Thursday, January 22, 2009

My mom emailed me the other day about an article she saw in the local community paper.  I had to read it twice to make sure I really was seeing that 'Rooville now has a chemical free hair salon. It sounded too good to be true. 

After Dtox closed in  August, I was certain I would never have a hair cut again. Not that flying to Edmonton for a hair cut was really all that economical but it was better than nothing. Then this article comes out of nowhere, in a paper I usually never read (note to self: read community papers more often!). If fact my mother also never reads this particular paper. She was just bored one afternoon and picked it up off the coffee table. It must have been fate!

The Secret Garden Hair Studio is a home based, eco-friendly, chemical free hair salon in an  Ottawa south west suburb; conveniently located just 6 minutes from my home! Owner Kim,trained in London, England, has been a hair stylist for 19 years. She has previously worked at the He&She Hair Studio  before opening Blades Hair Studio in the mid-80's. In 1989, when her son was born, she decided to move her salon into her home basement. In 2008, she designed a beautiful sun-room studio off her kitchen, overlooking the back garden filled with many flowers and wildlife. 

Upon my first visit to this little oasis, I found it to be warm and inviting and most important scent and chemical free. All products used are chemical free and the water is chlorine free.  It is important to note that some of the products are scented (the shampoos are lemon and coconut scented) so it's not 100% safe for me but everyone has different triggers. I was able to bring my own shampoo and conditioner and have no issues.  While I was there, I did a test smell of the highlighting solutions and they have no scent so I will be going back in March to get my colour re-done. 

Now I realize that a hair cut is no big deal to most of you. However those with MCS will understand that even the simple task of getting your hair done, isn't so simple for us. This salon opening so close to my home is huge. I can regain a little bit more normalcy in my life and to me that is everything. 


  1. Liberty said...
    I totally relate to the haircut dilemna. I havent cut mine in over 3 years due to MCS. The last time I actually got a lady to come to my house (she normally just did that for seniors) but she was so scented I haven't done it again.
    I'm thinking of finding someone this summer who will come and cut my hair in my back yard and I can have my mask on if they smell.
    I think it's so great that you have found this place. I have heard of a few non-toxic salons now and I hope they gain in popularity!

    I'd love to know the name of the hair solutions you mentioned. I didn't know there was such a thing as actually safe hair dye or highlighting! (other than hydrogen peroxide)
    Liberty said...

    I forgot to say that there is an MD in Ottawa who actually has MCS and I thought she offered haircuts in her safe office on certain days of the week. no scented products allowed at all so maybe it would be even safer! I don't know if it's a service she still offers though.

    here website is :
    Polkaroo said...
    Thanks for the link to Dr. Armstrong!
    Highlighting (foils) products used in Edmonton were Loreal Paltinium, non-ammonia. Completely scent free.
    At The Secret Garden, CHI infra high lift cream color is used for highlights and CHI IONIC Permanent Shine Hair Colour for colouring.
    Also, for at home dying, you can use Herbatint. These dyes can be found at your local natural health store.
    Liberty said...
    thanks for the info on the products used. :-)

    I've had other people suggest Herbatint too but Skin Deep gives it a pretty scary rating and it still does have p-Phenylenediamine (PPD) and fragrance (not good for MCS) so I avoid it. The PPD alone - albeit a much lower amount than more toxic hair products, is a big concern for me but I know that some less sensitive people have been okay with the Herbatint (I'm a super canary)


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