Professional beauty salons always boast the best products on the market for your hair/nails/face. People often assume that organic beauty salons have less potent ingredients that won’t match our expectations. But how far can chemical-filled solutions heal and nourish your skin? The beauty industry is without a doubt one of the most polluting businesses in the world. Here’s the change you can expect from a natural beauty salon.
Once you switch the products in your home, you can also decide to visit salons that focus on plant-based, cruelty free and organic beauty. We have listed all of the alternatives of natural beauty salons and why they are best for your health and the environment. We partnered with the new all-natural studio here in Geneva: Pachamama
They told us all about their sustainable options while styling our hair with the latest eco products. Here’s why you should ditch your old beauty salon and try a natural one.
The number one perk of organic hair salons is the eco shampoo options. Whether you’re just there for a cut or a dry out, you’ll benefit from the best organic brands on the market. If you have already switched up your hair products at home, it’s only coherent to treat them the same way in a salon.
Unless you are sensitive to sodium lauryl sulfate – the number one harsh chemical in shampoos – you might never realize it’s drying out your hair ! We struggled for a long time with itchy scalps until we discovered the culprit. Now we only use SLS free shampoo and it works wonders. We even feel like it makes our hair softer and we don’t even need conditioner after. SLS is a detergent used to “wash” hair but it also dries it out big time and disrupts hormones when it enters your bloodstream. Brands add it to then sell their masks and conditioners along with parabens, phtalates and more.
Organic brands are not always SLS free, so you have to ask your hairdresser. These shampoos from OWAY don’t have any fortunately.
When it comes to dyeing your hair, you have two options.
The first one is soft chemistry dyeing. The dyes are not totally natural but they are softer than conventional products. They are free of the main harmful solutions like resorcinol (a known hormone disruptor that acts on your thyroid, going through the skin barrier) PPD (known for causing cancer) and 1-Naphtol (a skin irritant). These products usually work in the same manner as conventional products and are a safer option if you’re looking for a specific look.
Plant dyeing on the other hand is an all-natural solution that comes with a few downsides. It takes longer to sink in and it lasts for a shorter period of time. “If you color your hair more than once, the product becomes more permanent but it is impossible to get a blonder look afterwards” says plant-dyeing expert Charline. When you get past these few rules, plant dyes are great for your hair, they make it soft a smooth, a bit like henna. We could portray it as the “slow” hair movement: you have to accept that you can’t change your color 5 times a year !
Organic and natural beauty has been a life saver to us. We are sensitive to products that contain certain substances, causing huge rashes on our eyes and face. Of course, not all people react to these toxins, but this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect their health at all. Most of the substances present in skincare are hormone disruptors and we are seeing increasing cancers caused by messed up hormones. Point is, the skin is a very sensitive organ that has its own little ecosystem. It’s easily disrupted so you want to keep it away from harsh chemicals.
Natural face treatments are what your skin needs between seasons. A regular cleanse is a great way to keep your skin looking fresh, especially after summer.
Sorry to break it to you but waxing can also be done in a better and more sustainable way. Even though you don’t apply wax for hours, its ingredients still matter. Conventional beauty parlors use wax that contain synthetic ingredients like paraffin, mineral oil (derived from petroleum) and perfumes. All of which are unsustainable from production to disposal.
Natural waxes are often made primarly of sugar. They go further than just protecting your skin. They offer great relief for people suffering with ingrown hair (like us !) We have seen a big change when we switched. It also causes less irritation and keeps hair away longer !
Another issue are the strips used for waxing. A lot of basic salons use plastic or synthetic lined strips that create a huge amount of waste. Look for a salon that uses reusable cotton strips, well washed and sterilized of course !
All-natural nail varnish has not been invented yet. It’s very hard to be sustainable in this area since they require a certain amount of chemicals to stick. You can still make things a bit better by choosing salons that apply low acid/low solvant polishes for semi permanent manicures for example. These are much better for your hands as conventional products usually leave you with brittle nails.
For less permanent lacquers, many salons offer alternatives that are safe to use. Look for products that say 5 free or 7 free. Some brands even go up to 10 free – meaning minus 10 toxic substances.
We were recently offered a full hair treatment by Charline, the hair specialist at Pachamama Geneva. We were totally charmed by the place and its ethos. The interior design is flawless and they even have hempcrete blocks and walls. The shampoos were exactly the ones we use at home, Oway Organics, with glass bottles that can be refilled right in the salon !
We recommend this place 100% and they are already featured in our Geneva guide. We can’t wait to go back and get a facial treatment this time. You can book a spot directly online with their appointment app.
A big thank you to Tali, the founder of this wonderful space, for having us.