The Eco Salon: Interview with the Women behind Organic Hair Lab

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What inspired you originally to open an Eco Salon?

What first inspired me to open an Eco Salon was realizing all the single use plastic being used, and hair color being put down the drain. I knew there had to be a better way, and that’s when I fell down the rabbit hole of change I want to see the industry make. We became increasingly aware, concerned and overwhelmed with the amount of waste our industry single handedly contributes to the downfall of our our environment, and wanted to create a culture and business model that promotes the elimination of waste within the beauty industry

What does it mean to you to be eco-friendly?

At Organic Hair Lab, being eco friendly encompasses many meanings; we are a “Clean-Air” environment, not using and paints or sealers that give off VOCs into the atmosphere, as Well as not using any artificial fragrance, and becoming aware of what we consider non- reusable waste and how it impacts our environment. We also utilized alot of used furniture and decor in our space instead if sending it to the dump. Because of our efforts and specific partnerships with business that share our concerns, Organic Hair Lab has become the first zero- waste salon in the state of Arizona.

What specifically makes an eco-salon? What practices are you adopting//leaving behind?

 Becoming an “eco-salon” can mean many things to many people. We feel that you don’t need to adopt the same exact practices that we have… any salon trying to make any sort of eco-friendly change within their work environment; being aware of water or electric usage, recycling back-bar plastics, eliminating paper receipts, etc, can be considered a turn in the right eco-friendly direction.

For us, becoming an Eco Salon meant considering our building supplies, furnishings, power equipment, haircolor and haircare lines, and our output of non reusable trash. By partnering with EcoHeads, we’ve eliminated all hard-metal contaminants and water waste by 60%. By partnering with Green Circle Salons, we are able to responsibly recycle all hair-clippings, metals and chemical product waste. Green Circle Salon’s provides us with the necessary receptacles to allow for proper separation of these recyclables. These recyclable items are turned into such items as bio-plastics and oil spill mats…

We have also eliminated the use of printable receipts, bottled purified water, plastics caps and non-recyclable color and product containers.

How is the course of your day/week/life effected by running a salon in this way?

The only difference in our overall daily/ weekly workflow has been the need to sepefate our trash and put it into proper trash bins and the need to ship our recyclables to Green Circle Salons on an as-needed basis. Other than that, our daily operation hasn’t changed at all.

What would you tell a person who is interested in opening their own?

Approaching this process can be overwhelming, confusing, and time consuming. But once all systems are in place it becomes second nature and totally worth it! Organic Hair Lab is a great resource to use when you have questions, were available for consulting and can be reached directly at OrganicHairLab@gmail.com.

Tell me some specifics as far as how you see an Eco Salon positively impacting your stylists, clients, and community?

As stylist we are guaranted longevity in our careers by choosing not to breath in or come in contact with harsh chemicals. It has also given us an abundant clientele of individuals seeking out a space that cares about not only the health of their hair, but of their bodies and environment.

It has impacted our clients by offering them hair services in an environment that accommodates their allergies & sensitivities. It also has inspired clients to take their own journeys in recycling and composting.

We are currently working within our business plaza to get all the businesses composting, recycling, and reducing as much landfil waste as possible. The next step on my agenda is to work with the City to create a zero waste arts district where our salon is located and to make recycling more available to businesses city wide.

 

Has anything unexpected come up in the process of opening/running an eco-salon?

The only unexpected Thing I can think of is finding out that the City Of Phoenix does not offer recycling services to businesses. Which is why I m working to change this.

Do you have any stories or ‘aha’ moments that really re-inforced// affirmed your eco-salon path?

There has been alot of people questioning what we really do, and how we can claim being clean air, vegan, organic, and Zero Waste. I love to watch their expression/tone  change as they realize its a real thing and they can jump on board! We have recieved so much positive feedback from our industry and community that we are so happy to be a positive influence. ♡

Free Your Hair Education Video // The Confessions of a Hairstylist

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Hi Babes! just jumping in to share a little video from a Free Your Hair Color Workshop I taught last month in Scottsdale Arizona at my friend Jenny‘s salon.

We had the workshop filmed, and are planning to have it available for purchase through the FYH Shop in the coming months, for those who want to learn about Free Your Hair Intuitive Color and Creative Technique but can’t make it to a class.

In the meantime, here is a link to a little teaser video that Jenny made for her educational hair app. To download, search The Confessions of a Hairstylist in the App Store.

