Published in Montgomery County Women’s Journal, December 2017/January 2018
The Conscious Colorist
By Cherise Morello-Pons and Jade Organic Salon
There is an all-time spike in the demand for hair color among women. This breakout is the result of women discovering and embracing the idea that color acts as an accessory, and a necessity. We all want shiny and healthy hair, but sometimes the path to getting there is difficult. The challenge is that most hair color products have harsh chemical ingredients that damage the hair during the coloring process. By using products with more certified organics ingredients you can take a more gentle approach to achieve outstanding results AND healthy hair.
The way your hair looks and feels is very important! It is an accessory much like glasses, earrings or even your cell phone. Before you choose to invest in any accessory, you must do your fair share of research.
LET’S BEGIN WHAT IS POROSITY? WHY SHOULD I CARE? Porosity refers to your hair’s ability to absorb and maintain moisture. The way your hair behaves, looks and holds color is based on its level of porosity. Typical hair color contains ammonia, formaldehyde, parabens, and resorcinol - all ingredients that impact the porosity of the hair. These ingredients have been banned in many European countries for decades.
In an organic system, a Wet Stretch Test reveals the porosity of your hair. Understanding the hair’s porosity is essential. It enables the stylist to deliver the best result for the client - naturally healthy, radiant and glossy hair with long-lasting color.
From my 35 years as a beauty industry educator and cosmetologist, I have experienced the many ramifications of typical hair color. The harmful ingredients in these products, indeed, have a direct impact on how your hair responses immediately. Several studies have found that hair color with harmful ingredients can lead to immune disorders among everyone involved in the coloring process – both the client and the stylist. One study has found that having an allergic reaction - itching or burning during or several days after applying hair color - can lead to hair loss or a reduction in hair volume. Not the result you were going for.
Hair color and cosmetics in the United States are not regulated. The once relaxing and social evening of beauty at your hair salon has mutated into exposure to a health risk. At Jade Organic Salon, we use oil and heat to slide color into place, improving the health of the hair, supporting your overall wellness while giving you the look you’ve always wanted.
We use science to apply a formula of quality ingredients particular to your hair’s needs and instead of damaging hair in coloring, we build and support the hair’s health. Your hair will have more bounce and shine as a result of the color application.
This unique color and care system restores even damaged hair giving it healthier body, suppleness and shine - no more tangles and breakage.
At Jade Organic Salon, we focus on your total beauty experience, providing you with a deeper knowledge and understanding about what it means for you and your hair to be healthy while being environmentally conscious. Jade Organic Salon’s goal is a simple one: WE ARE INVESTED IN YOUR BEAUTY AND HEALTH.
Published in Montgomery County Women's Journal, February/March 2017
Put Your Best Face Forward
By Natalie Poserina
Let’s face it; most of us spend a lot of time wishing for our dream tresses rather than facing our hair reality. Choosing a style that doesn’t flatter your face can keep you from achieving mega-babe status! The perfect style is like finding buried treasure. You must first learn to use a compass before you can navigate your way to the ultimate hair destination.
It is important to understand how your face shape can make or break your look. Acceptance about the capabilities of your hair is also the key to a successful style. Here are some Pro tips to guide you on your journey.
Shape up and Snip your way out of a rut!
The goal is to achieve a neutral shape that is most pleasing to the eye. The general rule is to balance the facial features into an oval shape. Each particular face structure has its challenges. The idea is to maximize your beauty and individuality, while minimizing any features you would like to divert attention from.
Oval – The optimal goal for balancing the hair. The forehead and the jaw are the same width.
Flattering: Most styles. You lucky ladies!
Avoid: Any style that covers that beautiful symmetry and shape.
Round – Add length not width.
Flattering: Short styles (for petite features), middle parts, and styles that create height.
Avoid: Volume around the jaw area, bobs, or heavy bangs.
Square – Think light and wispy to balance hard lines.
Flattering: Softness at the jaw, side swept bangs, and longer lengths with plenty of movement.
Avoid: Blunt bobs or middle parts, and harsh lines that create a heavy look.
Heart – Any style that broadens the chin a bit, and narrows the top of the head.
Flattering: Vertical length that kicks out at the bottom into textured medium length layers. A add little more height if the style reaches below the shoulders.
