As a salon owner and stylist in Portland, Oregon (Nurture Inspired Hair Design) it has been my vision to do things more naturally and sustainably from the onset. I have always been true to lines of hair care that are non-diverted and that are committed to a more sustainable approach, from ingredients and packaging to manufacturing methods. Spurred on by the birth of our son in November of 2008, we set out to find more sustainable options for our salon, putting ourselves under the microscope, in hopes of doing more for the health of our planet, community, clients, stylists and profession. Areas that were open for improvement were recycling (including hair), lighting, energy consumption, and our hair color choice. We rapidly implemented a more rigorous recycling program that now included composting and sending all hair clippings to Matter of Trust (a California based organization that uses the donated hair to construct oil absorbing mats) and to invest in the Free Stylist System with Spectra Lights (a green technology that uses full spectrum L.E.D.ís and a weightless hairdryer) which cuts down on our energy consumption, landfill contribution and stylist fatigue while providing superior lighting, giving a true representation of the color service.
As a stylist, committing to, and learning a new line of hair color is a major undertaking and one that is not entered into half-heartedly. Having tested an ammonia free color offering from my past color manufacturer, I was intimately familiar with the shortcomings; unpleasant oder, lack of pigment deposit, insufficient lift and a general feeling that the ammonia-free option just didnít translate to what I was used to achieving with the ammonia version. So, with my past experience with an ammonia-free hair color line, my expectations were not too high when I came across Organic Color Systems hair color. The mission, science, and integrity of Organic Color Systems product offering and organization spoke to my core beliefs, thus summoning me to take action. I ordered their small intro, and began to put it through the paces on co-stylists and willing clients. After watching their instructional video which came with the intro package and implementing all the tips and procedures that were lined out, I had amazing results from day one. With this color line, to be truly successful, it is my belief that you need to approach the coloring process in a new way. Once you grasp the science and how ammonia reacts with the hair, you will understand how OCS gets the results you demand. Since switching to OCS, I have had the privilege of dinning with Hilton Bell, the exclusive importer of Organic Color Systems products in America and attending one of his color seminars. The integrity and caliber of the stylists that were present at this seminar was confirmation enough that I was on the right path. All the independent stylists had inspiring stories of what led them to this color line, from experiencing chronic allergies and wanting to stay in the industry to stylists that had left the industry because of illness and were now able to reenter the industry because of OCSís color line. Since switching to Organic Color Systems I have seen a dramatic rise in new clientele, it seems people are demanding more from their stylists these days, wanting a more natural option that works. As a stylist I have experienced a new lease on my career and creativity while providing a healthier environment for all.
Alan Mandarano Owner/Stylist Nurture Inspired Hair Design 7311 SE Milwaukie Ave Portland, OR 97202 971-533-5359 email@example.com www.pdxhair.com
Manufacturer Stated Benefits:
Organic Color Systems contains certified Organic Comfrey, Grapefruit, and Orange Extract. The comfrey acts as a scalp soother, the grapefruit as a natural anti-bacterial agent, and the orange as a natural anti-oxidant.
Organic Color Systems is ammonia free. Ammonia is a corrosive chemical that is used in explosives, fertilizer, and cleaning products. Its use in haircolor has been banned in Argentina and in the Netherlands ammoniated colors must be mixed in a separate, closed room that has a special ventilation system. In addition to its negative effects on the skin, eyes, and respiratory system, ammonia compromises the hairs abilty to hold on to hair color.
Organic Color Sytems works at a much lower ph than ammoniated colors. Our color works at a ph of 8.5 to 9 versus a ph of 11 for ammoniated colors (This might seem like a minor difference but the ph scale is logarithmic. When you move from 7 to 8 it is 10 times higher, from 8 to 9, 100 times higher. From 9 to 10, 1000 times higher and so on). This is important because ph values are used to open or close the hair. The higher up the scale the hair is taken the more it opens and swells. If you take the hair too far up the scale it becomes very difficult or even impossible to bring the hair back down to its isometric point of 5. This means the cuticle (or outer protective layer) is left open and is not able to protect the more delicate inner structure of the hair. Microscopic photos verify the superior condition that OCS leaves the hair in.
OCS is Resorcinol free. Resorcinol is a pigment that is banned in the European Union but is still used in the U.S. Resorcinol is a suspected carcinogen.
OCS contains on average 0.4 percent PPD's. This is in contrast to ammoniated colors which contain 3-6 percent PPD's. PPD's are an ingredient that some people find objectionable and can cause sensitivity and/or allergic reactions in some people.
OCS uses pharmaceutical grade peroxide. This is used in contact lense solution and eyedrops. It is more refined and milder. This reduces irritation on the skin and burning on the hair.
OCS contains no parabens. Parabens are a preservative that are believed to mimic estrogen in the body.
Why Would I Switch or Choose Organic Color System?