Roxie Jane Hunt Interview IG

Photos and video by Alex Moorhouse

xoxoxo

Nourish the Roots Springtime Beauty Tea

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Nettle, Dandelion and Horsetail tea is a biotin, folic acid and digestion supportive drink which tonifies all the systems of our bodies, helping us feel and radiate beauty from the inside out. Because we understand beauty as being a reflection of the way we feel on the inside, as well as a reflection of the abundance and ever-giving life that thrives around us, I asked a dear friend of mine Renee Blair to create this post about a Springtime Tea……A nourishing tonic to the female body. This tea is fun to prepare because many of us have these plants growing wild close to our homes, and we can forage them ourselves which makes for a much more satisfying tea.

Renee is a Pacific Northwest dwelling mama to Hazel, and a passionate maven of nourishing foods. She plants, grows, wildcrafts, cooks and prepares beautiful medicinal food for post-natal mamas and families who seek to eat closer to the earth. Check out her Vegetarian Food blog here and follow her out on Instagram at @nourishtheroots

Thank you, Renee for offering this beautiful post!

Please enjoy and share:)

Nourish the Roots Springtime Beauty Tea

by Renée Blair

It is the time of year in the Pacific Northwest when the earth is waking from her winter slumber and vibrant green medicinal wild plants are once again emerging from the soil. This is the time of year that our skin and hair crave and need extra nutrients from mineral-rich green plants to restore vibrancy and shine. Of course, you can go to your local apothecary, health-food store, or the internet to purchase dried forms of these medicinal herbs. But something must be said for the potency of the medicine that is growing right outside our front door.

Responsible foraging can be a wonderful way to connect with the earth and the medicine she provides for our bodies to thrive. When gathering edible plants, some important rules apply. First, be sure you are using a field guide written for your particular bioregion so you are identifying plants correctly. Always be sure you are gathering from areas that are not sprayed with pesticides, herbicides, or other pollutants. Steer clear of areas where dogs frequent, so avoid harvesting too close to a pet-friendly trail. Always make sure the plants you are foraging are not endangered and be sure to harvest in a way that is not harmful to their population. Only pick what you plan to use. And finally, one of my favorite grounding practices is to always ask permission from the plant before harvesting. If permission is granted, offer a statement of gratitude to the plant for all of the medicine it provides.

Nettle, dandelion, and horsetail make up this herbal infusion, or tea, and grow in abundance in many bioregions throughout the world. These herbs are considered weeds or pests by many, yet they are indeed powerful medicine and offer amazing benefits for hair and skin health. I can personally attest to the hair-growing and skin-glowing properties of nettle alone. I drink fresh nettle tea regularly and my goodness, it is hard to keep up with the rate of growth of my hair! Combine nettle with dandelion and horsetail, and you have a powerful beautifying trio of herbs.

Nettle

Ask any herbalist if they could name one herb they would recommend to anyone for any ailment, they would most likely say nettle. Nettle has been used since ancient times as a medicine, food source, and fiber. It is one of the most nutrient-dense herbs, truly a superfood, and the perfect spring tonic. The list of nutrients in nettle is practically endless, with B complex vitamins, iron, calcium, and a host of antioxidants. They truly have the power to make you glow from the inside out. In addition to making tea with nettle, I love using fresh nettles as I would any type of leafy green. Nothing quite compares to the earthy aroma and flavor of nettle. Since nettles are growing in such abundance this time of year, I harvest weekly basket-fulls and cook them in a variety of ways throughout the season.  Harvest with care, as nettles do sting.

Dandelion 

Dandelion has been used in traditions of herbalism throughout the world for thousands of years. It is considered a resilient weed and can be found on lawns, in meadows, and growing out of cracks in city sidewalks. All parts of the dandelion are edible and support healthy liver clearance, which is vital for clear healthy skin. The liver-cleansing properties of dandelion are well-documented and are known to help clear acne, psoriasis, and eczema. They also help regulate digestion and elimination. Dandelion is abundant in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C. Make tea with all parts of dandelion, prepare a salad with the leaves and flowers, or lightly sauté the greens in garlic and olive oil. The medicinal and culinary possibilities with this herb are endless!

