by Robyn Atticks, Creator of Shear Miracle Organics & as featured on Beauty Launchpad Magazine's blog
You probably remember going to the salon with your Mom or Grandma when you were young. The wood-paneled walls, the aroma of an Ogilvie perm wafting through the cloud of Aqua Net, the constant hum of the blow dryers peppered with just the right amount of local gossip. Thanks to technology, we may not experience the same amount of sensory overload when visiting the salon today (we still haven't figured out how to quiet the gossip) but many of the health hazards that existed thirty years ago still remain. With all of the emphasis we place on the importance of good health for both ourselves and our environment, and with all of the healthier, greener options available, the question we need to ask is, do we want to continue to expose ourselves and our clients to these hazards? Here are some positive reasons for salon owners to consider going organic.
Reason #1: Organic products are safer for us and our clients.
We know that our bodies are amazing machines that have absorption capabilities far beyond what we can imagine. Our skin is constantly taking in the world around us, whether it is good or bad. Our lungs take in what we breathe and some of it gets transported throughout the rest of our bodies. This is something to think about when we consider the ingredients found in nail polish (such as dibutyl phthalate and toulene) can cause dizziness, headaches, skin, eye and nose irritation. Or the cyclopentasiloxane found in thermal protection sprays, when combined with heat, can lead to breathing problems, skin and throat irritation. Hair dyes contain carcinogens called phenylenediamines. Many of the long-term effects of just these four products (birth defects, liver and kidney damage, dermatitis and various types of cancer) are even more alarming. Do we really want to expose ourselves, our loved ones or our precious clients, including children, to these risks?
Reason #2: Organic products are safer for the environment.
We all know that aerosol sprays pose environmental risks. Most organic products use pump sprays which are much safer. Also, many salon products contain chemicals such as ammonia, formaldehyde and selenium which can be rinsed down the drains and into the water supply, leaking into the environment. Also, much of this waste gets thrown away on things such as hair foil, tissues and cotton balls and accumulates in landfills. Why not choose better options such as essential oil and purified water-based products which are known to be environmentally friendly? Also, when salons use organic products, they support sustainable farming practices, which can have long-term benefits.
Reason #3: Organic products are creature-friendly.
Many organic companies pride themselves on the fact that their ingredients (note I said ingredients, not products, which can be misleading) are never tested on animals. If all of the ingredients are found in nature, what's the need? Products such as those that are Leaping Bunny certified guarantee that all ingredients are cruelty-free and safe for use in your salon.
Reason #4: You will experience an influx of new clients.
Many people have already been turned on to the practice of going organic at home by choosing to use organic beauty and cleaning products. However, finding a salon near them that has adopted the same practices can prove to be a bit more of a challenge. Because of this, organic salons are gaining an advantage over their traditional counterparts. Not to mention that due to the large amounts of toxins already present in our environment, allergies of all kinds are on the rise. Many people have had to forego a trip to the salon simply because they cannot handle the exposure to the many toxins present within. No stylist wants a client to walk out of their salon feeling worse than when they walked into it.
Reason #5: Organic products perform just as well as their chemical counterparts.
No one, if given the option, would choose a cubic zirconia over a diamond, so why choose synthetic when it comes to what we choose to put on our hair and skin? In fact, organic products can benefit our clients in more ways than just making them look good. They can also help them to feel better. Ingredients such as lavender and chamomile oils can give one a sense of well-being. Bilberry is a natural source of Vitamin C, green tea is a known antioxidant and peppermint oil can help with alertness and muscle fatigue. All of these beneficial ingredients along with numerous others can be found in purely organic salon products. Let's face it. We only truly look our best when we feel our best.
Going organic may feel like venturing into uncharted territory, but times are changing and with the many options available today, you can be assured that you are not alone. In fact, you will be building practices that will ensure many happy returns for both your stylists and your clientele. Remember, this isn't your momma's salon.