The original objective from the company that researched and developed Organic Color Systems was to come up with a hair color formula that was as natural as possible while still being effective. The need to produce professional results, while maintaining the integrity of the hair, as well as the safety of the hairdresser and the client was paramount. Thus, Ammonia Hydroxide had to be removed. Over five years and numerous dollars were invested to achieve that objective. Organic Color Systems has been used by European Hairdressers for more than twelve years and is now used in over thirty countries around the world. Organic Color Systems were released in the USA in 2003 by International Hair and Beauty Systems. They currently distribute Organic Color Systems, Organic Care Systems, Organic Curl Systems, Organic Control Systems, as well as Hairmonicsô throughout the United States.
Why go to that much trouble to get Ammonia out of the formula?
The simple answer is this Ė Ammonia is corrosive to the hair and toxic to the environment. Ammonia has a negative effect on the bronchial system. Recent research has found that about 50% to 60% of clients suffer negative effects from ammonia based colors. Each complaint is individual and varies from slight to severe. Some of these include headaches, foggy feeling, nausea, etc.
What Does This Mean for YOU the client?
Clients no longer have to suffer scalp stinging, itching, burning or staining. Your salon environment creates a much more pleasurable experience without these negative sensations. The hair looks and feels much more like natural hair. The colors have a greatly reduced fade factor. This means the client is able to enjoy the color tone for a greater length of time, which equates to much better value and enjoyment of their color. For the clients that enjoy changing their look more often, the opportunity to do this is increased. Since the cuticle is basically returned to its original position, the hair has better shine and looks more natural. There is no unpleasant chemical smells while the service is being performed on the client.
What Does This Mean for ME the Hairdresser?
Organic Color Systems allows hairdressers to color their clients hair without the corrosive effects of ammonia and subsequently leave the fabric that hairdressers work with in superior condition. This has numerous benefits. There is no banding. No hot roots. You can create change with much greater confidence in both the result and integrity of the hair. The type of changes you can create become greater. Organic Color Systems is easy to use. One range can be used to create permanent, demi and semi results. Without Ammonia you can color hair in ways not previously thought possible. One example of this is Organic Color Systems allows you to put brown straight over blonde hair without the need to use a red filler. This is all true.
Hair Color Choices Portland Oregon
Hair Color Choices
In this day and age, speed is becoming more and more important. From fast food to immediate internet connections, people have come to expect things instantly. As a professional hair dresser you are faced many hair color choices and your decisions on which product to use can ultimately be influenced by speed.
Iím a great believer in speed of service and making things happen as quickly as is humanly possible. In fact, to me anything that slows down service is an enemy to a business and should be removed as quickly as possible. Despite considerations about speed, there is performance and quality of service that must be considered when working with your clients. If you start to throw out performance and quality which your client pays you for, there will be negative consequences.
I think itís important not to confuse the meaning of service speed. The timely manner in which you service your clients is very different than the length of time needed to give quality, precise service. Not allowing your clients to wait for their appointment, not leaving them waiting with wet hair for their service, and having the receptionist prepared for them to pay and set their next appointment when they are ready to leave are among many things that need constant evaluation and attention. Thus ensuring your operation is not putting delays on your clients getting prompt and timely service.
I think there is a distinction between the above mentioned aspects of service of any operation verses the actual services you do on your clientís hair. By services I mean haircuts, blow drying, hair coloring, perming, facialís etc. If a client perceives that they are being rushed or pushed through for the sake of speed, this assuredly will have a negative effect on your business. Letís face it, no matter how experienced and competent you are, doing a great haircut takes a certain amount of time. Winding a perm properly and processing it correctly, takes what it takes in terms of time. Also doing a great color service will take a certain amount of time.
Organic Salon Systems approach is much more natural and gentler on the hair, your client, and the environment. The benefits of those aspects to the fabric you work with, your clientís hair, as well as their comfort and health, and yours should be obvious.
There are so many things that are speeded up these days, mostly through the introduction of chemicals in various forms. Growing of cattle and poultry and the ability to get a hamburger cooked in 60 seconds are examples of ways to speed things up for consumers. Most of these things ultimately bear a price to pay primarily in terms of long time health implications.
I personally think all of us have to make a choice about speed verses quality. One thing I know with certainty is when you give people a superior hair result even if it takes a little longer to get there, they will be happy. They will also happily pay for these superior results and give you their support.
There is obviously a demand for hairdressing in the sector of the market that is concerned primarily about speed. If thatís where you operate and you are happy to do it, so be it. But, I still believe you should be concerned about your clientís hair, health, and comfort as well as your health and the environment you work in.
Iím pleased to say, as a company, we are to be able to offer hairdressers the ability to at least have a more natural choice. It may be a tad slower than ammonia hair color with accelerators added to them. But, I sincerely feel this is a very small price to pay for quality and integrity. I believe your clients would agree, too.
Hilton Bell 2008 President/Creative Director International Hair and Beauty Systems
Hair Color Technical Information
Hair Color Information
As a professional hair dresser you know better then anyone that hair coloring is part art and part science. Below is some relevant hair color information that you will find valuable.
Human hair is a hard, fibrous substance with a delicate balance of protein and moisture. Unlike skin, hair is not living tissue and therefore does not have the ability to repair itself.
