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Only 3?  It was hard narrowing down my list of Why You Should Be Using Organic & Natural Hair Care Products Exclusively.  I talk to all of my clients about the benefits of making the organic switch.  In a nutshell: it’s safer, it’s healthier and it’s sexier!

1. Organic Hair Styling Products can correct, fight and fix dry, frizzy hair.  Look for products that contain SHEA BUTTER, ALOE and JOJOBA. Did you know that many smoothing and anti-frizz products actually contain ingredients that over time will cause dryness and frizz?  It’s true. Watch out for -TOLUENOL; BENZENEMETHANOL; PETROLEUM; BENZYLIC ALCOHOL; PHENYLCARBINOL; PHENYLMETHANOL; PHENYLMETHYL ALCOHOL; ALPHA-HYDROXYTOLUENE; ALPHA-TOLUENOL, BENZAL ALCOHOL and BENZENECARBINOL

John masters at juju salon2. Cost Effective.  Natural, Organic Hair Care Product costs are comparable to conventional salon exclusive products. The Organic Win?  Quality natural hair care shampoos, conditioners and styling products are packed with plant based ingredients and are light on water.  Therefore, less product is needed!  Conventional salon products are loaded with cheap, synthetic additives that literally fill the bottle and offer no utilitarian value. Some of the synthetic fillers to steer clear of: petroleum derived PROPYLENE GLYCOL and PARAFFIN.

juju salon beauty products3. The Scents are Safe & Sound.  Certified Organic products cannot legally contain dangerous synthetic fragrances.  Steer clear of any product that lists ‘Fragrance’ as one of the ingredients.  The chemical cocktail of synthetic fragrances is usually made from petroleum and hormone disrupting Phthalates.  Look instead for scents that are naturally derived or plant-based.

hamadi juju salon products

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I always feel like Fall is the start of the New Year because big changes occur: hot to cold weather, our color palette goes from light and bright to warm and cozy, sandals move to the back of the closet, you get the idea.  The January New Year just doesn’t make sense to me because it lacks the sensory transition that is the hallmark of Fall.

My style and beauty regimes also do a 360 starting in September.  I am saying goodbye to pastel nail polishes, suntans and beachy hair styles.  It’s time for the richness of the season!

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NAILS Zoya’s Fall Collection is all about deep pigments and color saturation that make a dramatic statement. Sage, slate gray and purple and turmeric are the hot colors for Fall/Winter.  Look like you own this new trend when you pull your hands from your gloves this season. Zoya is the only polish we stock at juju: 5-free, non-toxic, low fumes and great colors.


 

 

HAIR Fall/Winter 2015’s “it” color is Turmeric. Turmeric’s autumn tones for hair color are great because you can turn up the tone or blend in its hues to your hair depending on the look you’re going for.

50 Shades of Red by JulieTurmeric hair color could be a golden, copper, chestnut or henna’d tone.  Try an all over color or a turmeric tinged balyage.

Laurie, on the left, has a coppery base with golden hi-lites.  Voila! On trend and beautiful.


whipped_eucalyptus_grandeBODY Here’s what Fall and Winter try to do to undermine your skin: Dry indoor heating, cold windy weather and dark dreary days equals scaly, dry and lack-luster.  100% Pure’s Body Butters to the rescue.  Start using them now so you never miss a beat when the cold weather hits.   I love 100% Pure’s rich and creamy Eucalyptus Body Butter: warming, moisturizing and healing.

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I cannot tell you how many At-Home Color Mistakes we fix and tweak at the salon.  Though there’s a few that can get it right at home, most clients’ results are undermined by lack of knowing the in’s and out’s of color selection and application.

Here are 5 Common Mistakes When Coloring Your Hair At Home:

If anything on this list resonates with you, talk to us!  Everyone is cost conscious, we get it.  However, the average client who colors his or her hair professionally spends no more than $1.75 to $2.25 a day! That’s less than your morning take-out latte.  (Yes, I did the math!)

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Color perfect at juju!

Having your hair professionally dyed assures that your hair and hair color will be beautiful, radiant and healthy!

1. Thinking that  ‘semi-permanent’ hair dye is ‘non-permanent’. For the most part, all hair dyes are permanent. Even though the color may fade with this color and the gray may become translucent, the color itself continues to coat the shaft of the hair. This effects the outcome of the next color application because the residual color is literally still ‘on’ the hair.


