An organic hair salon is usually a hair salon that uses naturally-based products, and generally only those that are free of synthetic chemicals. Sometimes, the methods used to produce organic products are also restricted. In some countries, the use of the word organic is regulated by the government, while in others it can be freely used. In the United States, an organic hair salon must be certified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as organic to market itself as organic. Since they use products produced without certain damaging chemicals and using processes that are safer for the environment, organic hair salons are widely considered to be more eco-friendly.
Products used at a certified organic hair salon should also be certified organic. This includes any shampoos and conditioners, dyes and styling products used during the salon session. The products used at this type of salon can include time-tested natural products like henna dye as well as modern organic beauty products designed for professional performance. For consumers without access to professional salon products, an organic hair salon may be their only source of effective organic hair care.
Though organic hair salons can offer beauty services with less exposure to chemical products, they do have some disadvantages. A certified organic hair salon is generally more expensive than the usual salon, and they products they use and sell are generally more expensive as well. These products can sometimes be less effective and shorter-lived. Many organic hair salon products, such as organic hair dyes, are less potent than standard hair dye, and their effects can fade more quickly. Some organic dye brands also make dye boosters, which can intensify and prolong the dye results. Natural products can trigger allergies in some people just as synthetic products can.
The higher price of organic hair care can cause unsavory purveyors to advertise organic hair services without properly supplying them. Relying on regulation does not completely protect consumers from this practice. When organic hair care is truly important to a consumer, a background check on a salon's organic claims can help ensure honestly organic service. Even in countries where organic labeling is regulated, loopholes in organic labeling rules allow some hair salons, particularly small ones, to call themselves organic when they are not truly organic.
An easy way to tell whether a salon is truly organic is to become familiar with the types and qualities of popular organic hair care products. An organic hair salon that has products on display that are not organic is a definite sign of a fake organic salon. Read product labels, ask questions and watch out for non-organic ingredients.