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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 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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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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juju salon hair 23
Happy, Healthy and Dandruff Free!

I guarantee that you’ve had dandruff at least once in your life.  Sadly, many of us have had it more that once and seem to battle it on and off. Get to the root of the problem and stop dandruff from ever coming back again!

Seborrheic dermatitis, or dandruff is a very common affliction.  The brunt of the blame lies squarely on the harsh synthetic ingredients found in most conventional hair care products AND our obsession with over-shampooing our hair.

An overly-dry or oily scalp provides the perfect environment for dandruff to thrive. This is often caused by over-shampooing with cleansers containing Sodium Laural/Laureth Sulphates, PEGs, artificial fragrances and parabens.  These synthetic, cheap and potentially harmful ingredients* contribute to inflammatory and compromised skin conditions which in turn can lead to dandruff.

Poor diet and hygiene can also cause dandruff by encouraging fungal and bacteria growth on our scalp.

Fight off the flakes with these 4 easy and natural steps:

Shampoo less.  Our obsession with squeaky clean hair has become a bad habit for many of us.  Try using a dry shampoo between washings or ‘shampoo’ your hair with only conditioner.  Make sure to rinse thoroughly with this practice.
Only use natural and organic shampoos and hair care products.  Look for shampoos that contains tea tree oil, lavender oil, zinc, sage and aloe. DIY: add a few drops of lavender or tea tree oil to your favorite organic shampoo .  And remember, steer clear of synthetic, chemically laden ingredients will only worsen the problem.
Try a natural pre-shampoo treatment.  Massage your scalp with coconut oil for 5 minutes before you shampoo your hair.  Coconut oil contains naturally occurring antimicrobials and fungicides that help quash fungal and yeast growth.
Rinse your hair with Apple Cider Vinegar.  ACV naturally balances your scalp and hair’s pH.  Shampoos and soaps make the skin and scalp more alkaline which can compromise its ability to fight off fungus, a leading cause of dandruff.  ACV’s pH of 2.5-3 can rebalance the scalp.  Mix one part ACV with 2 parts distilled water.  In the shower, pour the mixture all over  wet hair and massage in for a few minutes.  Rinse well and condition  Added Bonus: ACV removes excess oil, water contaminants and product build-up leaving your hair soft and silky.

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dtmRcb6GK6r41BmZZHnOcuELess0TfrbkWgAo6tNefkIt’s spring, soon to be summer, and that means we’re outdoors again with fresh air and sunshine!  Though we should be wearing sunscreen all year long (ahem), many of us only think about it when the sun is out and the weather is warm.

Before you slather and go, consider this: many members of the medical community believe that  ingredients found in conventional sunscreens are causing hormonal disruption, thyroid alteration, endometiosis in women and may in fact contribute to cancerous tumor growth.*  There is an active debate among researchers as to whether or not these ingredients, specifically Oxybenzone and Octinoxat, are highly toxic or innocuous.  Why wait for the results?  There over 100 effective sunscreens out there that do not contain these ingredients.

And remember, your skin is your largest organ and capable of absorbing a percentage of what we put on it.  Follow these tips and you’ll be able to make the healthy choice when it comes to skin protection:

DO choose a natural, mineral based sunscreen that contains titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide because they provide strong sun protection with few health concerns.

DO use a sunscreen that gives both UVB and UVA protection. Did you know that the term SPF only refers to protection from UVB rays, the rays that cause sunburns? Make sure your sunscreen also protects you from the harmful UVA rays that penetrate deep into our skin causing all sorts of mischief!

DO apply sunscreen liberally and repeatedly during sun exposure to achieve the product’s SPF rating.

DO add tinted UV-protective film to your car’s side and rear windows since UVA penetrates glass.

DON’T buy or use any sunscreen containing Oxybenzone, Octinoxate or artificial fragrances.  Stay clear of retinyl palmitate too, a form of Vitamin A, which may speed up the growth of skin tumors and lesions, according to FDA studies.

DON’T rely solely on sunscreen.  DO wear a hat, UV blocking sunglasses and a ‘Rashguard.’ Sun Protection clothes provide greater total UVA/UVB sun protection than typical summer clothing or a typical 30 SPF sunscreen.

DON’T use sunscreen powders or wipes.  These delivery methods have been proven to be ineffective.

DON’T use a sunscreen with an SPF higher than 50.  Sky-high SPFs give a false sense of greater sun protection and can tempt you to stay in the sun too long.

My Picks for Best and Safest Sunscreens: All Terrain TerraSport SPF 30, Badger Sunscreen SPF 30, Kiss My Face Kids’ Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30, Juice Beauty SPF 30 and Supergoop Everyday SPF 30.