2. Dying all of the hair with every application. Many women think that in
addition to dying their gray roots, they need to ‘pull’ the color through
to the hair’s ends. Over time, the hair gets darker and darker with each
layer of application making the overall effect uneven: light and bright at
the roots and dark and ‘fake’ looking from mid-shaft to ends.

3. Selecting the wrong tone. So many of the advertised tones in boxed dyes
are extreme. Women select ‘gold’ and end up with orange casts; ‘ash’ makes
the color too dark; ‘neutral’ just doesn’t exist. Professional colorists
know that the desired end-result tone is usually a combination of tones and
colors. To achieve this at home, one would have to buy a few boxes and
know just how to mix correctly.

4. Missing spots. Applying color to your own hair with a bottle
practically guarantees uneven coverage. This usually occurs at the crown
an below the occipital bone. This is most noticeable on women who are trying to go lighter
in shade and/or blonde.

5. Choosing boxed color that contains ammonia or worse. The ingredients in over-the-counter are questionable and harsh, and leave the hair in a compromised condition. Most contain ammonia, resorcinol, PPD’s and produce noxious fumes.  Salons like ours only offer color services with dyes that contain none of these toxic ingredients.  Have you visited our fume-free salon? 

Really think about it before you buy the box.  It’s a mess, it’s a hassle and most likely, it won’t make you look your best!

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Here’s the WHAT, WHEN and WHY for hat wearing this season. 

frannyWhen  When your Bed Head isn’t tousled and cute…when you’re in a rush and your hair is a fright… when you’re sunbathing…when you’re gardening…when your frizz is intolerable…when you want to look more ladylike…when you’re at The Preakness..when you want to look more stylish than anyone else!

 Why  Oh, I don’t know….skin cancer….wrinklesage spots

What  Wide-brimmed Straw Hats will make you a beach beauty.  They are flattering for all hairstyles and give you an extra layer of sun protection. Beanies bring out the Boho in all of us. Small and sexy, these chapeau’s are perfect for bringing attention to shorter styles.  Dick Tracy Toppers say “cool”, “suave” and “debonnaire.”

 

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haircutmaColor fact: Stylists refer to ‘Champagne’ as a pale, straw-colored hue because of the light blonde color of today’s brut. But in fact, the original color of ‘vin mousseux’ or sparkling wine was brownish pink from the brandy and sugar syrup added to the wine. Salut! Veuve Clicquot is my favorite for celebrating with friends and for quiet nights with my husband.


facebookAnother Color Fact: Veuve Cliquot’s famous orange, or is it yellow (a controversial back and forth) label is legendary.  The Maison Veuve Cliquot has attempted to trademark its signature label color and has sued an Italian Sparkling Wine maker for using a similar label color.  It is rumored that the color of VC’s label was meant to be the same color as an egg yolk!

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SUNWARRIOR, A HAND’S DOWN, PROTEIN SHAKE WINNER!

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A few weeks ago, Sunwarrior sent me a collection of its raw, all natural, vegan protein shakes and ‘boosters*” to try out.  Here’s what I found.


I am a seasoned veteran of protein shakes, smoothies and juicing.  My considerations when putting together the perfect shake in order of importance are: taste, ingredients and performance.  No, scratch that, it’s nutrition, low carb and quick prep time.  Or is it low-carb, quick prep time and high protein?

warrior-blendEqually important is the need for a shake that can fuel a workout, a packed work schedule and a very, very long day.  When I’m crunched for time, protein smoothies are a boon.

I exercise 5 days a week, I’m Vegan, and I’m over scheduled: kids, own a business, and manage a  busy household.  I’m also creeping toward 50 with a slowed-down metabolism and a penchant for insulin resistance.  After some recent blood work, my doctor recommended lower carb meals. Meals with high protein and low-carbs can be tricky for Vegans.

The protein in Sunwarrior’s Warrior Blend is derived from peas, raw cranberry and raw hemp and with a low carb count of 2g’s and 19g’s of protein per serving. Sunwarrior has a system of products that can be used alone or can be added to one another to create your perfect nutritional cocktail*. Their full line of offerings are also gluten free, non GMO and soy free.  Worth noting, raw cranberry is known to reduce cellulite.  Just saying!


