Greenest Salons In Connecticut
Hair and nail salons have a bad reputation for being anything but green. Many if not most still use aerosol sprays, toxic chemicals – especially in color treatments and perms – and products packed with sulfates. In many salons, the odor of ammonia still dominates. A new breed of hairdressers, however, are trying to change all of that. Being eco-friendly often starts with the salon itself – using recycled or natural products in construction and decoration, and includes using hair coloring made mostly from minerals and with a minimal amount of chemicals. Recycling everything from empty shampoo bottles to worn-out curling irons and relying on solar energy is also increasingly becoming part of the style in salons, especially those either genuinely committed to going green – or at least trying to tap into the green market. Read on for some of the greenest salons in Connecticut and start to feel good about getting your hair done.
Briana Salon & Image Center
15 Square Acre Drive
Stamford, CT 06905
“Beautiful, lustrous and long-lasting hair color doesn’t have to be harmful to you or the environment,” says Kim Roach, the lead stylist and premiere hair colorist at Briana Salon and Image Center in Stamford. She recommends and strongly prefers to use Organic Color Systems products. These are safe, non-toxic hair color products, and are every bit as effective as their big name competitors, but provide color naturally.
Kim has been doing hair for over 20 years – most of it at Briana, a stately home that was converted into a boutique salon in 1993. Roach and her team were among the first in Connecticut to switch to organic products, and have a reputation for being pioneers in the go-green salon movement in the area. The salon offers the natural option in almost everything it does, from extensions and weaves to colorizing and highlighting.
As Kim explains, natural products like the Organic Color Systems and KeraGreen Keratin Smoothing System she uses are not only better for the environment, they are also better for the customer, her hair and the stylist. Too many hair care products used by salons are made with ammonia – which is not only bad for the environment but also damages the hair and scalp. Ammonia, Kim continues, destroys the natural protein, Tyrosine, in hair, which means that every time a product with ammonia is applied, the hair becomes a little less healthy. Ammonia is noxious, and many hair dressers as well as their clients frequently get headaches or rashes or have other allergic reactions to ammonia-based coloring products. Many other products in salons contain formaldehyde, formaldehyde derivates or paraben which, like ammonia, is a toxic chemical (formaldehyde, for example, is used in embalming).
Briana Salon is “one of the few” in Connecticut that offers what Ms. Roach calls “organic hair services,” but interest in “going green” is growing in salons in the Nutmeg State.
245 Amity Road
Woodbridge, CT 06525
“We choose to be as green as possible,” says Stephanie Cabrol, an organic color specialist who together with master barber and husband Mario Cabrol runs Progressions Salon in Woodbridge. Going and staying green is not difficult, quips Stephanie, but it does take what she calls “a conscious effort” and some research to ensure that the products they buy for use in the salon are “environmentally responsible.”
Progressions has been around since 1983, and the Cabrols have recently expanded it to offer not only hair design and hair coloring services, but also make-up, nails, manicures, pedicures, full-body waxing and “chameleon services” (which include eyebrow and eyelash tinting, texture waves and hair relaxing). They also have a wig studio.
For Stephanie, going green is not limited to the products she uses. Her salon sponsors and participates in the “Look Good Feel Better” program for women undergoing cancer treatment, holds “Pampered in Pink” days and other events to raise funds for breast cancer research and hosts an annual “Sock Drive” to collect warm socks for needy families in Woodbridge. Going green for the Cabrols is about not only using products that are better for the environment, but also about giving back to the community.
Orchid Threading & Day Spa
266 Park Road
West Hartford, CT 06119
Orchid Threading and Day Spa in West Hartford boasts of being “chemical free.” From nails, manicures and pedicures to eyebrow threading and waxing and henna treatments, the staff uses natural products and procedures, explains owner Bibi Nasima. Aestheticians Uma and Kalpana (who is also a Henna artist) and massage therapist Jodi are all committed to helping improve the “health and well-being” of their clients. Orchid uses “only natural, herbal products,” and advises clients to pay attention to diet, nutrition, exercise and hydration to help unlock “beauty from the inside-out.”
Orchid uses Ada Rios beauty products, which are made in Connecticut. Ada Rios’s products are made from fruits, vegetables, herbs and roots, not chemicals, and are based on traditional Mayan and other indigenous peoples’ recipes “passed down from generation to generation.” They are made “fresh and organic” by hand and include natural soaps, sugar scrubs and organic creams and shampoos.
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Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at Examiner.com.