October 2, 2013

Wella Blogger's Meet and THE TRUTH ABOUT HAIR COLOR

On the 28th of September, 2013, I was invited by Wella India for their "The Truth Behind Hair Color Bloggers'  Meet" at The Wella International Studio, Select Citywalk, New Delhi. 

The event was designed in a manner so that bloggers could interact with Maria Castan, a Senior Scientist at Procter & Gamble from Darmstadt, Germany and find out the Truth Behind Hair Color.

Wella Professionals has been at the international forefront of color innovation for over 133 years. The brand believes in providing superior hair protection & color results, hence hair damage is a very crucial aspect which cannot be ignored. After extensive research and analysis, Wella has decided NOT to go down the path of “no-ammonia” for our permanent hair color.

About Wella Professionals
Wella, the Salon Professional division of P&G, is the premier name in professional hair cosmetics & pioneer of innovation and trend spotting. High-Quality, High-Performance and High-Fashion are three of the key reasons why its products are preferred by world's most renowned hairdressers. Wella Professionals contributes to enhancing the hairstyling profession and building a strong relationship with hairdressers with cutting edge technology, new initiatives and by offering comprehensive training programs for salon owners and their employees.
P&G Professional’s brands include Wella Professionals, Koleston Perfect, Colour Touch, System Professional, Sebastian Professional & many more. Superior products, inspiring education and unique salon business-building programs make Wella Professionals a world leader and expert in hair cosmetics and beauty.

Understanding Hair Coloring Components:

Hair Color usually consists of two parts:

  1. Tint
    1. Dyes: A mix of Dyes Variety to create different shades, these form the final color deep inside the hair
    2. Alkalizer: Ammonia or MEA: These raise the pH level of hair so that hair swell and active ingredients can penetrate hair. 
  2. Developer
    1. Oxidant: Hydrogen Peroxide, reacts with and links together the dyes after they've penetrated the hair

Ammonia Vs MEA

  1. Lightening : Ammonia is more effective where ligtening of hair color is required, whereas MEA is more suitable in cases where significant ligtening is not required
  2. Odor: Ammonia has a characteristic odor which ebbs a sammonia is used up and evaporates, whereas MEA is odorloess but continues to work on the strands until completely washed out
  3. Ease of washing: Ammonia is volatile and thus get easily washed out whereas MEA is hard to completely wash out especially when present in higher concentrations.

And now when we know the above facts about Hair Coloring components, we face a big question here,

"Is Ammonia Free Hair Color also Damage free for hair"

Ammonia v/s No Ammonia- The Science: 

Every permanent hair color needs an active ingredient, called “alkalizer”, so that the hair color can enter the hair cuticles and color it. Ammonia is the most common alkalizer which has been safely used in hair coloring for 50 years. Certain permanent hair colors - sometimes referred to as “no-ammonia” or “ammonia-free” often use another alkalizer called “MEA” instead of using ammonia, MEA is not a new technology. Demi/Semi-permanent colors have been using MEA for more than 20 years in a safe way.  However, some permanent hair color brands, in order to get rid of ammonia & its smell, have also started using MEA. But MEA is used in much higher concentration by these brands as it’s a less effective alkalizer for permanent hair coloring.  AND this can be much more damaging for your hair.

Maria Castan, Scientific Communication Expert from Wella Professionals said,

"Latest permanent color products claiming no or low ammonia typically replaces ammonia with another alkalizer, MEA. Neither MEA not Ammonia on their own are good or bad – it largely depends on the concentration of alkalizer (ammonia or MEA). We have also not seen any advantage of ammonia free permanent color products in terms of hair protection. This is evidenced by both internal and external test data we conducted, as part of our regular innovation bench marking process”.

Advantage of Ammonia over MEA: 
Ammonia has been safely used in permanent hair  and is known to be one of the best technologies in permanent hairs for long lasting performance. It provides excellent grey coverage and pure results without compromising hair vitality. In fact ammonia is a volatile, naturally occurring substance that does its job during coloring and evaporates immediately. That's why you can smell it so strong and so fast.

Based on a recent survey by Nielsen research, 84% of consumers believe that ammonia-free color is actually damage free . But it’s truly not. Ammonia-free color often smells less during coloring, but that doesn't mean it’s less damaging.

Wella, a leading international color company for  133 years, has perfected both, its ammonia  and no-ammonia color formulations to provide superior damage protection vs. the leading professional no-ammonia color brand*.

IPSOS study 2013- 77% Trichologists/ Dermatologists agree “Ammonia free hair color does not mean damage free”

Wella Koleston Perfect/ Color Touch color after color vs. the leading professional permanent no-ammonia color brand

During the meet, we also had a Q&A session where Maria asked some common queries about hair colors that our blogger friends had.

Q: Is it safe to use hair colors during pregnancy?
Maria's Answer: It is completely safe to use hair colors during pregnancy as well as lactation as studies have shown they DO NOT have any effect on the mother or the baby since they do not enter out blood stream.

Q:How often can one color their hair?
Maria's Answer:
Anytime after 2 to 4 weeks of last hair coloring session.

Q: After getting a Keratin treatment, how long should one wait to go for a hair coloring session?
Maria's Answer:
First of all, Keratin treatments are not good for general health but if you still go for it, you must wait for atleast 2 weeks before getting a hair color done.

Q: Traditional "Henna" Vs hair color.
Maria's Answer:
Dark Henna also has dyes minus the conditioning elements in hair color and thus can be more damaging to hair as compared to hair colors.Also Hair colors are more long lasting and give better grey coverage.

My take on Henna: Well, I have tried Henna for my hair and have had really bad hair fall issues after that so I completely stopped using henna . My hair felt more rough, and brittle after that and I went for absolutely no color for a long time before I started using Hair Colors. I have about three strands of gray and I found it much easier to tackle them with a hair color vis-a-vis Henna. My hair stylist has asked me to never touch henna again on my hair because it is extremely damaging and simply doesn't wash out like regular semi/demi permanent hair color, it grows out with your hair , so you have to wait for  long time before you can color them again and obviously you don't have much choice of shades to experiment with henna. 

Q: How to care for colored hair when you also have other hair issues like hair fall or dandruff?
Maria's Answer: try to alternate between a shampoo and conditioner meant for colored hair and a shampoo and conditioner for the other hair issues that you may have. It's important to use a color protectant shampoo and conditioner because it will help your hair color stay longer and look beautiful. 

And some pictures from the event

Deeptima and I sharing a laugh!!

L-R: Pooja, Deeptima, Me, Jasinder and Bharti

Head over to the Wella India website to find a Wella/Sebastian/SP Salon near you HERE

Hope you enjoyed reading through. Have a great day everyone!

P.S. Photo Courtsey Wella India


  1. Nice post, thanks for sharing.

    Keep in touch,

  2. Love the group piccsss. & urs and deeptima
    Lovely post dear... it really cleared so many doubtsss.. :)

    1. Thanks Poonam...Deeptima is so much fun to be with...I really enjoy her company and moreover I love being in a group where there are makeup and beauty lovers..
      Glad you liked my post :)

  3. You went for this? Cool...
    By the way your hair looking really fab :)

  4. Very informative! This makes me so sad that I missed it :(

    1. Thanks! it was a great event, but never mind ..next time :)


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