 

maxresdefaultI started this morning, post-workout, with a Vanilla Warrior Blend shake with unsweetened almond milk, chia seeds, frozen blackberries and a hit of the Activated Sprouted Bio-Fermented Barley Powder Booster.  I was staring down a 7 hour stretch of back to back clients and knew that lunch may or may not be on the horizon.  I wanted to see if Sunwarrior’s Barley powder was in fact, “The Ultimate Slow Burning Carb.”


 

Happy to say, my energy and mood remained high, and I didn’t feel hungry, even though I wasn’t able to stop for lunch until a good 6 hours later.

I’m giving it a high mark for taste: not chalky but smooth, like an actual milk-shake.  It’s quite yummy AND my 2 girls loved the chocolate shake even though it’s ‘healthy,’ God forbid!

* Sunwarrior’s Boosters include: Liquid Light – Pulvic Acid; Immune Shield; Activated Barley and Vitamin Mineral Rush

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So many of our clients at juju are vexed by the frizz. The key to de-frizzing is two-fold, nourishing and re-hydrating the hair coupled with the right products.

HERE ARE MY GO-TO PRODUCTS THAT REALLY WORK!

Start with a DRY SHAMPOO. Over shampooing will dry out the hair, and dry hair, especially on curly girls, will cause The Dreaded Frizz.

I recommend shampooing no more than 3 times a week and using a dry shampoo on off days.  Just sprinkle if it’s in powder form or spray for liquid form, a small amount at the hairline and crown, and work through from roots to ends.  Cocoa Tinted Dry Shampoo by Sevi is a best seller at my salon.

 

hamadiLEAVE-IN CONDITIONERS are great for long lasting frizz and fly-away control and can also act as a styling product. Apply leave-in conditioner on towel dried hair, mid-shaft to ends. My clients and I love Hamadi’s Shea Leave-in Conditioner. It’s perfect for those who like to air-dry their hair.

Note: watch out for de-frizzing curl cremes that contain petroleum derived silicones for shine.  After time, this ingredient will dry out the hair and make your frizz worse!

mgaALOE BASED STYLING GELS

Aloe not only moisturizes the hair, reducing frizz potential, it provides hold and style.  Apply to towel dried hair, midshaft to ends. Try mixing it with your leave-in conditioner for extra thick or frizz-prone hair. I like MGA’s Styling Gel because of its lightness and versatility.

Pure Aloe helps the hair retain water and moisture, re-balances pH levels in the hair and scalp and promotes hair growth!

 

 

pomadeFINISHING POMADE  Dab a very small amount of a finishing paste or pomade on dried and styled hair to reduce frizz’s ‘Halo effect.’ John Masters Organics’ Pomade with olive and castor oils, really fights frizz and can be used on all hair types.

Make sure you look for the USDA Certified Organic Label and show your support for organic farms and processors.

 

All photos juju salon & organics

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move2(b&w)[2]We all want to look and feel out best, right?  We exercise, primp and polish, but often fall short of the mark.  Are ‘bad habits’ getting our way?  Do we avoid ‘good habits’ because they seem boring or just a pain in the ass to do?  I love this sentiment by Seth Godin:

“Habits are great when they help us get what we want. Bad habits, on the other hand, are bad because the shortcut that satisfies us in the moment gets in the way of our long term goals.”

I’ve given this a lot of thought over the years as I get older.  There are a dozen things I should be doing daily to help me feel and look my best, but bad habits are hard to break and good habits are easily forgotten or set aside. Like Seth says, it’s easy to be bad and seemingly hard to be good.

It’s much easier to tackle a few items at a time, so I thought it a good idea to put forth 4 Good Habits  that  I believe are easy to remember, easy to start doing right away and easy to stick to.

1. Moisturize your skin always, no matter what.  After your morning shower and before bed are the easiest time to perform this ritual.  Legs, arms, face and all over.  There are so many benefits to massaging in a moisturizer suitable for your skin type, body area and season.  For summer I’m using Starflower Essential’s rich and nourishing Rose Chamomile Intensive Moisturizer on my face for day and night coverage.