Avoid: Heavy bangs that can broaden a wide forehead, or slicked back styles that bring attention to a top heavy face.
Triangle – The goal is to widen a narrow forehead and reduce a wide chin.
Flattering: Cuts that are tapered at the jaw line diminish width. Keep it short to divert attention from a wide chin. Soft layers also create lightness around the jaw if you prefer longer lengths.
Avoid: Straight and heavy bobs that draw attention to the chin.
Diamond – Minimize wide cheek bone area and create a width for a narrow chin.
Flattering: Straight bangs will flatter a narrow forehead. Layers with kicked out ends, and chin length bobs will add width to a narrow chin.
Avoid: Hairstyles with height that will create a cone head effect. Keep away from styles that do not involve hair around the chin line.
Oblong – Create width, not height or length. Long hair can lengthen the face.
Flattering: Wavy/curly textures soften long lines. A wedged bob or textured ends that are flicked out from the face add width to a thin, long face. Try bangs if you have a larger forehead.
Avoid: Keep away from middle parts and styles that add height. This could make your face look even longer.
At Jade Organic Salon, we take the time to address your concerns and create a custom cut that is perfect for your face shape and style you deserve. Our welcoming organic environment empowers women to be healthy – all while staying true to who they are. We strive to make you feel confident with a style that accentuates your unique beauty.
Published in Montgomery County Women’s Journal, April/May 2016
Make Room for a Healthier You!
Clear and Define What Helps Make You Beautiful.
Hair guru’s get requests ALL DAY LONG: I want my hair to be more flattering, easy to manage. I want it to fit my life style, to make me look younger, funnier, thinner. And, I want it to be organic. Organic is good - right? You can do it, can’t you?
From demands by Princess Kate, to Jessica Alba to Tina Fey and even the now pregnant Snooki, the glamour industry is answering the questions: What is organic all about – really? And, why isn’t everything organic?
Let’s answer the second question first. Why isn’t everything organic? Well, the manufacturers would have to reveal that the ingredients in their earlier products were harmful, i.e. skin allergies, itching, burning, and staining. And it would be expensive to reformulate and change the manufacturing process. Why change anything sooner than you have to? After all, the public has been accepting hair color “irritations” for a long, long time. We have accepted it as the cost of beauty.
What is organic all about – really? For a hair product to be labeled “organic” it must be free of ammonia, resorcinol or parabens, all chemicals associated with the risk of cancer. Organic products must be produced without genetic engineering, ionizing radiation, or sewage sludge. Don’t know about you, but I don’t want sewage sludge in my hair products.
We all have lots of beauty products on hand at home and have trusted our salon stylists when products are used in our hair services, but do we know what is in these products? Do we understand what all those ingredients are, what they mean? What is PEG-9 Lauryl Polydimethylsiloxyethyl anyway?
What I have discovered is that “organic” has become a marketing term and may not mean anything in reality. Products labeled “organic” may still have cancer- related ingredients; such as, PEG’s (Polyethylene Glycol), PEG-2 (Soy amine), PEG-2 Cocamine, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, and PEG-9 Lauryl Polydimethylsiloxyethyl, and PEG-10 Rapeseed Steryol. PEG’s are not good.
And, it’s not just the ingredients that come in contact with your skin. The ingredients evaporate and become part of the air you breathe. You are now taking a chemical soup into your body with each breath. What about your baby, grabbing your hair as you play together? They are now receiving in the harmful elements. And, what about when your sweetie gives you a hug and strokes your hair? They too are taking in the harmful elements through touching your hair. Is this how you want to treat yourself and your loved ones?
At Jade Organic Salon we have done the research for ourselves and you. We are committed to using only the purest hair products available today, and when we say organic, we mean it. There is no chemical smell when you enter our salon. There are no burning, watering eyes. There is no wondering if you’ll pay a price some day for what you do today for the sake of beauty.
Our standard practice includes an in-salon hair analysis to reveal the current state of your hair. We can also send your hair strands out for further laboratory analysis as needed. What we learn from the analysis directs the beauty plan that we develop with you to fit your needs and beauty goals.