Horsetail

Horsetail is a wise and ancient plant, one of the oldest plants on Earth. The roots of horsetail grow incredibly deep, allowing it to absorb huge amounts of minerals. Horsetail grows abundantly like a weed here in the temperate climate of the Pacific Northwest. I find it growing all over my lawn and on the edge of wooded areas in damp soil. When left to reach maturity, the plant really does look like a horse’s tail. And it also has the ability to make your hair thick and long like a horse’s tail, as well, due to it’s extremely high silica, calcium, and iron content. These nutrients in horsetail also make it an amazing herb for nail and bone strength. It should be noted that prolonged use of horsetail can irritate the kidneys, so avoid using it internally for longer than two months at a time. Horsetail has also been used externally in hair rinses and shampoos to promote lustrous hair growth and skin poultices to increase tissue repair in wound healing.

Fresh Nettle, Dandelion, and Horsetail Beautifying Herbal Tea Blend 

(makes one quart of tea)

Herbal measurements are approximate and represent fresh, not dried, herbs. There is no need to be exact with measurements, simply use what you have. And of course, be sure your fresh herbs are thoroughly washed.

2 cups packed fresh nettle leaves,

1 cup packed fresh dandelion leaves (flowers and roots are welcomed additions, as well!)

1 cup fresh horsetail

filtered or spring water

  1. Fill a quart-sized French press or mason jar with herbs. Using kitchen shears, snip the herbs directly in the jar to cut them into small pieces. The reason for doing this is to beak open the plant cell walls and increase their surface area, allowing more nutrients to be released into the water. Using kitchen shears and cutting them directly in the jar (instead of chopping them with a knife) also keeps the herbs contained (less mess!) and makes it less likely that you’ll get stung by the nettles. Alternatively, you can pulse the herbs in a food processor before adding them to the jar, but really, who wants to have to wash a food processor?
  2. Pour boiling water over the herbs and cover. Let steep at least 20 minutes, but you can steep this tea for several hours to extract as much goodness as possible.
  3. Strain and enjoy in health and love. Drink throughout the spring season, when these herbs are in their peak harvest period and when our bodies need their medicine the most.

 

Enjoy!

PS. Love these braids? Section long hair into many different sizes and create fishtail braids in each section. They, wrap/fold/construct the many braids, pinning as you go, into an intricate braided hairstyle. Get creative! Practice on a friend:)

 

xo

Beard Journey.

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I want to thank Jason from Wisebeards.com for pitching me this informative and witty post. I get so many pitches, and most of them are inauthentic and not at all aligned with the content I strive to share. This post, and the way Jason reached out, reminded me of the tireless work I did when I first started blogging, writing from the heart while trying to appeal to the masses and then stepping out of my comfort zone to ask other bloggers if they would share my work. It is not easy to put your words out there, but it is important. Thank you to Jason, and to all the bloggers how said yes to me:)

We talk a lot about hair journeys here at HTHG. Today, we learn a bit about the facial hair journey……..

Life of a Bearded Man

The bearded man awakes and walks to his bathroom. He looks at himself in the mirror; he likes what he sees. His face is obscured in the most glorious way, by a thick, full, almost shrub-like beard. He begins his beard care routine; after all, magnificence takes time and effort. He leaves his dwelling for the day, confident in himself and optimistic about the day ahead. For he knows that he likes himself with a beard, and so does everyone else.

The life of a bearded man is….just…different. It is hard to explain to the ‘unbearded’, but it is my duty to try. People must know.

Growing a Beard

Growing a beard seems like a simple thing…

It will happen on its own if you ignore it right?

Just stop shaving right?

Wrong, so very wrong.

Growing a beard is a journey, an adventure even. It takes work, and it isn’t easy. If it were as simple as not shaving when you get up in the morning, everybody would have a wonderful and masculine beard. Yes, even the women (maybe).

The initial phase is different for everyone. However, it is usually characterized by itchiness and discomfort as your face grows accustomed to being hairy. This phase can be hard, but there are ways to stop the itch.

You will be tempted to give up and shave. I urge you, don’t! You must persevere to the next stage.

Once the discomfort has passed, you will reach the mid-length phase and you will feel pain of a different variety. Much like a gangly teenager who has yet to grow into his body, your beard will appear ungainly and awkward as it passes from stubble to greatness. You must press on. It’s hard to see the beard at the end of the tunnel but it’s there. You will feel tempted yet again to shave, but heed me. Things will get better; you must have faith. There are many benefits.

Growing a beard is an undertaking. You must persist through the initial trials and tribulations. It takes patience and optimism. You must recognize the potential of your face, and believe in the beard yet to come. However, once the beard that has been promised graces your face, you will find yourself a changed man.