2. Find an exercise routine you like and stick to it.  Religiously, purposefully, moderately, frequently.  I go to an exercise class, the Lithe Method,  4-5 times a week, yoga once a week and walk my dog 2-3 times a day.  I can’t imagine how lousy I would feel if I didn’t.  For me, I usually look forward to sweating it out, jumping around, and getting outside.  I know I’ll feel better when it’s over.  But, when I’m dreading the thought of getting on that mat, I remember that it’s only an hour or two long, it WILL end, and by then, I’ll feel terrific! Classes with great music, great instructors and friendly people motivate me, not to mention the money spent on monthly memberships.  What motivates you?  Find out and act on your findings.

3. Meditate and Journal. I’m lumping these together because I’ve found that their practice and benefits are so similar. And no, as I promised earlier that I would put forth ‘easy’ habits to start, these 2 may seem to be hard habits to form.  Every person I know who tells me they meditate and/or journal regularly, is adamant that the changes brought by these practices are overwhelmingly positive.  First, get some props together: a beautiful journaling notebook, a comfy meditation cushion, a guided meditation CD, a space you create with flowers and pictures of inspiring persons or places, then get on it.  Carve out a regular time in your day to perform this ritual and get to know yourself.  Try Louise Hays’ Meditations for Loving Yourself to Good Health.

4. Eat, buy and use organic.  Surround yourself with nurturing and non-toxic foods, cleaning products, bath and body goods and you’ll notice a change.  It’s good medicine, it’s preventative, it’s good for the Earth, it’s interesting, it’s tastier, it’s expanding, and it brings forth a more beautiful and sensitive you!

 

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27741_435815352904_4718206_nYou think you’re ok: you apply a a facial moisturizer with SPF, put on your make-up and go!  No brainer, you’re covered right?

Guess what?

 

For proper skin protection, you need to re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours!  How’s that going to happen when you’re wearing a full face of make-up?

Here’s How in 3 Steps:

Start with a tinted moisturizer with SPF protection, like 100% Pure’s Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30; http://www.100percentpure.com/products/fruit-pigmented-tinted-moisturizer-golden-peach

Finish with a loose or pressed powder with SPF like bareMinerals’ Mineral Veil Finishing Powder Broad Spectrum SPF 25.  This powder can be re-applied repeatedly throughout the day to not only protect against sun damage but also to correct shine and ensure an enduring polished look. http://www.bareescentuals.com/bareMinerals-Original-SPF-25-Mineral-Veil/USmastermineralveilSPF,en_US,pd.html

Finally, carry with you an SPF Facial Spritzer that can be used throughout the day.  Supergoop’s Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50 should be used right after make-up application and can be reapplied throughout the day. Don’t worry, it won’t mess with your work of facial art! http://www.supergoop.com/shop/defense-refresh-setting-mist-spf-50

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One of our favorite guests proves that feeling good and looking good go hand in hand:

“Born a brunette, I had gone all gray.  Coloring my hair for years was the norm, until I became dangerously allergic to hair dye. [Terri is allergic to the PPDs found in most professional and over the counter hair dyes.]  My head, feet and hands would swell up after my salon visits.  My dermatologist put me on steroids.  It was frightening.  No more hair dye for me, so I thought.

Then I found juju salon & organics and stylist/owner Julie Featherman.  I was confident that if there was a solution to my problem, she’d find it.  And she did!  She was able to find a non-toxic hair dye that did not cause a single reaction! I  look and feel better than ever before.

p.s.  She gives a great haircut too!”

Thank you Terri for sharing your happy experience at juju.

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3 Best Practices For A Mid-Winter Detox

1. Get Organic Coconut Oil Buy, use, repeat. Best winter related uses include hair care and skin care – just slather it on liberally for instant, super-charged moisturizing;  boosted immune system – its lauric acid fights viruses and bacterias;  proper digestion and regulated metabolism – Holidays, VDay, Fat Tuesday, enough said. A teaspoon or two a day taken orally is an overall health booster.

2. Eat Maitake Mushrooms In short winter days, less sun exposure equals less vitamin D.  Though a vitamin D supplement helps, a tastier way to get your D is by eating some ‘hen of the woods’ or Maitake mushrooms.  1 cup of raw maitake mushrooms contains 786 international units of vitamin D, which is more than the daily intake recommendation for healthy adult men and women. Fyi, mushrooms are the only vegetable that contains Vitamin D. Bonus Points for sauteing in Coconut Oil!