Whether it is clearing out harmful products from your supply of beauty products at home or making room in your thinking for a new approach, a healthier approach to beauty, Jade Organic Salon is here to support you.At Jade Organic Salon beauty truly does intersect with healthy.
Published in Montgomery County Women’s Journal, February/March 2016
Hair from the Heart
WRITTEN BY NATALIE POSERINA
CHERISE MORELLO-PONS AND JADE ORGANIC SALON
There are thousands of talented hair stylists out there. The best of the best use specialized techniques and offering high quality products. Every stylist offers something different with their technical know-how. The difference between good and great stylists is using your ears way more than your fancy shears; a client’s hair and heart is in our hands.
As a newbie to the business, I’ve learned the heart to heart connections I experience are the best part of my job. I’m slowly building a client base who returns to me for their monthly services. I know my clients value my creativity and skills, but listening is probably 80% of my job. I listen to what they want, piece together clues for what they don’t want, and most importantly I listen to their stories.
My mentor and owner of Jade Organic Salon, Cherise Morello-Pons, has been a stylist for 32 years. By estimation, she has done around 400 cut and colors for each client that has been with her from the beginning, which totals 800 hours of sharing and talking. Over her career, that adds up to approximately 20,000 hours of sharing and talking with all clients.
Cherise has been with clients for many beginnings and endings in their lives. She’s made brides beautiful for their weddings and special events. She’s given clients’ children their first haircuts and polished them up with professional looks when they become college grads. She’s seen her clients go through cancer, organ transplants, divorce, and even death. Pivotal moments are shared as styles come and go, but the heart is always behind the hair.
Business relationships continue through the years and people become loyal to you because you understand them, not just their hair. Your role of stylist expands to friend, confidant, and almost a family member. Going through life’s phases can mean a change of appearance and that takes a huge amount of trust.
In beauty school, I was given a client who was going through chemotherapy and ready to shave her head. As soon as she sat in my chair we connected. I knew it was my job to make her feel comfortable and confident to take this challenging step. I kept it light as I held back the tears, and as we laughed I told her how my hair kept getting shorter and shorter as I got older. I even joked that I might be ready for her to take the clippers to my head. At the end of her appointment, she told me with all sincerity that I had made this difficult time easier for her, and that she would never forget me. At that moment, I was certain that I had found my chosen career path.
At Jade Organic Salon, we take our jobs seriously from a professional and creative position, but we also hope our heartfelt work resonates with a sense of care and kindness. We love what we do, but we love our clients more. They give us as much as we give them; they inspire us with stories of triumph and tragedy, as they challenge us to be better stylists and people.
My position as hair stylist is more than I ever expected. We educate, laugh, sing, and create with love at Jade Organic Salon. Organic hair color, not only improves the integrity of the hair, but it has a healthy impact on our clients’ well-being. Connecting with people and being creative is all that I ever wanted in life, and every day I get the pleasure of giving a helping hand to create happy hearts.
Published in Montgomery County Women's Journal, December 2015/January 2016
Blow by Blow: The Dangers of Keratin Blow Outs
WRITTEN BY NATALIE POSERINA
PRESENTED BY CHERISE MORELLO-PONS AND JADE ORGANIC SALON
When it comes to hair, many women wish they had the opposite of what they have. If their hair is straight, they wish it was curly. If they have curly hair, they want it straight. Its a daily challenge for a hair dresser to give a client exactly what they want. There are many products on the market today that can make all your hair dreams come true, but they come at a cost; not only for your pocket. There is a growing concern for chemical straightening processes, and their potentially poisonous ingredients for humans.
Keratin is a protein that exists naturally in the hair. It gives your hair the strength to survive. The goal of a Keratin treatment is to make the hair smoother and frizz-free, hence making it easier to blow-dry and style. A mixture of keratin and formaldehyde fills in the “keratin-less” areas in the hair shaft and the moisture is locked in by a hot flat iron. When the cuticle on the shaft is being sealed with the flat iron, the high temperature causes the liquid formaldehyde to transform into poisonous gas vapors. According to the osha.gov website, Short-term health risks include skin and eye irritation, dizziness, and lightheaded-ness. It can lead to asthma- like symptoms, rashes, and itching. If the product is sprayed in the eyes, it can cause immediate blindness. In addition, on the Environmental Protection Agency website epa.gov it states:
“In 1987, the EPA classified formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen under conditions of unusually high or prolonged exposure. Since that time, some studies of humans have suggested that formaldehyde exposure is associated with certain types of cancer.”