Living With a Beard

Obviously, the first thing that changes when you grow a beard is you. You will gain the confidence one gets from knowing that they accomplished something great. There is a reason that beards have been a symbol of masculinity, power, prowess and wisdom since forever. Certainly, it is not the only indicator of a man being a true man, but it is the most striking and obvious.

The content of your character is important, but outward appearances do matter. It is much easier to act manlier if you look the part. Once you look like who you want to be, it is much easier to feel like that person. A beard can be a catalyst for change; a flag that signals childhoods end or evolution into a better, more complete you. The bearded man enjoys self-esteem and even better physical health.

You are not the only who will experience a beard-induced metamorphosis. The people around you will change as well. They will notice the change in you and treat you accordingly. Do not be alarmed when you begin to receive a deluge of compliments on your face fur; admiration is a natural reaction. Bearded men are regarded as more capable and reliable. First impressions are crucial to forging relationships, and the bearded man cuts a striking and confident figure without appearing young and inexperienced.

Of course, there are more, tangible, benefits to possessing a beard. Women are scientifically proven to find men with facial hair more attractive. Even a feminine face can increase its attractiveness to women by adding hair. Beards are considered the most desirable by women for long term relationships. The beard signals to them that you are mature and able to provide for your partner and family. If a woman seeks a real man, the beard will inform her that her search is at an end.

Unfortunately, not all will react positively to your beard. Some people fear change and will fear what you have become. Some concerns come from the right place, your friends and family will worry that you are not the same. They will learn in time that you’re still you, only a better you. Worse though, are those who are threatened by your new masculinity. Perhaps it is jealousy, or maybe they are put off by masculinity in general. Worry not. You cannot save them all, and you shouldn’t try. Your beard is for you.

Fortunately, despite the negative attention you may get, the bearded man enjoys membership in a follicle fraternity like no other. All bearded brethren enjoy an unspoken bond of shared accomplishment and endeavor. Beard culture thrives in our day and age, and there are countless groups of beard enthusiasts out there are united in their love of facial fuzz.

It’s time for some practical stuff, having a beard will require some adjustments. For me the biggest one was learning how to eat and drink, it’s a skill that you need to learn. Here’s a video with some great tips. You will also need to care for it, a daily grooming routine is a must. Read on.

Maintaining Your Beard

The bearded man knows that facial splendor does not happen on its own. If you care for your beard, it will care for you and be a lifelong companion. You can’t just grow it and leave it.

Your beard is like a fine woman, it requires attention. Tender love and care for your beard involve brushing and combing, trimming and styling, shampooing and the application of specialized beard products.

You will need the help of several different beard products to keep your facial hair healthy and beautiful, just like you, usually getting a beard kit that contains all of them is cheaper and easier.

  1. Beard oil: One of the most important products.  It keeps your beard hair and skin moisturized and conditioned.
  2. Beard Brush or Comb: Brushing your beard is crucial for your beard, it helps untangling, spreading your natural’s oils throughout your beard and keeps your beard neat and clean.

It also trains your beard to grow in the direction you want it to grow.

  1. Beard Balm: Beard balm is similar to beard oil. Beard balms are used to condition and style your beard, there are balms that are better for styling and hold and balms that are better for conditioning.

 

Maintaining beard health and care is important, but you don’t have to go it alone. The bearded man seeks the help of professional barbers when time and money allow because he knows that the beard is too important to let pride get in the way, it’s also fun.

 

Hope this article helped you gain some insights.

Jason blogs at Wisebeards.com about everything manly – With a strong passion for men’s grooming and self-improvement of all kinds. Facebook follow here.

#amazonkeepitlocal

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Hello Friends

Are you interested in helping home-bound mamas everywhere shop more responsibly and support a little consumer activism? If yes, please read on…….And thanks for taking the time to hear me out.

I woke up the other day just feeling really pissed about many things, all of them basically rooted in fossil fuel extraction and the systematic oppression of life on the planet earth at the hands of…….wait, me???????

I know we all struggle with this, feelings of sadness and anger and frustration when filling up our gas tanks, feelings of helplessness at our own gross consumerism and carbon footprints on this planet. In our daily life, every step of the way, we are making choices that effect each other and the fragile systems that keep our societies and our earth in a quickly tipping balance.

