Beauty and the Chemical Beast: How to go non-toxic at the salon

February 27, 2013 in Self-Health, Social Responsibility, Style, Sustainability by alliemcc

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Image via Alex Designs.

I've let my membership in Green America lapse (student budget, what can I say?).

But they sent me the latest issue of their magazine, The Green American, with the guilt-trippy, "here's a free issue, please come back to us!" packaging. Le sigh

As guilty as I felt reading through the magazine, I have no qualms about sharing the feature article, their great introductory guide to healthier salon products and services.

If you’re going to the spa, look for a member of the Green Spa Network, a coalition of green-minded spas across the US that pledge to be energy efficient and sustainable in all their practices. If there isn’t a green salon near you, bring your own nontoxic products to your salon if allowed. Buy from screened green businesses listed at, and visit the Skin Deep Database at to find least-toxic products for at-home use.

You can read the whole article here

The Green American article gives a few resources for finding non-toxic salons and products. I find mine by shopping online, and at my local health food store, which has a skin care and cosmetics section. I do my own color at home with a European box dye on my hair; I've been replacing my standard nail polish with 3-free formulas, and I use a coconut oil-based nail polish remover.

By no means am I going all organic and non-toxic all the time. Budget, convenience, and a husband who has different shopping habits– not to mention society's standards of hygiene (hello, chemical-laden anti-perspirant)– mean that I still slather myself and ingest plenty of awful crap that I just pray gets flushed out of my system somehow.

But I'm hoping and planning that one day, sooner than later, I'll be able to say that everything that I put on my body could safely be eaten. Actually, I'm making it a priority. Our skin is our biggest organ, and it absorbs everything that touches it through our pores and into the bloodstream.

Now let that sink in a minute. (Pun absolutely intended.)


Ebay's World of Good is another great starting point for stocking up on products.

For a local angle, you might want to read my review of Synergy Salon in New Canaan, Connecticut.

And this article, that I posted on my Facebook page earlier this year, will make you think twice (at least) about hair extensions.

If you've already switched to organic food, have you also taken a closer look at your beauty maintenance? Shout out your favorite green products and salons in the comments below!