3. Meditate Considering a Meditation Practice? Now’s the time to start.  The benefits of a regular meditation practice can include lessened anxiety, better sleep, mental clarity, more energy and yes, it can beat back those Winter Blues. Check out our First Spring Wellness Workshop on Mindfulness Meditation on March 2nd to learn more about starting or strengthening your personal Practice.  Space is limited, call 215-238-6080 to register.

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You’ve heard about it, maybe you’ve even tried it:  Dry Shampoo.  Many of my clients give me a vague and noncomittal response when I ask them if they’ve tried dry shampoo yet.  Surprisingly, not many have.  What’s more, they don’t have a clear understanding of how versatile Dry Shampoo can be! This product has been trending for the past few years.  Here’s the lowdown:

shampooB1. Quick & Easy Hair Cleanser  No time for shampooing, drying and styling, but you really need to do something to your hair? Shake it on your roots and finger or brush it through your hair.  Neutralizes oily roots and leaves hair smelling fresh.

2. Too Much Shampooing Has Left Your Hair Dry, Frizzy and Jacked Up  Cut back on your wet shampooing to once or twice a week and use Dry Shampoo on off days. Taking a break is transformative.

3. Dry Shampoo Speaks Volumes  Get fullness in 5 seconds flat! I like to carry Sevi’s mini-sized dry shampoo with me so I can refresh my style on the go.   Not to worry, this stuff is light and won’t weigh down your hair.

4. Pets, Children & Other Stinky Creatures will love you for not tossing them in the bathtub! Enough said.

5. This One is the Best – Mask Your Grey Roots Between Color Touch-Ups  A sprinkle of Tinted Dry Shampoo at your part and hair line can fool the eye.  Try Sevi’s Coffee or Cocoa formula for best results.

 

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imageI can’t tell you how many times a client enters our doors at juju and proclaims, “it smells sooooo good in here!” And she’s right: wafting through the air are overtones of ylang ylang, fresh lavender, lemongrass and, over the past holiday season, ginger, pine and cinnamon.  I’m lucky to work in such a smell-good joint, in fact, I take it for granted.  The scents from our pure, clean, organic hair products, soy candles and bath soaks never take backseat to nasty, noxious hair dye fumes.

The Scary Dangers of Ammonia.  Hair dressers and clients alike are still drinking the Kool Aid: hair dye must have stinky, over-powering ammonia in it or it won’t work.  I hear it all the time.  “It won’t cover the gray,” “it will wash out next week” and so on.  Let’s face facts, we want to look good and often that wish will take back seat to health concerns.  What harm could occur? What’s a little ammonia now and then?

Well, to a client, it’s just an hour or two of gasping, take-your-breath-away chemical air pollution.  But to us stylists and salon workers, it’s our everyday air.  It’s the beauty industry’s Love Canal.  And, Federal regulations have yet to address this issue in any meaningful way.  I predict future class actions from workers, manufacturers and yes, the millions of us who dye our hair.

The beauty industry continues to use ammonia in its products because it’s cheap and abundant.  Non-ammonia color lines, like Mastey, Organic Color Systems, and Chi Ionic used at juju, contain more expensive natural oils and extracts of aloe vera, comfrey, orange and grapefruit instead of ammonia to do the job. It’s money over health concerns, it’s as simple as that.

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Division of Toxicology in Atlanta, Georgia, ammonia is listed as a hazardous substance which has related negative health effects. Ammonia is irritating to the skin, eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Nearly all professional salon and “box” hair color contain ammonia. Exposure to high concentrations of ammonia in the air may cause severe burns in your skin, eyes, throat, and lungs. In extreme cases, blindness, lung damage, or death could occur. Breathing lower concentrations will cause coughing and nose and throat irritation.

Ok….yikes!

I know that hair colored with non-ammonia dyes at juju are even more silky, soft, and vibrant than conventional colors.  We wouldn’t still be in business if our color services (sucked!) weren’t top notch.  We give you permission to be vain, demand great color, cover your gray, highlight that hair and be healthy and awesome at the same time!

