Kim Vo on the Go

In a recent column, I praised the Italians for their contribution to the world of haircolor with the distinctive "lacing" technique. Now, it's time to shine the spotlight on the French.

Kim Vo
Kim Vo

Early next year, L'Oréal Professionnel will unveil Innovation No Ammonia (INOA) in the United States and Canada. One of the most significant strides made in the haircolor industry in decades, INOA is destined to revolutionize the way we color hair. INOA is the world's first-ever completely ammonia-free haircolor. Fundamentally different from past iterations of the product, INOA utilizes a unique way of fusing the dye molecules to the hair.

Traditionally, ammonia has been used to open up the hair cuticle to allow the dye molecules to slide in, which, as we all know, is less than kind to the hair. INOA works in an entirely different way. Although the exact process is proprietary, I can tell you that the product replaces ammonia with monoethanolamine, then adds an oil-based gel that replicates the natural essential oils in the hair. Just as the hair's own oils penetrate the hair shaft, so does the gel in INOA, allowing the dye to be deposited.

According to L'Oréal spokespeople, INOA can provide up to three levels of lift and affords 100 percent gray coverage. What's more, it imparts shine and texture, leaves hair soft and silky, and is gentler than ammonia-based products.

Speaking of L'Oréal spokespeople, I am not one of them. Translation: I am not paid to tout the company's products. Instead, I think of myself as a watchdog for the haircolor industry, keeping pace with developments and trends and sharing them with you. I consider it an honor to get the word out about new products, particularly those that might help us do our jobs better than ever before.

Based on what I've learned about INOA, the art of haircoloring might never be the same again. And if the new face of the product means that we can take our clients to new heights of satisfaction, I'm ready to jump right in and give it a try. —E-mail Kim Vo at [email protected].