 I, for one, am an Amazon shopper. I’m a mom, and a city-dweller who is caught up in the frenzy of trying to keep up the pace of life, providing for family and trying to do good in the ways that I know how. And shopping on Amazon instead of leaving my house to fight traffic to get to my local department store/small business is a major convenience for me.

But having been in a process of stepping back to observe myself and life around me since having a little baby, I see a really major and dangerous flaw in sacrificing my own values and the values of the collective in the name of convenience. I had been so caught up in it, I wasn’t even really that aware of just how much I was going against my own values, and how much shopping through Amazon was enabling that gross oversight.

Living in Seattle, we see the effects of Amazon in our lives beyond our own patronage of their business. We see how the soul of the city is slipping fast out the back door with the influx of folks moving in from other places, buying up homes and working their asses off for tech giants like Amazon.

Gentrification, traffic and slow retail sales for local businesses are just two side affects of this influx, to name just a few. There are probably a bevy of arguments for the good side of Amazon (used books are rad) but they are not of any concern to me today. Today, I have a specific request.

I entertained a few hours of boiling anger and rage against the machine.

I marinated a while in my anger and finger pointing. I lamented over and over how Amazon was killing my soul. I whined in the mirror about how I am powerless to the Buy in one Click button. I moaned over the misalignment of my values and my dollars, and how I feel so preyed upon by the conundrum of modern life and the sparkle and shine of ‘convenience’ and how convenience is not a value of mine. I stewed over the fact that I’m am quite sure that if you were to take a poll of this city, you would not find that convenience was anyones core value, taking precedence over things like Taking Care of the Commons (our planet earth) and each other. Yet we empower Amazon to perpetuate this misalignment for us by making it too easy to not buy.

I thought of all the times I type in what I am looking for, and 25 of the same things pop up. And I don’t know which one to get so I just press ‘buy now’ blindly, in what feels like a small violence to my own inner truth.

And then I remembered something I have been telling my kids a lot lately. Complaining without action is called whining. And I am a whining white woman of great privilege. I am a part of the problem on so many levels. And it is up to me, as a concerned consumer to raise a flag in a free market system if I want to see a solution.

If you are still here, reading, thank you and I love you. Here is my solution, which is a drop in the bucket and a small ask for accountability of a corporate giant, with the larger intention of changing the AMAZON conversation from one of CONVENIENCE to one of CONSCIOUS CONVENIENCE, one tiny step closer to a collaboration of CONSUMER, ENVIRONMENTAL AND CORPORATE EMPOWERMENT.

I want a ‘ Shop Local’ section of AMAZON, a place where local business can stay afloat with the support of Amazon through a searchable category that will direct consumers to shop for their items closer to home.

I want AMAZON to design a function which allows us to see the original geographic source of our item, so we can choose our items based on proximity to us, saving the fossil fuels that are used in shipping, freight, trucking and refridgeration/climate control. I want to be able to make informed choices when using the platform of Amazon to make purchases. I think it would be a win/win. 

I contacted AMAZON yesterday, through their contact me page, which began as a text conversation. They quickly offered a call-back, and I spoke for an hour with a kind woman named Abby who listened, and pointed me in the right direction. I am now awaiting an email back from higher-ups in the company. Abby said she would start a file of quandaries and complaints about our inability to shop more responsibly buy purchasing more locally.

Today, I invite you to contact Amazon and ask them to Keep it Local. 

Please call Amazon customer service today at 1-888-280-4331. Press 0. You will be connected to a real person. They tend to be very helpful and cheerful, and good listeners, from my experience. Don’t be afraid. 

Tell them you are a concerned shopper who would like to be able to be shop more responsibly through their platform by choosing to shop more locally. 

Tell them you want to see a ‘ Shop Local’ section of AMAZON, a place where local business can stay afloat with the support of Amazon through a searchable category that will direct consumers to shop for their items closer to home.

Tell them you want AMAZON to design a function which allows us to see the original geographic source of our item, so we can choose our items based on proximity to us, saving the fossil fuels that are used in shipping, freight, trucking and refridgeration/climate control. I want to be able to make informed choices when using the platform of Amazon to make purchases. I think it would be a win/win. 

Then, share this information with your friends. Share it on social media with the hashtag #amazonkeepitlocal

Encourage people to call in. We can totally do this. Let’s use our voices to help us use our dollars more responsibly. Amazon is fully capable of this, and is in a position to lead the way so its up to us to steer them in the right direction. 

 

Thoughts? Advice? Experience? Please share.