Formaldehyde is used in hair products and cosmetics as an extreme preservative. What other process do we know that typically uses formaldehyde as a preservative?
The embalming of dead bodies; it is the main ingredient in embalming fluid. It is inexpensive and helps preserve bodies past death, it is not suitable to be used on the living. The remnants of formaldehyde can cause further contamination if you do not wash your hands after exposure. This means you may be bringing it home to your family, animals, and home. If your children are cuddling up to you and smelling your hair, they are being exposed to these dangers.
Keratin straightening treatments began to become popular around 2005; with the rise of a popular brand name called Brazilian Blow-Out. The process can run from $150 to $500 with results lasting up to a couple of months. Those with already fragile hair can cause permanent damage with the daily use of hot irons. Negative results can be breakage, dryness, or even permanent hair loss from formaldehyde.
A veteran hairdresser told me the field was very cut throat around this time. Clients would come in requesting keratin treatments, and stylists would sabotage their co- workers by cutting the cords of their hair dryer to steal clients. The process can make for a hefty commission for a hungry stylist. Unfortunately, after years of use, stylists’ prolonged exposure is causing permanent damage that is leading to class action lawsuits against companies who make this unsafe product.
In 2013, celebrity Jennifer Aniston was forced to cut her signature locks after extreme damage from a Brazilian blow out. Preforming these services on chemically color- treated hair guarantees disastrous results with the added health hazards.
While the FDA, EPA, and OSHA put information on their websites warning consumers about the harmful effects of Keratin treatments, they allow manufacturers to use an amount that they consider “safe”. Are you willing to trust that a “safe” amount of toxic chemicals is no big deal? safe and toxic; quite an obvious oxymoron to an educated consumer. Our government addresses toxic concerns by regulating labeling. If they tell you then its ok. Unfortunately, the uneducated consumer may not know that chemicals may have several different “aliases”. Here is a list of possible alternative names for formaldehyde:
- Methylene glycol
- Methylene oxide
- Formic aldehyde
- CAS Number 50-00-0
As a hairdresser, I love to make a client’s beauty shine naturally, by enhancing the assets they already have. Extreme processes that contain formaldehyde, addunneeded risks to your health and the health of your family. Don’t pay the high price for beauty that can make you sick, blow-out by blow-out.
Healthy Hair, Healthy You
Look At Your Labels
by Cherise Morello-Pons
interested in living a toxin-free life should become accustomed to reading the
labels on their hair care products. The back of each bottle should clearly
indicate all of the product’s ingredients.
Learn to recognize and avoid the following elements:
- Parabens (methyl-, propyl-, butyl-paraben, etc.)
- Sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate (SLS or SLES)
If you have products in your shower and you’re wondering about the safety of their ingredients, check out EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database (Ewg.org/skindeep), which allows you to search for many products, as well as specific ingredients, to learn about scientific test results.
When choosing alternatives, look for products with natural oils (coconut, carrot seed, etc.), natural butters (shea, cocoa, etc.) and food-derived proteins and essential oils (lemon, orange, geranium, lavender, etc.). Organic products are widely available now at most major markets.
Cherise Morello-Pons is the founder of Jade Organic Salon at 365 E. Butler Pike, in Ambler. For more information, call 267-460-8307 or visit JadeOrganicSalon.com. November 2015.
Published in Montgomery County Women's Journal, October/November 2015
Beauty and the Breast
Written by Natalie Poserina
Breast health is a major concern among women today; early detection and awareness is encouraged by health professionals, through self-exams and yearly mammograms. According to the website, cancer.org, 5% to 10% of breast cancer is directly linked to genetics. Could our beauty and hair products be contributing to that remaining 90% to 95% of breast cancer diagnoses?
We have been educated that environmental and dietary habits are possible concerns involving all types of Cancer, but we rarely pay attention to the products we put on our largest organ: the skin.
