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Does loreal excellence have peroxide in it?

L’Oréal Excellence hair color is one of the most popular at-home hair dyes on the market. With its ammonia-free formula and reputation for delivering shiny, vibrant color results, it’s easy to see why many consumers reach for Excellence when it’s time to cover grays or try a new hue.

However, some people wonder about the ingredients used to create the permanent hair dye results associated with Excellence. Specifically, many want to know: does L’Oréal Excellence hair color contain peroxide?

What is Peroxide?

Peroxide is a chemical compound with a formula of H2O2. It is created by combining hydrogen and oxygen molecules. Peroxide is often used as a bleaching or whitening agent. It works by breaking down the melanin pigments in hair that create color.

Here are some key facts about peroxide:

  • It has a pale blue color in its pure form.
  • Peroxide is unstable, meaning it breaks down over time when exposed to light and heat.
  • It has strong oxidizing and bleaching properties.
  • Diluted forms of peroxide are used for cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Higher concentrations of peroxide can irritate skin and the respiratory tract.

When used for hair coloring, peroxide acts to open the cuticle layer so color can penetrate the hair shaft. It also lightens hair to allow the dye to deposit properly.

The Role of Peroxide in Hair Color

Now that we’ve covered what exactly peroxide is, let’s discuss its role in hair coloring products like L’Oréal Excellence.

Most permanent and demi-permanent hair dyes work via an oxidation process. They contain chemical compounds called oxidation dye precursors, which are colorless. When these precursors come into contact with an oxidizing agent, such as peroxide, a chemical reaction occurs. This reaction causes the precursors to develop into colored dye molecules that can then stain the hair.

So in short, peroxide plays a crucial role in permanent hair color. It activates the oxidation process that transforms the dye precursors into their colored form. Without peroxide, the color molecules would not develop and the dye would not take hold in the hair shaft.

Does L’Oréal Excellence Contain Peroxide?

Now that we’ve covered the basics of what peroxide is and its role in permanent hair dye, let’s get right to the heart of the matter. Does L’Oréal Excellence hair color contain peroxide?

The short answer is yes, L’Oréal Excellence does contain peroxide. Specifically, it contains hydrogen peroxide as an essential part of its formula.

If you read the ingredients list on the Excellence hair color boxes, you’ll see that hydrogen peroxide is always included. The concentration varies depending on the specific shade. But it ranges from 1.9% to 4.5% hydrogen peroxide across the L’Oréal Excellence lineup.

Lighter blonde shades require higher volumes of peroxide to achieve maximum lightening. Darker hues use less peroxide in their formulas.

How Peroxide is Used in L’Oréal Excellence

Now that we’ve confirmed L’Oréal Excellence contains peroxide, let’s take a closer look at how it’s used in the formula:

  • The peroxide acts as the developer or oxidizing agent that activates the hair dye. It allows the color precursors to transform into their colored state.
  • The peroxide lifts and lightens the natural base color of hair so the dye will deposit properly.
  • The concentration of peroxide is carefully balanced to provide just enough lightening and lifting for the intended shade result.
  • Lower volumes of peroxide are less damaging than higher concentrations. Excellence uses the minimum amount needed for each shade.
  • The peroxide interacts with the alkaline agents in the formula to create a controlled reaction that colors the hair.

L’Oréal formulates the Excellence colors with precision so that the peroxide creates the desired permanent color results as gently and effectively as possible.

L’Oréal Excellence Peroxide Volumes by Shade Family

As discussed above, L’Oréal Excellence hair dyes contain varying percentages of hydrogen peroxide based on the shade you choose. Here is an overview of the typical peroxide volumes found in the different color families:

Shade Family Peroxide Volume
Light blonde 4.5%
Medium blonde 3%
Dark blonde 2.1%
Light brown 1.9%
Medium brown 1.9%
Dark brown 1.9%
Black 1.9%

As you can see, lighter shades use higher volumes of peroxide for maximum lightening, while darker shades require less. But all L’Oréal Excellence permanent hair dyes contain some level of peroxide.

