A month or so ago, I was invited to visit Le Salon in Midtown East, an organic salon that offers a comprehensive and holistic approach to hair health.
Which, in a nutshell (or travel size shampoo bottle?), means: NO CHEMICALS ALLOWED.
You won't find any John Freida products in the small studio. Le Salon exclusively uses Organic Color Systems, a line of color, care, control and curl systems that, contain certified organic ingredients that they believe offer the same great results, without the damaging effects of leading hair care brands.
I arrived on a Friday night for a consultation, a deep organic conditioning treatment and a blowout with their hair care gurus, and while I was excited, I was also pretty nervous.
I'll be the first to admit that I don't take great care of my hair. It lives on my head, and I want it to look good, sure-but I'm not the kind of girl who spends hundreds of dollars on a hair cut, color or styling products. So I was a little nervous about what they would say-and do!-about the state of my hair. But once I got there, I realized that wasn't the problem. Here's what I learned from my visit. While I'm not sure going organic is necessary for everyone, I sure had an interesting experience!
I've Been Washing My Hair All Wrong: ...For roughly 25 years. Apparently, there was so much build up from past products on my scalp that it had to be cleaned extensively. Instead of the quickie wash I'd been doing in the past, I was told I need to alternate (six times!) between scrubbing my scalp with shampoo, and dousing it with water. Then, conditioner should be left in for 5 minutes while brushing my hair, followed by a good rinse and leave-in conditioner. It might sound stupid, but I've been washing my hair this way-the longer way-ever since, and it actually feels a lot cleaner!
Head And Shoulders Is the Devil (Well, According To Organic Enthusiasts): I'd been using Head and Shoulders to deal with what I thought was a dandruff problem, but apparently the dandruff-fighting shampoo is full of nasty, no good chemicals. It's a big no-no in the organic world. (That's not to say I don't still own a bottle, though!)
Organic Products Work-But They're Expensive: The hair stylists gifted me with several products from Organic Color Systems' Organic Care Systems Line, like shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner and a spray treatment for my scalp to keep it healthy. Since I've been using it (for almost a month now!) my hair and scalp has never felt better. But a simple bottle of their Aqua Boost shampoo costs $28 on Amazon, so... yikes.
The Hair Stylists Are Really Against Chemicals: I was questioned (extensively) about my 'use of chemicals.' Like, deodorant. And hair products. And, yes, even birth control! I felt half like I was getting a hair treatment, and half like I was getting lectured by a parent (or Cameron Diaz). I feel that I'm a very easy going and open person, so I'm always happy to listen to another person's point of view. But this felt like 'the organic way' was being shoved down my throat. I'm definitely not going to start using a diaphragm instead of birth control like the stylists suggested (I'm not Monica Geller on Friends), but I'll try to be more mindful about what I put on (and in) my body.
A Stylist Can Blow Dry My Hair Way Better Than I Can: This wasn't really a surprise, but, just look at it.
I don't think I'll be going 100 percent organic anytime soon. It was interesting to learn a new perspective, but the fact of the matter is, I live in New York City. If I can inhale subway fumes, I think I can use the CVS brand of shampoo without likening it to rat poison.
But don't take my word for it. Try out an organic spa yourself. Just don't drink all the (organic) Kool-Aid.