The skinny on your skin
The skin can absorb toxins faster than your mouth! Scientific evidence shows that the effects of chemicals being applied topically can be 100 times more harmful than those that are ingested. Toxins that are ingested can be somewhat filtered through your digestive system and liver; However, the blood vessels, sweat glands, and nerves on your body’s skin and scalp have no way to purify any damaging ingredients. They enter directly into the bloodstream and tissue unfiltered, leaving us vulnerable to all kinds of impurities that could possibly make us sick.
The beauty bad guys
Over exposure to ingredients used in conventional hair products WILL make you sick, according the EPA! Salons are NOT required by law to provide ingredient lists!
The EPA website lists an alarming amount of ingredients as health risks and even potential CANCER CAUSING AGENTS.
The following are a common top ten:
5. Sodium Laurel Sulfates
7. Phenylenediame (PPD)
8. Diethanolamine (DEA)
9. Monoethanolamine (MEA)
10. Triethanolamine (TEA)
Please refer to www.epa.gov for detailed information on these chemicals. Believe it or not, the information is available on our governmental websites. Be your own advocate! Don’t let large corporations sway you with pretty packaging and misinformation. As a consumer, YOU must ASK the questions and you deserve to get answers!
Lucky number 7
These 7 easy to remember rules can improve the safety for you and your family, when it comes to the prevention of cancer, allergies, and exposure to damaging ingredients:
1. Look for the USDA Organic Seal when looking for safe products.
2. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t use it.
3. Choose “fragrance-free”
4. Ingredients are listed in descending order by volume. Natural ingredients at the BEGINNING of the list are more prominent in the product’s formula.
5. Reduce the number of products you use on a daily basis, thus reducing the number of possible dangers. Keep it to the bare necessities.
6. Use glass bottles instead of plastic. Avoid plastics containing BPA.
7. Look for cruelty-free, green, earth-friendly, organic, or vegan companies.
Organic OptionsAt Jade Organic Salon, we use an organic hair color line called, Organic Color Systems. We value the integrity of this company, because they believe in full transparency when it involves their color ingredient list; they provide the ingredient, where it’s derived from, and its function. Organic Color Systems contains no ammonia, formaldehyde, propylene glycol, or resorcinol and is the most natural and organic permanent hair color available worldwide. Our clientele includes all kinds of cancer survivors (mostly breast), pregnant mothers, and those who suffer from chemical reactions. The full list for OCS is available on their website, organiccolorsystems.com. We also invite you to have a free consultation at Jade Organic Salon with our certified organic colorists. Join us in the organic hair color movement! Please be mindful and educated when it comes to your body, so there are no “beasts” in your beauty.
Published in Montgomery County Women's Journal, August/September 2015
Reflexology, Reiki and Raindrop Technique . . . Wellness Treatments That Support the Body’s Need for Balance
Written by Francesca Barone
As undisputed as the benefits of Conventional Medicine are, there is growing awareness of the uses of Alternative and Complimentary treatments in conjunction with Conventional Medicine to support and maintain wellness.
Reflexology, Reiki and Raindrop Technique are a few of the Alternative and Complimentary modalities available. Each works to bring the body, mind and emotions into balance, supporting the body’s wellness.
Reflexology is based on energy flow. It aids in stress and pain reduction, improves circulation, stimulates the digestive system, releases toxins and enhances the body's energy flow.
Finger and thumb pressure are applied to specific organ-corresponding pressure points on the hands, feet and/or ears for the benefit of certain internal organs. Reflexology is not a diagnostic tool though it is used in conjunction with other treatments and for help in healing.
Many people relate Reflexology to
Massage Therapy, but they are two different processes. Both therapies use touch,
but the approach of each is different. While
Massage uses stroking, kneading, and friction to relax muscles, Reflexology uses
specific pressure points that relate to organs and body systems. Reflexology works from the inside out while Massage
works from the outside in.
The first recorded information on the practice of reflexology is a pictograph from 2330 BC in the tomb of Ankhmahor. Marco Polo introduced this therapy to Europe by translating a Chinese Massage book into the Italian language. In 1917 William H. Fitzgerald, M.D. introduced Reflexology in the United States.
Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that promotes healing. Reiki treats the whole person - body, emotions, mind and spirit - creating beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, and wellbeing.
Reiki is administered by "laying on hands" and is based on the concept that unseen "life force energy" flows through us. If one's "life force energy" is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.
