Hold your breath, folks – I do not have sustainable hair. I don’t shave my head, nor have I been cultivating dreads. In fact, I like having long hair that gets washed every day and gets highlights every couple of months. For the last few years I’ve been using Aveda products and felt good about their commitment to the environment and corporate responsibility in general, so when my stylist, Michele Meyers, told me she was leaving and would no longer be at an Aveda salon, I panicked at first. She told me that she was going to be using another organic line of color and hair care products, though, so I was willing to go with it. This weekend, I went to see her at her new digs, Salon Julian in West Seattle, and was super impressed. Organic Color Systems is also sulfate-free like Aveda, but is also completely paraben-free and much gentler and healthier for both the client and the stylist. True story: When Michele was applying the lightener, I caught myself closing my eyes in preparation for the stinging and burning of being so close to the chemicals, and there was no smell. When she finished, I had the exact same results as always without any of the lingering chemical processing smell. While Michele is waiting for all her products to come in, I am thinking about trying another environmentally-friendly brand, Sidlab, based in Portland, but the Organic Care Systems products she used smelled like freshly cut fruit. Amazing. Even more amazing is that Michele and her coworker Laura are offering 20% off for new clients through the end of March if you mention this blog! (New clients booking with Michele Meyers or Laura Graziadea only).
While the absolute best environmental choices may work for some of us, sometimes it is more reasonable to look at minimizing our impacts if completely abstaining is out of the question – which brings us to manicures. For those of you who can still afford a mani/pedi in our current economic climate, ECOSS comes to the rescue. Tram in our office works with local nail salons to educate and raise awareness (in English and Vietnamese) about the potential health impacts of the products used in that industry, and I asked for her best advice if you insist on having pretty nails. She said to avoid acrylics and gels because of the risk the chemicals pose to your health, and if you’re looking for polish, to choose products that are formaldehyde, toluene and phthalate-free.