* See The Environmental Working Group’s The Trouble with Sunscreens, 2014, www.ewg.org

 

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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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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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Whether it’s “functional food” or “natural beauty products,” we consumers are asked to navigate through hundreds of products that claim to promote health and wellness. These claims live on the front of the product, in big eye-catching fonts, reminding us that we’re not getting enough: oat bran, hemp seed, goji berries, Omega 3’s…AND that our skin is blemished and our hair is dry because we slather on paraben-laced chemical sludge. Ever leave the Whole Foods with a bunch of new supplements, protein powders, probiotics and the like, in desperate hopes of warding off the big “C”?

In the beauty biz, it seems that all of the new professional hair lines are touting new products that are Ammonia-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and full of unadulterated god-given argan oil.  Here’s what their not telling us, as loudly that is.  If you simply turn the product around, put on your readers and give yourself a minute or two, you yourself can determine if said new product is really healthy and really worth your money.  So what if the shampoo is sulfate free and contains organic burdock root? If there’s ‘fragrance’ listed, you’re exposing yourself to pthalates…endocrine disrupting chemicals.  Or if a Nonylphenol compound is present (a chemical which helps dissolve oily grime into water in cleaning products) you should be equally horrified.

In today’s Health section of the New York Times, an article about the “slick marketing” of healthy foods, inspired this post. “[s]hoppers are being bamboozled by slick marketing. Many people grab products with healthy claims on the front of the package and overlook crucial nutritional information, like calorie counts, in the small print on the back.”  Bravo.  But, What The Cuss?

Federal Regulators are only now investigating outlandish health claims.  Do I trust that they’ll mind the  hen house? Emphatically ‘No.’  Both the cosmetic and the food industries are sorely lacking in marketing claims’ oversight.  Bottom line:  read the labels. Google an ingredient a week to discover what really is in your Tinted Aveeno Moisturizer with SPF.

Best source ever?  The Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Database.

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The end of an op-ed this weekend in the Times states, “The precautionary principle suggests that we should be wary of personal products like fragrances unless they are marked phthalate-free. And it makes sense — particularly for children and pregnant women…” This principle has been toted by many in my field as a necessary avoidance. In fact, no phthalate-containing nail polishes, shampoos, perfumes and body lotions can be found at juju or many other forward minded locations peddling safer beauty products.  Now, peer-reviewed medical science articles are being written about the absolute link between autism, for example, and exposure to environmental toxins. A wonderful fact-driven migration: from granola crunching health food stores to the JAMA!

The science community knows that Phthalate exposure to pregnant women can lead to their children displaying behavioral issues. So why is this toxic ingredient still being added to hair sprays, shampoos and conditioners? A quick search on “phtalate” in the Environmental Working Group’s website, Skin Deep database, found almost 23,000 products containing phtalates!  Sure, I wasn’t surprised to find Versace’s Red Jeans perfume listed, but Aveda’s Detoxifying Shampoo (detoxifying? what a misnomer!) and cleansers from Kiss My Face?!!

My advice for now: avoid buying any product with “phtalate” listed in its ingredients. Moreover, avoid buying any beauty product that lists “fragrance” in its ingredients, unless, there is an asterisk explaining that the fragrance is an unadulterated essential oil. Scary.

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I mean, take it easy when it comes to shampooing your hair.  Real life snippet:  I noticed how silky, soft and strong my client’s hair had become. We had been working together for over a year.  What was once bleached out, dry and weak had transformed into beautiful tresses. Of course we new the non-ammonia, organic color we’d been using on her hair had helped in this amazing transformation. But it was the client who credited her only shampooing once a week to the change. I knew it worked!  She had taken my advice, early on, and nixed the daily shampooing routine.

Most shampoos, hand soaps, dish washing liquids, toothpastes, etc. contain a soluble detergent and surfactant known as Sodium Lauryl(laureth) Sulfate, or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), It is an inexpensive, synthetic ingredient and a known irritant.  This synthetic detergent can also be found in floor cleaners and other household cleaning products – it is very strong and effective in cleaning and de-greasing.

Our hair, especially colored hair, cannot withstand the effects of such a “tough” cleansing agent. This chemical literally strips hair of its color.  Conventional shampoos mask the harsh effects of this ingredient by putting additional (synthetic) chemicals in the products to act as conditioners and fragrances.

Remember this: Hair, in general, and our scalps, need only small amounts of shampoos and detergents.  It is well known in the industry that hair can actually be cleansed by only using a conditioner (creme rinse) and forgoing the shampoo altogether.  I advise all of my clients to cut back on shampooing and/or water down their shampoos, to lessen the harsh effects of these cleansing agents.

See what changes you can make with this simple omission!

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