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. 
 





Friday, January 16, 2009

I've been quiet lately (no pun intended) but I haven't abandoned the ol'blog. I've been having an RA flare-up  since the summer and other than a quick article post here and there, I haven't really been able to type.  I have finally been given some better medication though so hopefully things will settle down soon. 

Recently, my blog has been found by a few
Google Searchers looking for info on masks for MCS. I've mentioned my mask use in the past, however it occurred to me that I haven't talked about what I use to keep myself breathing clean.

I currently use the  Respro Aero mask.  It's entirely hypoallergenic and provides Hepa type filtration against chemicals and particulates. In Canada, the Aero mask and filters can be ordered from Quorum Allergy 

Previously and as pictured in this post, I was using the Respro Techno mask. It provided the same quality of protection as the Aero mask I now use, however it is made of neoprene, which I have since found I am allergic to. In Canada, the Techno mask  and filters can be purchased at Mountain Equipment Co-op


Filters should be replaced every 30 days or after 69 hours of use, whichever comes first. It is also good to note that the Techno filters can also be used in Aero mask if you don't require your mask to be 100% hypoallergenic.  As so far the Techno filters don't seem to bother me, I use them in my Aero mask simply because they are easier for me to buy at MEC in Ottawa.  When I do plan ahead, I order the Aero filters from Quorum but sometimes I simply forget and need a replacement ASAP. 

When looking for a mask, it really is all about personal preference and comfort.  Everyone with MCS  has different triggers so you need to choose the mask that is best for you. Good luck. Life wearing a mask isn't fun, but at least it's a little bit safer.


Thursday, January 15, 2009



After a bad day at work, the boy surprises me with a bouquet of chocolate covered strawberries and bananas

Edible Arrangements are awesome! A great solution for those of us who can't have flowers.

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