July 19th, 2009
As much as we all like to look pretty, there are a few things about going to the local beauty parlor (as my Grandma used to call it) that aren’t quite so lovely. Before heading to your next appointment, consider this: what price are you willing to pay for beauty?
If you color your hair, you may want to consider going au naturale for your health. It’s long been rumored that hair dye causes cancer, and the science seems to support some cause for concern. Apparently, the more dye you use – particularly in darker colors – the higher your risk of bladder cancer. Eeks! Your chances of contracting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma may go up as well.
The likely culprit? A known human carcinogen called 4-ABP, has been found as a by-product in many permanent hair dyes.
To reduce your risk, switch to plant-based formulas, like those available from Aveda or EcoColors. You can also try semi-permanent or temporary dyes, as they contain much less of the cancer-causing chemical. Ask your salon about these options, but if they can’t help, look for one that understands your concerns.
While you’re investigating new products and salons, why not ask about their environmental practices? Salons use a lot of resources like water and energy, so water-saving practices and energy efficient appliances can have a big eco-impact. And, like any business, they should recycle and use green cleaning products.
If you think about it, it does seem a little weird to pay someone to paint your toenails and fingernails. Of course, pros can do such a better job than us mere mortals, that sometimes it’s worth it. By now we all know about the precautions that nail salons should take in regards to cleanliness, but what about their impact on the environment, and your health?
As soon as you enter some nail salons, it hits you. That smell. It can be so strong, you wonder how people work in it all day long. Don’t accept that as a part of the job – it’s actually a sign of improper ventilation. Look for a salon that has fresh air moving through and doesn’t feel stuffy.
That smell is also telling you that there are a lot of chemicals in the air. Do you really want those chemicals painted onto your nails? I mean, the technicians actually wear masks to protect themselves!
Traditional nail polishes and removers contain some pretty harsh chemicals, like phthalates and formaldehyde. Look for salons that use products that are free of those nasty ingredients, and are made from plant or water-based sources instead. Or, do a little research, buy your own polish and remover, and take it to the salon with you. Though it can be fun to pick from all the colors available at the salon, taking your own ensures that you know what’s going on your nails. Plus, it allows for home touch-ups!
Reconsider your idea of beauty to include your health – it will keep you looking good, for life!
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