At Sprout, we believe that the products a woman uses on her body (including her hair) are incredibly important, especially when pregnant or if you think you may want to be pregnant down the road. When I look for a place to get my hair cut, I not only want to make sure that what they use on me is safe, but I don’t want the whole salon to smell like industrial cleaners. I felt so lucky to find the Moxi Salon in SF, right down the street from our Union Street store. We talked to the owner Andriana about why she created a “green” salon and what that means:
1. What does it mean that Moxi is an environmentally friendly salon?
Everything we use on our guests directly or for maintaining the salon are free of parabens, plastic, gluten, sulfates and are as environmentally safe as exist. All the teas and coffees we serve are fair-trade and organic and we use only all cloth towels instead of paper. Low flow shower nozzles in our sinks, energy efficient appliances and toilet. Green building materials for our custom cabinetry and no VOC paint. We compost and are voracious recyclers of paper, glass and plastic, and even recycle our hair. Pretty much everything we use is as good for you and the environment as possible.
2. What caused you to move in that direction?
I have been a health nut for most of my life and over the years have been learning more about our environment and what we can do to help eliminate our footprint on it. When I opened my salon I wanted to build it as green as possible within my budget. It's amazing how in just 5 years how much more access there is to green building materials that are not astronomical in price.
3. What are your criteria for the products you use?
I am a hairdresser and love what I do, so the products I use must perform well. Over the years, all the natural products have not been products that would work well to achieve a beautiful hairstyle. Now, there are quite a few and more keep coming out. I have personally tested all the products we carry before retailing them. If they don't pass the ingredient listing, the performance as well as deliver the staying power to the clients that help me test them, they don't get to be a part of Moxi.
4. Do you think using green products is important for all women, even if they aren't pregnant? How come?
I think using green products is important to all humans. Many of the ingredients that are allowed into beauty products cause hormone fluctuations, inhibit growth hormones or can increase estrogen levels in both men and women. Everything we put on our bodies is absorbed, so knowing what we put on our biggest organ is of the upmost importance.
5. Are these products as effective? Why do you think more salons aren't doing this?
I think the products we use are just as effective. I feel that more salons are not using green products because of many factors. One being that all the top products are endorsed by the big names in the industry, just like anything else in the world. And of course whomever spends the most on advertising gets noticed as well. Also, because these green product companies are usually small, we (the salon) don't get special offers to buy their products, like the big companies who can give away a lot to lure you to come aboard.
6. For women who don't live in SF (and therefore can't visit Moxi) what questions should they ask when looking for a healthy hair salon?
It depends on how healthy of a hair salon they are looking for. Is it just good products? Or do they want to know that when they are sitting in the salon that the hairdresser next to them isn't using something toxic. I would ask them if they considered themselves to be a green or eco salon. And if they said “Whaaat?” then look somewhere else. There are many ways to find green companies now via the web. We have been trying for years to become a certified green business, but as of yet, there is still not a certification for hair salons in San Francisco.
I am also an advocate for Skin Deep which is a website that you can visit to check out all your products and find out how toxic they are. If they don't have that specific product, you can look up any ingredient.