 

 

 

 

 

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noanimaltestingNovember 1st is World Vegan Day.  I celebrated by presenting a talk about Animal Testing and how difficult it is to avoid, in my opinion, this cruel and unnecessary practice.

Many people who are vegan or become vegan do so because they’ve made the connection between eating animals and factory farm cruelty, but often, we vegans forget about or overlook, or don’t want to know about things we do, things we wear and things we NEED that exist because of animal suffering of some sort.

Snuggling under that down blanket, a new pair of Jimmie Choo’s and yes, your new bottle of volumizing shampoo. Here’s where it gets tricky. In the beauty biz, the problem is animal testing.

Animal testing, and its relation to the cosmetics, personal products and household cleaning products is hardly “OBVIOUS’.

Everyone agrees – animal testing “BAD”  Cruelty free Companies and Products “GOOD”  but it isn’t that simple.  How hard could it be to stock my shelves at juju in a cruelty-free way? Let’s keep in mind that I have an organic and natural salon and that I need to supply products that actually deliver salon-worthy results!  Sticks, mud and a few herbs and plants are not enough!

My friend Sevi Kay, founder of Eco-Sevi body and Hair products, a vegan and animal activist, creates honest,  cruelty free products.  And she says about her products or any beauty and personal care products “we are aware that these very ingredients all have been tested by other companies — we cannot change the past, but hope that we can all unite to find alternatives to animal testing in the future.”

Can we call that an “Ethical Statute of Limitations?”
Because, really, we need a starting point, and something to stand on if we want to truly look at and work toward a future of total cruelty free living.

I am NOT an expert in Animal Testing and Experimenting.  I’m a hair stylist with a Philosophy degree, please keep this in mind.  There is so much information out there.  In researching for this presentation, I became overwhelmed with the amount of history, data, research, organizations, movements, theories, regulations, arguments, international edicts, rules and ethics out there that encompass this nebulous issue.  Again, as a non-expert, trying to put all of this together into a succinct, informative and moving presentation seemed impossible!  BUT…..here are some of some thoughts and findings as they pertain to me, the Vegan, the Animal Lover and the Sustainable Business Owner.

Many of the chemical concoctions tested for industrial, medicinal and pharmaceutical reasons, once approved, find themselves useful in personal care products, cleaning products and some such.  It’s the little, tiny, individual ingredients that are tested on animals, NOT the finished product.

These chemical concoctions, known as Intermediary Ingredients, are developed continually, because Industry demands newer, more efficient and cheaper chemical “things” to use in their products.  So these things are concocted, tested and let out on the Market.

Wondering if your mascara was tested on animals? Who the hell knows for sure, probably!

For example.  I’m L’Oreal and some company comes to me and says we have this new binding chemical substance…and it can do all these things that no other thing can do: it can bind, waterproof, congeal, stabilize etc.   This new product has probably been developed for the Paints and Pigments Departments at Dow chemical, but….I could use it for our mascara lines and save $$$!

So, it’s on the INGREDIENT LEVEL that the testing occurs.  An estimated 100,000 chemicals are marketed globally, with hundreds more new chemicals being introduced each year. Most are plastics and related polymers, while a smaller proportion include cleansers, paints, adhesives, lubricants, industrial solvents and a variety of short-lived by-products or “intermediates.” while others may be marketed in high volumes and/or used as ingredients in products to which human beings and the environment may be exposed – like cosmetics and household cleaning products, plastic packaging, and gasoline. Recently implemented laws in Europe, China and elsewhere are requiring companies to produce large quantities of test data, which could mean suffering and death for tens of millions of animals.

Big name cosmetic conglomerates like Estee Lauder, Revlon, L’Oreal and Procter & Gamble are trying to convince us that their mission is “committed to the elimination of animal testing,” BUT in able to sell to one of the biggest consumer markets in the world, China, they are required by the Chinese government to be tested – on animals – in China – before being sold in that huge country.  Domestic Chinese countries are exempt from this ‘law’ but, let’s face facts, are any of the big companies incorporated in China!!