Reiki is a Japanese word meaning "Universal
Life-Force-Energy" with "Ki" referring to energy which underlies
everything. Reiki is a system for channeling that energy to someone for the
purpose of healing. Reiki works in
conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side
effects and promote recovery.
Although there are references to Reiki energy going back over 2500 years, as evidenced in Sanskrit Sutras, and the writings of Tibetan Monks, Reiki, as it is practiced today, began in the early 1900s with Dr. Usai in Japan. It was brought to the West by Mrs. Takata in 1938 and it remained an oral tradition until 1982 when transcripts of Mrs. Takata’s trainings were made.
Raindrop Technique gently drops seven single essential oils and two blends along the spine, like raindrops, to restore balance and health to organs and muscles, boosting the immune system, releasing dormant bacteria, viruses and fungi in the spine and releasing stuck emotions. The oils help support the body by opening energy flow throughout the body. The essential oils are also applied to the spinal reflexes of the feet through Reflexology.
Particular Essential Oils have particular therapeutic benefits; such as, Thyme and Oregano essential oils supporting the immune system and releasing toxins in the body, and Basil and Marjoram which each relax muscles and have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.
Essential Oils have been used for therapeutic purposes for nearly 6,000 years. The ancient Chinese, Indian, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used essential oils for therapeutic, hygienic, ritualistic and spiritual purposes. Modern use of essential oils began in France in the 1930’s thanks to the work of a chemist, physician and a nurse.
Reflexology, Reiki and Raindrop Technique are available at Jade Organic Salon in Ambler, PA. The owner of Jade Organic Salon, Cherise Morello-Pons, discovered these modalities and others as she sought to bring her young daughter back to wellness after she was diagnosed with a life-threatening blood condition. With her daughter’s condition now stable, Morello-Pons is committed to sharing the wellness treatments that she discovered with her clients at Jade Organic Salon and the community.
Montgomery County Women's Journal, June/July 2015 Misconceptions about Organic Hair Color by Natalie Poserina Over the years, most of us in the hair industry have been guilty of using chemical processes that we don't know much about. Consumers grew accustom to the burning, tingling, and smelly chemicals that color, curl, and relax our hair. We were always told "Beauty is pain", and many women believed it, and, unfortunately, still do.Health and wellness is a rising concern for many. We are concerned about living healthy lifestyles, and watching what we put IN our bodies. Many are forgetting to ask, "What am I putting ON my body?". As a stylist, I constantly hear skepticism about organic hair products. Addressing the misconceptions about organic hair color is our passion and continuing to educate our clients is a priority at Jade Organic Salon. Use of organic hair products is supported by the medical community. Here are some of the "misconceptions" we have encountered at Jade Organic Salon as organic colorists: Misconception #1 - "Organic color doesn't work." The hair industry once believed ammonia was the only substance with the ability to penetrate the hair cuticle to make hair color last. At Jade Organic Salon, we use the Organic Color Systems (OCS) hair color line. With the organic color, we cleanse the hair before the coloring process. OCS shampoos and reconstructors pre-soften the hair to prepare it for the color. OCS has developed a technology that uses oils derived from the fatty acids in coconut, as well as medicinal grade peroxide, and heat that raises the ph level in the hair cuticle - allowing for full color penetration. Lastly, conditioners close the hair cuticle completely, and restore the hair to its natural ph level. The color is then completely locked in, and the ph level is returned to its natural state. When OCS shampoos and conditioners are used at home on a consistent basis, the hair is constantly being prepared for the next color process. Resistant grey requires some additional prep, but OCS provides FULL grey coverage. Misconception #2 - "The FDA monitors and regulates ingredients in beauty products." While many other countries have strict rules about the safety of hair care products, the US has no agency that investigates the potentially dangerous ingredients in hair products. For many years, people have used ammonia or bleach to clean their homes. Imagine applying that bleach directly to your scalp, possibly adding a concoction of ammonia and coal tar, or mixing up a solution of ammonia and formaldehyde to straighten your hair. Sounds absurd, right? These are the exact chemical compounds used in salons everyday. OCS is a European-based company that strives to manufacture quality hair products while maintaining safety standards. They follow the guidelines of the Health and Safety Executive, which has provided a regulated framework for workplace health and safety in the UK for 40 years. Misconception #3 - "Organic hair color is a fad." Organic Color Systems was developed in Europe and has been catering to an organic clientele since the 1990's; it became available in the US in 2003. According to the OCS website, the organic beauty industry has been growing at an amazing average rate of 15% annually for the last 15 years. Additionally, 78% of Americans seek out organic beauty salons, but only 15% of the market caters to this niche. Studies suggest stylists are suffering from illnesses that are directly linked to their occupation; illnesses such as, breathing and respiratory complications, cancer, allergies, and infertility. I personally know stylists who have developed extreme contact dermatitis and occupational asthma, as a result of years of exposure to chemicals. At Jade Organic Salon, we educate and help debunk the misconceptions of organic hair care. Our everyday safety in the workplace, and the well-being of our clients is not a "fad". Before you decide that, "organic hair color doesn't work", we invite you to be your own advocate regarding personal health and beauty. In the matter of hair color, what you don't know can hurt you - what you do know empowers you.
