Fanola No Yellow Toning Shampoo burst into our lives via online videos showing hairdressers creatively squirting squiggly lines over untoned hair at the basin. We were mesmerised. Hairdressers chanted "It can't be true!" How could a shampoo do as good a job as a toner? The public was in awe and Instagram was full of videos and pics. Everyone wanted this miracle shampoo. Even the Vegans got their own versions. The miracle that is Fanola No Yellow looked revolutionary. This changed the game in toning shampoo. It turned warm hair white, cleaned up old blonde and toned better than most toners. It achieved the sceintifically impossible for what a shampoo can do.
That is because it isn't a shampoo. It looked liked a shampoo bottle, it has the word shampoo printed on that bottle and it is marketed as a shampoo. But as we know in the Hairdressing Industry, marketing can't be trusted.
Current Australian Standards state that all ingredients must be listed on cosmetic products and unless those chemicals are banned in Australia, it is up to consumer choice whether the purchase the product with those ingredients. A hair product can be classed as cosmetic if it is used on any external part of the body to change it's odour, apperance, cleanse it, keep it in good condition, perfume or protect it. Shampoos, conditioners and styling lotions come under the same cosmetic category as hair dye and bleach. Along with skin whitening products. This is why these products are allowed to be sold on a supermarket shelf even if they do contain ammonia and hydrogen peroxide. This is how the producers of Fanola No Yellow can market this product as a shampoo.
I was told early on by one of my product company reps that Fanola No Yellow contained peroxide. This comment led me to investigate further. I had a few clients who were using Fanola No Yellow and had unexplained breakage. The only way any product could remove gold tones and lighten hair is if it contained products that acted as a bleaching agents.
Analysing all the ingredients, I came across one called Guar Gum. Guar Gum is added to shampoo and other beauty products to thicken the consitensy. It is also a derivative of ammonium. The other ingredient that I red flagged was Citric Acid, as in Lemon Juice. The stuff we put on our hair to lighten it in the sun.
So I then asked a Scientist client if a derivative of ammonium when mixed with citric acid could lighten hair. The answer was a stong YES!
Just like Sun In contains Hydrogen Peroxide and Lemon Juice, Fanola No Yellow is made up of ammonia and lemon juice. This combo will lighten hair and then the strong purple tone will tone this lightened hair to clean, icy blonde.
Together the ammonia and citric acid acts like a mild bleach, lightening the hair everytime you wash it. So if your hair is already light blonde, this continual lightening will cause the hair to become dry and brittle and then break. It will also lighten any natural hair, causing it to turn orange or yellow and giving highlighted hair a solid look.
I have seen this myself online and in salon. Please see the pics below.
My client who used Fanola No Yellow twice a week for 6 weeks.
'Chewed' was the word she used to describe the condition of her hair. We had to cut a fair amount off to even up the length. 6 weeks later she discontinued the use of Fanola No Yellow and has had no more breakage and the condition of her hair has improved dramatically.
Just to be clear, I am not against this product. I think it has a purpose when used correctly. Once a month as a toner is ample with a moisture treatment applied afterwards. What I do have an issue with is the marketing of this product as a shampoo. One that is recommended to be used twice weekly in place of your regular shampoo. It is sold online and marketed to the masses with no warning or correct instructions.
Currently ther is very little regulation in Australia when it comes to hair and beauty products. As long as the ingredients are listed, it is up to the consumer to make their decision. When a product causes this much damage to the hair, there needs to be better regulations and more information available.
Until then, this article has hopefully given you the info you need to make your own informed decision in your future hair purchases. Choose wisely. If it seems miraculous then it may just be too good to be true.