It is in the delicate inner structure of the hair where we find moisture (water) along with the hard and soft protein. On the outside of the hair shaft there are 7 to 11 layers of interlocking scales which are called the cuticle (see microscope photo on the left). These form a protective barrier and hold the structure in place.
Protein levels in healthy hair are around 83%-87%; moisture levels are about 3%. The balance is made up of sugar, salt and trace elements. It is essential that this balance is maintained to keep hair healthy, strong and in good condition.
This is why care must be taken to protect its condition and use the most natural and gentle products that are available, such as the Organic Care Systems range of products. This professional range is specifically formulated to work in conjunction with Organic Color Systems.
It is essential to understand what products are, what is in them, and how they work in order to maintain the good condition of both your hair and scalp. Products that can maintain the natural pH balance should be seriously considered.
The Importance of Restoring the Correct pH Balance After Coloring
The pH scale is a measure of acidity and alkalinity which ranges from 0 to 14 with 7 (pure water) being neutral. The natural pH level of hair and the surface of your skin is between 4.5 and 5.5.
The ideal level for our hair (and skin) is between 4.5 - 5.5. Above 5.5 the hair starts to open and below 4.5 it starts to contract.
To color hair permanently we have to lift the cuticle and allow permanent color into the hair. The only way to do this is to alter the acid-alkaline balance (the pH balance) of the hair.
There are two ways to do this and open the cuticle to allow coloring to take place.
The first is to suspend the hair in a substance such as ammonia. This takes the hair well beyond its normal pH and causes the hair to swell considerably. This is effective for attaching color but has numerous side effects including damage to the hair. (See the photo of hair under the microscope.)
The second, more natural method is to suspend the hair in a substance that acts as a moisturizer. This softens the cuticle and, because it does not take the hair as far from its natural pH, causes it to open rather than swell.
The pH of Organic Color Systems' colors is 8.5 to 9.2. This is a stable pH level Ė unlike ammonia-based colors which can go as high as 11+ when you add heat.
Our system does not take the hair as far from the natural pH balance and it is able to close the cuticle down when shampooing and applying conditioner. This gives the hair a natural feel and shine.
Because there is no ammonia or ammonia substitutes there is no damage to the hair and the hair maintains its natural moisture and protein balance.
More About Ammonia
Ammonia not only negatively affects the cuticle of the hair, it also damages an amino acid or protein called tyrosine which is found inside the hair shaft.
Tyrosine is responsible for producing melanin (the natural pigment in the hair shaft). When the Tyrosine is damaged the hair's ability to hold onto color (the hair's own natural color or pigments introduced into the hair) is greatly reduced or eliminated altogether.
When you introduce color into the hair shaft without damaging the tyrosine the color will last longer because the color has something to bond to. Without ammonia the results are superior in every way.
Ammonia Free Hair Color Portland Oregon
Why you donít Want or Need Ammonia in your Hair Color
by Hilton Bell
Ammonia affects different people in different ways. I've seen this happen in salons time and time again.
Client Number One has her hair colored with a product that contains ammonia apparently without any side effects at all. Client Number Two has her hair colored using the same product and ends up with headaches, stinging eyes, trouble breathing or a nasty rash. Or ends up in bed feeling terrible.
I've talked with many hairdressers and hundreds of clients about this and the most common answer goes something like this: "It's the price you have to pay if you want your hair colored".
Often the clients will add "Thank goodness I don't have to get it done every week". Or "I figure every 6 or 8 weeks can't do too much harm."
But I say "If ammonia can affect our clients like this, then what about the hairdressers and colorists who are breathing it in every day?"
There's plenty of information available about the adverse effects of ammonia. It's no secret. Ask any doctor or check it out on the Internet. You'll find statements like this:
"Inhalation of lower concentrations in the air or solution can cause coughing, and nose and throat irritation. It can also produce rapid skin or eye irritation. Ammonia's odor provides adequate early warning of its presence, but ammonia also causes olfactory fatigue or adaptation, reducing awareness of one's prolonged exposure at low concentrations".
At the same time as ammonia is getting into your eyes and lungs, it's getting into the cuticle of the hair. In fact the shaft of hair is starting to resemble Swiss cheese (see the photos below).
Ammonia not only negatively affects the cuticle of the hair, it also damages the amino acid or protein called Tyrosine which is found inside the hair shaft. Tyrosine is responsible for producing melanin (the natural pigment in the hair shaft).
When the Tyrosine is damaged, the hair's ability to hold onto color is greatly reduced (or eliminated altogether). When you introduce color into the hair shaft without damaging the Tyrosine the color lasts longer because the color has something to bond to.
The main purpose of this web site isn't to put down ammonia. It is to simply to inform professional hairdressers and colorists about a product that is readily available that doesn't contain any ammonia at all. And at the same time gives better results.
Better color. No fading. Happier, healthier clients. And happier, healthier colorists.
Alan Mandarano Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org or 971.533.5359 tel. 931.233.5359 fax.