ODS 2, if a client were to experience irritation or an itchy scalp, it’s due to an allergy to once of the specific pigments, which is an issue that could happen with any hair color system.
In summary, ODS 2, as part of the INOA color system, is an oil-based system that maximizes the effectiveness of the permanent hair color process, while providing more lipid protection compared to other traditional brands. The ODS 2 covers (sic) 100% of white hair (according to them). It offers 59 shades. It minimizes skin / scalp irritation, and doesn’t have the overbearingly harsh smell or side effects of ammonia (which, of course, is used in most hair color lines). The Inoa color is mixed equal parts with developer which gives a thicker consistency like a cream or like frosting. This makes application easy to work with. It is processed at room temperature for 35 min. You add a little water and emulsify before completely rinsing. They still recommend shampooing with the Inoa Post Shampoo (which I discussed in the original Inoa review).
When I personally tried The relaunched Inoa by L’Oreal at the Raw Hair Organic Salon in Naples, Florida ( www.rawhairorganics.com ), I found that when I went to emulsify the color before rinsing, it became a strange lard-like color and consistency. Because of all the oil, the water pretty much beaded up and ran off. It took a lot of rinsing to remove, but once I shampooed, it was fine and did not stain the skin too bad. It covered the gray well, the hair was shiny and color retention seemed good upon return of my client. They did, however, experience itching on the scalp afterwards in between colors. It looks like they replaced ppd’s (paraphenylendiamine) with it’s cousin: toluene 2,5 diamine and resorcinol for pigment, which could be causing irritation.
Overall, I am happy that L’oreal has been confirming that ammonia free haircoloring is a better way to go and the way of the future. I’m glad they have revised their formula and continue to work on ways to improve the haircolor industry. This is great progress for clients and stylists alike.
I give the New Inoa a rating of 3.75 out of 5.
If you are new to this site, please take the time to look around at the other organic hair color reviews, natural hair color reviews, and ammonia-free hair color reviews. You can also look at my other websites for great reviews on organic hair products, natural hair products and related reviews at www.organichairproductreview.com My third website that I just started is for organic skin care products and natural skin care products for both women AND men and can be found at www.organicskincarereview.wordpress.com
I always encourage comments and feedback.
If there is a hair color line that you would like me to review, please send me a note or post it in the comments section. I have TWO that I’m working on right now that I hope to post in the next 30 days. Please keep in mind that it takes me at least 30 days to do a review, as they are quite time consuming and take quite a bit of exhaustive research.
Until next time, here’s to great, healthy hair and great, healthy hair stylists.