Is the Peroxide in Excellence Damaging?

Some people worry that the peroxide in L’Oréal Excellence hair color could be damaging to hair. However, keep the following factors in mind:

  • The peroxide levels are carefully calibrated and only as high as needed for each shade.
  • Excellence contains pro-keratin and ceramide to help strengthen and repair hair.
  • The formula is ammonia-free to help minimize damage to hair.
  • When used as directed, the peroxide causes minimal damage, especially with the built-in conditioners.
  • Always do a strand test first to assess your hair’s condition and sensitivity.

While any permanent dye will cause some oxidation and damage, L’Oréal formulates Excellence with damage limitation top of mind. Follow all instructions carefully to minimize peroxide’s effects on hair health.

Excellence Requires Peroxide to Work

While L’Oréal Excellence does contain peroxide, this ingredient is essential for the formula to actually color hair effectively. The peroxide activates the color molecules and allows the dye to bond within the hair shaft to create permanent results.

Without peroxide, the precursors would not develop into colored pigments. And the dye would simply wash out instead of lasting through multiple shampoos. So although the peroxide carries some risk of damage, it’s necessary for Excellence to work as designed.

Alternatives If You Want to Avoid Peroxide

If you want to avoid peroxide entirely, L’Oréal Excellence is not the right choice for you. However, here are some alternative hair coloring options without peroxide:

  • Semi-permanent dye – Contains no peroxide and washes out over time.
  • Temporary dye – Washes out in 1-2 shampoos and does not require peroxide.
  • Natural henna dye – Derived from a plant and doesn’t need a developer.
  • Bleach-free highlights – Use heat and no peroxide to lighten small sections.

You can also search for peroxide-free permanent dye options. However, many still use some oxidizing agents in lower doses. Always check the ingredients list closely before making a selection.

The Takeaway on L’Oréal Excellence and Peroxide

To recap the key facts covered in this article:

  • Yes, L’Oréal Excellence hair color does contain peroxide.
  • The peroxide serves as the crucial developer and oxidizing agent.
  • Volumes range from 1.9% – 4.5% based on the shade.
  • The peroxide is calibrated to provide just enough lifting and lightening ability.
  • When used correctly, damage should be minimal.
  • Avoid Excellence if you wish to dye your hair without any peroxide.

While L’Oréal Excellence isn’t a peroxide-free formula, it uses the minimum amount required to create vibrant, lasting color. Overall, it remains a popular at-home permanent hair dye option for millions of consumers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about L’Oréal Excellence and peroxide:

Does all permanent hair dye contain peroxide?

Yes, all permanent hair dyes require some amount of peroxide or other oxidizing agent to activate the color. Peroxide allows permanent hair color to deposit within the hair shaft.

Is L’Oréal Excellence with peroxide safe?

When used correctly following all directions, L’Oréal Excellence is generally safe to use. However, peroxide can cause damage when overused. Minimize risk by doing a strand test before use.

Can I bleach my hair without peroxide?

No, bleaching hair requires the use of peroxide. Peroxide is the active ingredient that lightens hair. Non-peroxide lighteners use lower volumes and lift hair more gradually.

Is 20 volume peroxide high?

Yes, 20 volume peroxide is considered high. It creates maximum lift but also carries a high risk of damage. L’Oréal Excellence only uses up to 4.5% peroxide to minimize damage.

What is a peroxide-free alternative to L’Oréal Excellence?

Some peroxide-free alternatives include semi-permanent dyes, temporary colors, henna, and bleach-free highlight kits. However, these do not produce permanent results.

The Bottom Line

L’Oréal Excellence hair color does contain peroxide. It’s a necessary ingredient that allows the permanent dye to interact with the hair strands to produce lasting color. While the peroxide carries some risk of damage, L’Oréal calibrates the volume to provide just the right amount of lifting and lightening for vibrant results.

If you wish to color your hair without any peroxide whatsoever, L’Oréal Excellence is not the ideal choice. However, for those comfortable with low levels of peroxide, it remains a top option for lasting color with shine and minimal odor.