L'Oréal's new INOA (Innovation No Ammonia) permanent dye is debuting to a lot of fanfare, since ammonia is not only damaging to your hair shaft, but it's bad for your health as well. Only thing is, ammonia-free permanent colors have existed for years already — they just never caught on in most salons. And L'Oreal's even put out an ammonia-free permanent color before: Natural Match, which was available cheaply for home coloring and got discontinued just before INOA's debut. INOA, like Natural Match, is supposed to provide full, even coverage without damaging the hair shaft. Unlike its predecessor, which retailed for about $12, INOA costs about 15 percent more than traditional salon hair color — so expect already pricey salon coloring to get more expensive.
If you want ammonia-free permanent color at the salon but don't want to go the INOA route, there are two other brands, Organic Color Systems and Teinture, already available at some salons. If you could choose to go ammonia-free, would you?