• Second Opinion Magazine

Naturalize Your Hair

by Amber Erickson Gabbey

Just like with cosmetics, household cleaners, and every other product you come in contact with on a regular basis, hair care products may be doing more damage to your health than you think.

On a short-term basis, some hair care products cause contact dermatitis or rashes on the skin due to the chemicals or other ingredients irritating the skin. While this is annoying, it’s not enough to make many people rethink their product use.

On a more long-term basis, the effects of beauty products are largely unknown. Many shampoos, styling products and dyes are known to contain unhealthy ingredients. Some of these ingredients cause cancer, endocrine disruption, or development issues, but how they interact with other products, the body, and your health is largely up for debate. With so many other environmental and occupational toxins, it’s hard to say for sure that your beauty regime is causing your health issues. What is known is that some products contain scary ingredients, and these products are applied directly to the body. The skin is the body’s largest organ, and just like it allows toxins and sweat to leave the body through the pores, it’s also capable of absorbing stuff. When you wash your hair or apply a product, those chemicals may be able to enter your body through the skin. If you’re wondering how your hair care products rank, look them up on The Environmental Working Groups’ Skin Deep Database. Some of the well-known salon brands scoring high on the toxicity list include Bed Head, Redken, Biolage, and American Crew.

The good news is there are options. Just like with cosmetics and cleaners, companies are starting to listen to concerned consumers and offer alternatives. Even in beauty salons, where usually a select few brands are offered, natural options are out there, and this list is growing rapidly. Some of the more natural salon-level hair care brands to look for include Kevin Murphy, John Masters Organics, Surface, Deva, Davines Essential Hair Care, Verb Hair Care, All-Nutrient, OnestA, Neuma, Framesi (out of Milan, Italy), and DermOrganic. These brands include not only shampoos and conditioners, but styling products and chemical-free dyes.

The key to taking a more natural approach with your hair care is finding a salon and stylist who understands your hair care goals.

Know Your Options

We asked these awesome companies to send us samples of their green and eco salon products and I have to say we loved them all.  Thanks so much for the samples.  We will for sure be back for more! And if your salon doesn’t use the green option you prefer, take your own. You and your stylist should have that kind of relationship.

Verb is a family of smart, professional-grade hair care products priced within reach of every salon customer. Our salon-quality hair products are color-safe, free of harmful sulfates, parabens and gluten and are made in the U.S.A. without animal testing. Nothing bad, lots of good. More at verbproducts.com


DermOrganic® formulations are based around naturally-derived ingredients that replicate the elements hair and skin use inside to replenish, refresh and maintain their youthful vigor from the outside. The addition of Argan Oil in the Hair Care regimen (and Argan Extract in the Skin Care) provides additional benefits of Vitamin E and Linoleic acid to protect and moisturize. Dermorganic.com

John Master’s Organics Bare. This perfect, fragrance-free daily shampoo combines organic extracts of chamomile and white tea with jojoba oil to gently cleanse and keep hair in optimal condition. johnmasters.com

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