Beauty, the Natural Way

I stopped getting my hair dyed at a conventional salon years ago. Why? The short answer is that I studied chemistry in college, and I did not like what I saw on the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).  From hair dyes to nail products, many salon products contain hazardous or even carcinogenic chemicals. Here are a few of the culprits in conventional salon products:

  1. Para-phenylenediamine (PPD), common in hair dyes, was voted Allergen of the Year in 2006 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society. It is a contact allergen, and in extreme cases it can even cause anaphylaxis.
  2. Dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, and toluene (the “toxic trio” of nail products) are linked to reproductive and development problems, as well as dizziness and eye and lung irritation. Formaldehyde is also a known carcinogen. Look for “3-free” products to avoid these!
  3. Ammonium, often found in hair dyes, can cause headaches, stinging eyes, coughing, nose and throat irritation, or a nasty rash. People react to it differently, but my advice is to steer clear.

Choosing a green hair salon is the right thing to do by salon workers as well. The National Healthy Nail & Beauty Salon Alliance was created in response to serious health risks faced by salon and spa workers, who handle toxic and hazardous chemicals on a daily basis including solvents, glues, polishes, dyes, and straightening solutions. By choosing to support a salon that uses low-toxicity products, you are choosing to support a salon that treats its workers well.

That’s why I am very excited the SBLP team is currently working with EcoCentric Salon and Spa, opening soon in Worcester. They are joining other green salons and spas across the country that offer safer, lower toxicity products. Check out their website and facebook page to see what product lines and services they will be offering (hint: they use organic, ammonia-free, and “3-free” products!).


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