Montgomery County Women's Journal. April/May 2015 issue
The Art of Understanding
In our fast-paced, day-to-day
lives we communicate with each other via text, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Our technologically saturated world causes many miscommunications that lead to
poor results. Many of us are spend our
days devoid of one-on-one contact, which is the easiest way to attain satisfaction
for all parties. Hair stylists spend all
day, face-to-face with clients that seek their professional skills and advice.
Communication with a thorough consultation with a hair stylist is the key to a
client’s happiness, and a successful career as a stylist.
At Jade Organic Salon, we pride ourselves on our consultations. Many clients remark that they’ve never received such undivided attention and useful information at a hair salon. We use organic color because we not only care about the beauty of our clients; we also value the client’s health and the integrity of their hair. Our organic color requires an in-depth analysis of the hair for successful results. We create a treatment plan and prescription for a client’s specific needs. If the client feels there is a future plan to maintain and achieve a look, they will most likely become loyal customers.
Although organic color is unlike any traditional color in its health benefits and natural results, there are core issues that should be addressed during a color consultation: past and present processes, product usage, and future intentions and products needed.
Look. It’s imperative to look and completely understand the starting condition of the hair. This is where the stylist is looking for clues and piecing together a history, by using their professional knowledge. We assess with our eyes the need for gray coverage, root touch ups, or color corrections. A stylist can tell more than you may think just by looking.
Listen. Listening is the most integral part of the
consultation… I spend little time looking at my client through the mirror. Face-to-face contact shows that I am hearing
their words. I want to listen to the
likes and dislikes of their current hair situation, and make them comfortable
and safe. Repeating the client’s words
prevents miscommunication before it becomes bad hair. Feeling intimidation is a common complaint of
many people seeking beauty services. Skills and experience are to be a
stylist’s quiet thunder, not the focus of a consultation. The client is the
super-star in the spotlight, and the stylist is the supporting crew.
Learn. Lastly, a stylist must
learn about their client’s hair. We perform a stretch test on the hair to
determine if we need to nourish it with protein or moisture, and then we
proceed with the appropriate measures. With our chosen line, Organic Color Systems, we create a clean
slate for maximum quality and color vibrancy. Many clients are shocked to find
out that organic hair color can be compromised by minerals in water supply and
even medications. By physically touching damaged or healthy hair we immediately
know how to proceed.
At Jade Organic Salon, our guarantee is
that we will always look, listen, and learn. As a patron you should feel
understood and educated throughout your entire visit to a salon. None of your
services should be performed under assumption, and there should be no
mysteries. Seek services elsewhere if you’re feeling intimidated, coerced, or
Doing business and consulting face-to-face will never lose its effectiveness. It is the key aspect of all great business and personal relationships. A stylist’s greatest achievement is a client who walks out of the salon feeling beautiful inside and out. At Jade Organic we stick to the basics because it works. We believe the outer beauty we create is molded by the inner mind, body, and spirit. It is our duty as stylist’s to look, listen, and learn, and it is our responsibility to understand.
Natalie Poserina is a hair artist and organic colorist at Jade Organic Salon.
Montgomery County Women's Journal
February/March 2015 issue
Do Organic Hair Care Products Make A Difference?