Beware:
of hidden Parent Companies.  Often, smaller companies and manufacturers that insist that they are cruelty free and have received Leaping Bunny verification, can be owned by larger Corporations that do not support the Leaping Bunny, i.e. Urban Decay Cosmetics who are owned by L’Oreal and Burt’s Bees, acquired recently by Clorox. To maintain their Leaping Bunny status, these companies must operate as ‘independent subsidiaries.’ We consumers know the connection and have to make the decision whether or not to spend out dollars here.

In the end, remember this: The FDA does not regulate product labeling for cosmetic and personal care products in the US.  A company can literally put just about anything on its label.  “Vegan Friendly” and “Cruelty-free” may or may not be the whole store.  To be sure, look for CCIC’s Leaping Bunny and a PETA rated: V, CF (Companies that don’t test).

Delve deeper, Google your favorite brands or even call the company!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve typed “Is such and such a product Cruelty-free?” in my search bar.

Empower yourself with awareness and a little effort in order to buy cruelty free.  Spread the word!

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IMG_4006I. Love. Summer, 2014. The pool, beaches and sunshine are what I live for during those long winter months.  When I’m out this summer, I’m bringing along these sunny finds:

  • Mar Y Sol ‘Caracas’ Tote.  Let’s face facts, this makes you look like a Venezualan Hottie!
  • Comfy, stylish Sanuk Sandles, from their recycled Yoga Mat Collection
  • Beauty Without Cruelty’s Waterproof Mascara. Great for pool time, wave riding and tear-jerkers like The Fault in Our Stars!
  • Supergoop’s Natural Mist Sunscreen SPF 50, and
  • BPA Free Nau’s water bottle.  Fill with ice and keep cool all afternoon.  Enjoy!

 

 

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Hand Made in Philly!
Hand Made in Philly!

Yes, right here in my row home in the heart of Philadelphia, I have the sweetest backyard garden.  Not too big, not too small, just green and lush, with flora and fauna changing with every season.

My hardy Boxwoods and Evergreens are making way for the Tulips and budding Japanese Wisteria.  The bulbs and bushes are always there, but never dominate.  They are nonetheless, an irreplaceable part of mon jardin beau!

juju is my work garden so to speak.  It dawned on me that the products I stock for the salon and the way I procure them reminds me a lot of my sweet home garden.  Oh, and both gardens smell terrific!

This spring, I’ve ‘planted’ some Locally Made in Philly Products from 2 great companies in my work garden: Stinky Girl Beauty Co. and gracefullyNoted.   In common: these small businesses make beautiful home-made goodies.  Yes, hand crafted, natural deodorants and hand-cut greeting cards need to live side by side!

Locally made, means I get to know the artists and artisans who make their goods.  Meghan H.  designs, cuts, and assembles her stationery, prints and other paper products in Olde City.  She is as sweet as her designs that spread love and joy.

Carly D., from Stinky Girl discovered that she could make a deodorant that was safe, natural and the clincher……actually works!  Yes, it does.  period.  Oh, and her Sauerkraut rocks too!  West Philly, be proud of this little gem of a company.

Come see my work garden, and pick some locally made ‘flowers.’ There’s so many good reasons to support our local artists, businesses and garden!

Hand Made in Philly!

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I have a brain ‘hiccup’ every time I’m asked when I opened  juju salon & organics.  2005.  What?  How is it possible?

I remember preparing the space for its opening, with my youngest daughter toddling around in diapers and getting into every last dangerous-looking pile of unpacked supplies. She’s now 10, but just as mischievous and adorable as she was then.  And juju is almost 9.

In all of the tim20120213_juju_0276e that has passed, my goals and juju’s Mission remains exactly the same: non-toxic beauty is attainable.  juju’s growing up.  And like my daughter Frances, with her never-changing cuteness and wily-will, I hope it never loses the ethos, goals, warmth & style that it was born with.

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John masters at juju salonAs the beauty industry becomes inundated with organic and all natural products, what is the best way to financially navigate through all of the choices presented?  How do you know what the best value is out there?  There are $8 bottles and $28 bottles of shampoo on the proverbial shelf, what’s the difference?

Much of the price differential is Products Marketing 101: are the products recognizable because of an extensive and expensive marketing campaign?  Often, organic beauty product lines that grace the opening, full-page spots in Organic Spa magazine are probably the priciest.  I mean, what does your gut tell you about Origins’ Dr. Weil organic product line?  Origin stores are firmly planted on the priciest retail real estate available…could that influence the price of their products?

