$100 For a Toxic Head of Hair

I haven't cut my hair in fourteen months. It hangs unevenly down my back when I do yoga, and even in braids, the little tufts at the ends are all jagged, the result of my completely inexpert trimming. It's not the hair cut I have avoided, it's the "products." Here's the common ingredients I don't want along with my haircut: parabens or methyl parabens, sodium laureth sulphate or its cousins, chemical fragrances. Since alternatives to these possibly toxic chemicals in shampoo do exist, I don't understand why more hair salons (and green-hued personal care companies) don't make a swifter switch. Green haircut takes a lot of green
The idea of a green salon really appealed to me - about 1.5 years ago. I was fed up with all the silicones being slathered on my head each time I made an appointment at the regular salon where I knew the stylist and liked the actual cut once I got home and washed all the crap out. (Yes, I do ask the stylist to go low-key, yet to her that meant forgoing the hairspray and to me it means not using any of the shampoo, conditioner, conditioning packs she was conviced my dry hair needs, as well as the gels, waxes, and detangling sprays that she usually reaches for almost unconsciously at some point during my stay in her chair.)

But finding a green salon to meet my needs has been a challenge. The one green salon out in the suburbs of my town called Jojoba does use a local brand of shampoos and other hair products, billein.se, but having tried them myself with less than stellar results, and knowing they contain parabens, that was not enough of a draw for me to make the 1 hour trek by train or bus to the burbs.

And then there are the prices. $50 is the low average for a cut and style in this city, with prices nearer $100 at the salons where I had previously gone. It's not just the price. I am willing to pay more for a good haircut, IF it included the most natural of hair products available and a trained stylist. That doesn't yet seem to exist in my inner city. Barring that, I want B.Y.O.S. (bring your own shampoo).

Is B.Y.O.S. coming soon?
Having tried a good selection of the easily available organic shampoos - Aveda, Kiehl's, and Avalon Organics, and found them still listing lots of ingredients I don't like (especially Aveda, for shame!) and/or a resulting head of hair that is too sticky, or gets dirty too quickly, I made the rounds of the alternative 'poos. No 'poo, for example, which really didn't work for me even after the requisite waiting period, and baking soda and vinegar 'poo (also not a keeper due to the salady aftersmell). Instead, by trial and error, I found a homemade soap nut shampoo that gives me most of what I want. It's not as easy as something you find at the store (you must boil 22 soapnuts down to a thick liquid, and add the juice of half a lemon and a drop of Dr. Bronner's for each wash) but it does want I want - no preservatives or other possibly toxic ingredients, and manageable, clean-smelling hair.

So now all I need is to cultivate a relationship with a have-scissors-will-travel stylist. One that will come to my house, or works in a bike-friendly locale. And someone that isn't adverse to B.Y.O.S.

What have you done to detox your locks? Give us stories in the comments.

Find low-toxicity shampoos Green haircut takes a lot of green">here. Read more about shampoo at TreeHugger:
What's a Good, Green, Cheap Shampoo?
Help! There's an Industrial Solvent in My Shampoo!
Adventures With All-Natural Soap Nuts for Dishes, Clothes, Hair

Tags: Urban Life

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