The growing movement to eat more natural, organic, and healthy food has swept the world and inspired a new generation of more physically fit, mentally aware, and healthier people whose longevity is far more sustainable than previous generations.
However, new research has clearly demonstrated that the importance of what actually enters our bloodstream and organs has been too focused on what we eat. What about our largest organ – our skin?
Any product that is applied to our skin is soaked directly into our bloodstream. This has been particularly useful for medicines that have a need to bypass the digestive system. Unlike food, which gets filtering help from the stomach and intestines, the skin has no filtering system to the bloodstream. Ongoing research has found that the scalp is the single best place on the body to administer topical medication as it is the area where the skin has the densest amount of follicles and pores.
A new study published in the ‘New England Journal of Medicine’ entitled “Keratinous Fiber Wicking and Follicular Penetration” examines how 25 common hair care chemicals are absorbed by hair fibers like “microscopic straws” that draw the chemicals into the follicle where they can be dissolved in the bloodstream. Chemicals that were historically thought to be harmless because they are unable to penetrate skin have a much higher degree of bio-availability when “sucked” into the scalp through porous hair fibers. The dangers of salon products are only compounded by their ease of access into the blood stream. According to the lead researcher “…the medulla of the hair has an amplifying effect on the potency of these chemicals. This study changes our entire world view on hair toxicology.”
Since 2004, leading researchers have been proving a link between common ingredients in most shampoos and conditioners (like parabens) to breast cancer and other cancers. Recent research from the ‘Journal of Applied Toxicology’ indicates that nearly all women with breast cancer have parabens in their breast tissue. The link between other chemical toxins commonly found in shampoos and conditioners (such as sodium laurel sulfates used as a “sudsing” agent) has also been closely linked to cancer.
What about the chemical treatments
commonly performed in salons? Hair
straightening, coloring and perming products contain chemicals that are
carcinogenic, toxic, and dangerous to our overall health. The simple act of
breathing in many of these toxins (ammonia, resorcinol, formaldehyde,
toluene-2.5, diamine sulfate and thioglycolates) can cause long-term health
concerns which put salon professionals, who are exposed to fumes from these
toxins every day, at particular danger.
Many people are under the false perception that the United States Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) regulates the ingredients of cosmetics and guard consumers against the dangers of salon products. This is completely untrue. The FDA only regulates food and drugs, not hair care products or cosmetics. While the FDA has rules requiring cosmetic and hair care products be safe and properly labeled, the rules are ambiguous and to some extent rely on self-regulation as products are neither approved nor routinely reviewed.
A licensed salon professional understands that their clients are relying on them to provide safe, high-quality, well-informed and creative salon services to help them realize an ideal image. They understand that while products in the salon industry are not regulated by a government authority, it is their professional duty to ensure that their clients maximize their overall beauty without sacrificing their client’s health, safety or well-being.
Organic hair color and products safely bridge the divide and enable you to rest assured about your health when on a path linked with caring for your skin and hair.
As with food, you can easily find hair care products that are really inexpensive. Remember, you become what you put on your skin and in your body.
Look for products with natural oils (coconut, carrot seed, etc.), natural butters (shea, cocoa, etc.), food-derived proteins and essential oils (lemon, orange, geranium, lavender, etc.). Avoid:
> Parabens (methyl-, propyl-, butyl-paraben, etc.)
> Sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate (SLS or SLES)
> Petrolatum (Petroleum Jelly)
> Propylene glycol
> Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethalnolamine (TEA)
> Imidazoldinyl, urea and diazolidinyl urea
> Ethoxylated ingredients (those starting with PEG- or ending with –ETH)
If you have products in your shower and you're wondering about the safety of their ingredients, check out the ‘Skin Deep Cosmetics Safety Database’, which allows you to search for many products, as well as specific ingredients to learn about scientific test results.
Take good care of your hair and be mindful of your overall health that results from that care. You’ll see it each time you look in the mirror and know it was worth it.
Cherise Morello-Pons is the creator of Jade Organic Salon.
She is a certified Organic Colorist through Organic Color Systems.
She is a certified Reiki Level III Master and has been the recipient of numerous awards and industry certifications over the past 30 years.