I have been using L'Oreal's INOA Hair Color since it became available in the United States, I think about 3 years ago. You probably are thinking, "what is INOA" and "why should I care to know".
INOA is hair color of the future, it is less harsh that older hair color lines. It is better for your health, your hair and the environment. It is oil based color vs ammonia based. INOA is a permanent hair color line that uses no ammonia! INOA has no smell, no scalp irritation and lots of respect for the hair fiber.
I was fortunate to be introduced to INOA at Grasshopper Salon in San Francisco. Grasshopper was chosen to be one of the select salons in the country that got "first peak" at the color line. I have been intrigued by it ever since.
I continue to use INOA because,
1. I want my client's hair to be as healthy as possible (as well as mine)
2. I don't want to be putting harsh chemicals on my clients scalp.
3. I don't want to expose my clients scalp and respiratory system (and myself for that matter) to ammonia for 2 hours (or for me 8 hours a day)
In fact, recently, I have transitioned into only using INOA for any permanent application of haircolor.
The few times I have mixed "regular ammonia hair color" to use on my clients, I have been shocked at how toxic the smell is. Since I don't use products with ammonia in them anymore, I forgot how harsh they are to my senses. I do still use bleach but am considering transitioning to an ammonia free lightner by L'Oreal as well. More on that possibly in the future...
I remember a day in the early years of using INOA, while I was still learning it's results and "feeling it out". There was a client sitting in the reception area of the salon. The client's hair color was so gorgeous, it stopped me in my tracks and I had to stare at it and appreciate it's glory. I remember how it had so much dimension, was very luminous and looked supple and healthy. The client must have felt me staring at her hair because she turned around and caught my eyes. To my surprise, it was my client. She was a client of mine for 4 years and I had just started to use INOA on her. This day where her hair caught my eyes, was her first time returning to the salon since the first application of INOA. I was so impressed that the color had looked just as good as the day we first applied her color. I knew in that moment, that this color line was special. I couldn't believe that I didn't recognize my own client's hair but what I did recognize was a quality that I had never seen before. I have been using it ever since.
It is pricier for sure but oil is more expensive than ammonia, so I get it. I spend more on my body lotions that contain no parabens and artificial ingredients so why wouldn't I spend more on haircolor that is not only better for me health wise, but also my client's hair looks and feels better when I use it.
INOA excites me for what is to come in the future of hair color. As a hairdresser, I am exposed to so many chemicals. I have gotten dermatitis and even breathing difficulty due to my career's chemical exposures, so I embrace moving into a future that subtracts toxic chemicals from my work place.
If you are interested in INOA and want to learn more, check out their website. INOA
Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to be inspired, like taking time out of the day to do things that I don't normally make time for. Thankfully, my wonderful Husband surprised me on our day off of work together and brought me to LACMA. What a wonderful treat. We viewed The Tim Burton Exhibit. Viewing an entire collection of Burton's creative work, from sketches, sculptures, installations and even Edward Scissor Hand's clothing, inspired me.
While I was surrounded by Tim Burton Imagery, I was reminded of some of my most favorite movies, Beetlejuice and Edward Scissor Hands. I think because I am such a visual person, these movies are some of my favorites because the creative imagery in them is so memorable. Sure, I have other favorite movies but something about Tim Burton's films has allowed me to remember the name of the movie and specific scenes. Another film where I can remember specific scenes from was Return To Oz. The memories of these movies are similar to memories of dreams for me, in that I almost feel as if I was there even though physically I was not.
Within the Burton exhibit there was a room that was painted all black but lit by a black light. This room had a carousel that revolved creatures that were spooky in character yet so inviting. The circus like music that played and the bright colors that illuminated in the light reminded me of the innocence and awkwardness of childhood. Anything that reminds me of childhood feels like it hits "home". We do carry our younger selves around with us everyday, not just the memories of our younger selves.
If I can bring anything from Burton's Exhibit back with me (other than the great purchases we made at the gift shop) it would have to be the inspiration to be yourself. Tim Burton's creativity is bizarre and steps into the "dark side", he has remained consistent in his style or "true" to his vision. His work is entertainily familiar and I feel like I can connect with him through his art because he is so consistent in his approach.
I strive to have consistency like Tim Burton. I want my work as a Hairdresser to memorable to each client. A new haircut can be one of the best feelings in the world and that feeling can be memorable. A good haircut can change the way you walk, many good haircuts can change the way you think about yourself.