These days, “planet friendly” is all the rage. From clothing to food to cleaning products, it seems like everyone is adding a bit of green to their scene! Now, you can hop in your hybrid and head to a green beauty salon.
Beauty expert Rebekah George says green salons are popping up from coast to coast. Their mission is to focus on overall well-being, by conserving things like energy and water and ditching products that contain controversial ingredients.
“Eco-friendly products have evolved tremendously throughout the years. We’ve really taken eco-friendly ingredients and married them with science that’s enabled the products to deliver a truly satisfactory result.”
Enabling planet-friendly salons to offer practically every traditional service, including highlights, one-process color, waxing, manicures and pedicures. George says clients run the gamut, and aren’t just those who are all about the environment.
“Everyone from the pregnant woman who’s really concerned about what she’s breathing in, to someone who’s suffering from an illness like cancer, or the mother who’s bringing in her children who might have asthma.”
Eco-hair salons advertise the use of shampoos and conditioners that are natural or organic. Aerosols are often banned and chemical-free color is used. Susan Henry is the owner of Shades Natural Color in Los Angeles, and even developed her own permanent hair dye.
It’s free of things like ammonia, metal, formaldehyde and sulfur.
Jenny Bomar is a client of Susan’s and heads to Shades to wash away the gray. She says the salon’s hair helpers rival products she’s used in the past, and keep her hair feeling “soft and silky.”
If you want to “go green” on your tips and toes, you can also try an eco-friendly salon. Clients get lacquered up with acetone free polish remover and non-toxic polishes. At Sweet Lily Nail Spa in New York City, all of the polish is “3-free,” meaning it’s free of formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP. A tea-tree, cream based wax is also used. Many salons even create their own essential oils and scrubs. But products are just one part of the green experience!
The way a shop is constructed also comes into play. It’s something Susan Henry thought very carefully about.
“We put in stone floors. We have two skylights. We use as much natural lighting as possible. We use lead free paint on our walls.”
Some salons even scrap paper products, use earth-friendly cleaners, operate on wind power, or donate hair clippings to help clean up oil spills. If you want to check out a salon’s green cred, George says it’s important to do your homework. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1.) Ask questions. Does the salon use PVC-free paint? Does it recycle? Is the flooring eco-friendly? What types of products are used? Ask about whatever is important to you!
2.) Do your homework and read reviews. Check out sites like Yelp, CitySearch, SpaFinder and GreenYour.com. Check out beauty blogs in your area.
3.) Research pricing. It should be in line with traditional salons in the area, or may be a bit pricier, depending on the products used.
4.) Know the lingo. When it comes to beauty products, the terms “organic” and “natural” are not defined or regulated by the FDA. The USDA’s National Organic Program only covers agricultural products. If a beauty product contains agricultural ingredients, and can meet certain USDA standards for things like handling and labeling, it may be eligible for the agency’s seal.