That’s not to say that smaller, less known brands, are necessarily less expensive. Confusing!

In other words, “who knows?!”  I know.  And here’s how you can know too.  Read the label.  It’s that easy.  If a company selling organic beauty products fails to list ALL of the ingredients on its label, don’t even consider buying it.  Here’s some tips for understanding the ingredients and consequently, what the true value of the product may be.

What’s the ordering of the ingredients?  Having “water” as the first ingredient listed may explain why it’s price tag isn’t too high. And if it is high, ask yourself why.  How much of the total product is derived from organically, bio-dynamically and/or wild harvested plants and herbs? If there’s a long list of “chemically” sounding ingredients following “water” and preceding rose hips, don’t bother tossing it in your shopping cart.  It needs to be clearly indicated that the plant/herbal ingredient is organic, bio-dynamically grown and/or wild harvested plants.

USDA Certified Organic, Oregon Tilth – Certified Organic, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics are all important monikers for your product to wear. But know that getting a product “Certified Organic” is an expensive and lengthy process.  Some smaller companies haven’t secured the seal and can’t place it on their labels, even though the ingredients are as organically white as the driven snow.  Again, look to the label and make your decision from there.

Making a change in your beauty regime is as important to making a change from synthetic to organic beauty products.  Read labels, use less, use wisely and if on a budget, buy only what you truly need to use on a daily basis.

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Last week, after walking the dogs, I noticed only 2 garbage bags out in front of our house ready for pickup.  In the recent past, my blood would have started a slow boil as I imagined my husband, the garbage-taker-outer, overlooking or disregarding overflowing garbage bins full of garbage bags that needed to be taken out today.

But wait. What?! Only 2 bags?  Yep. What changed?  We enrolled in Bennett Compost’s Residential compost pickup program.  $15 a month for weekly pickup.  We even signed up at the salon and spa.

According to Bennett Compost’s website, the average person throws away 1600 pounds of garbage each year.  Whereas the average Bennett Compost customer throws away less than half that. “Our weekly pick-up of food scraps and other compostable material helps you to reduce your impact.”  This explains the 2 bags of trash, not bad for a family of 4.  My goal?  Half the trash this year either by recycling or by composting.

And you better get on this composting bandwagon fast. San Francisco already converts over 400 tons of food scraps and other compostable discards into high-grade organic compost every day. The compost then becomes a valuable commodity in sustainable agriculture in that region.  Regs may go into effect that would levy mandatory composting, just like recycling in other cities.  Failure to compost could lead to fines.

“But,” you say “we have a garbage disposal so….” Here’s what you put in your Bennett bucket that you can’t put down the drain: citrus peels, coffee grounds and unbleached filters (this alone used to make a full bag of garbage in our house), corncobs, flowers, dead houseplants, nut shells!  and more….

Do it now! Get into the habit before you are forced to do so.

Inspire your neighbors, teach your kids and co-workers that this is the next very important step.  Get into the habit before you are forced to do so.

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Philadelphians understand that when a business is awarded a “Best of Philly” by Philadelphia Magazine, it’s time to sample the business’s offerings.  Well, juju salon & organics is proud to have received this year’s “Best of Philly” award for Best Hair Salon!  What makes this award truly amazing is that a green, all natural salon was selected out of a pool of hundreds of chic and style-setting salons in the area.  Further, the fact that we are organic, and well, very, very different from conventional chop-shops, says something about the growth and acceptance of green businesses in general.  Doing business in a green and sustainable way is completely “normal.”

I’ve often hoped that the press and the general public would one day, perhaps, embrace one of my firmest business tenants: that is, that juju, like any other top-notch salon will give its clients great hair and will provide a resource for cutting-edge and attainable style and beauty, all in an eco-friendly way. Being green is just the icing on the cake. You really can make the healthier and more responsible choice and not have to sacrifice style and beauty.

So, come in! See what everyone is raving about.  Schedule an appointment with one of our organically educated and truly talented stylists.  Get safe, beautiful and long lasting color, a flattering style and find out for yourself why juju is this year’s Best Hair Salon!  Thanks to our clients, Philadelphia Magazine and my wonderful staff at juju for making this award possible!

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