Are herbal and organic hair treatments the future?
In our sadly, still predominantly non-vegan world, it can be difficult to find a hair salon that offers plant-based and organic hair treatments and products that are environmentally-friendly, and have also not been tested on animals.
And, all too often, the products that do exist are packed with synthetic chemicals that will only seek to harm our hair in the long run.
Upon finding a salon, we also question as to whether or not they care about their long-term impact on the planet.
Luckily, with the vegan population rising, and more of us becoming conscious of what we put onto our body, as well as into it, establishments that are offering these kinds of products are beginning to emerge – finally!
In fact, according to Mintel, vegan claims trebled in hair care between 2014 and 2018 in the UK, increasing from six per cent of all launches in 2014, to an impressive 20 per cent (one in five) in 2018.
Mintel’s Andrew MacDougall says that as times change, people “will want to align their beauty routine with the rest of their lifestyle.” And he’s right.
‘Creating beauty through nature’
Gennaro Dell’Aquila Salons (GA), based in London in Notting Hill and Wimbledon are one such salon chain embracing the power of plants, in fact, their very ethos – ‘Creating beauty through nature’ – embodies it. This philosophy is based around a deeper understanding of natural, curative products, as opposed to artificial chemicals.
GA Salon Notting Hill
Salon owner, Gennaro was no longer happy with the inescapable damage caused to hair during the chemical colouring process, as well as the effects of such nasties on the planet.
So, Gennaro decided to pioneer his own 100 per cent natural, plant-based alternative that results in effortlessly luxurious, healthy hair, and is also better for Mother Earth.
GA’s organic colour system is constantly being developed – their 20 signature blends are 100 per cent natural and organic, containing mixtures of over 90 different plants, flowers, roots and herbs.
Ingredients include, henna, walnut, chamomile, turmeric, hibiscus, rhubarb and indigo, to name a few. They also use the same ingredients to make their own natural after-care products, so that you can maintain your hair after leaving the salon.
Gennaro says of his ingredients: “We gather the highest quality of these plants from Italy, where a laboratory tests and sterilizes them, with bacteria tests in the Sapienza University of Rome – all without the use of animals.
“Our deep understanding of herbs and our decisions on whether to try new plants results from continuous experiments and education with natural ingredients. Annually, we visit an event at Bologna where we meet with other companies related to the organic lifestyle, and discuss benefits that could be extracted from different plants and then how they can be applied to hairdressing to give beautiful results.
“To create a colour blend, which is bespoke for each client, we go through a consultation, considering the condition of the hair, previous experience and expected results. Then, a decision is mostly taken on the spot – we mix the herbal powder with solely hot water, and this whole process is transparent.
“Each mixture has a different intensity, consistence and smell, and each one of them has a different destiny, too – some to cover grey hair, some to help with dry and dull hair, some to tone highlights, and some penetrate the scalp and regulate the sebum – we’ve got it all covered.
“GA Herbs is our statement and we will be developing these methods until we cover as much as conventional hairdressing services. We believe we can and should contribute to the environment and that’s why we’ve made it our philosophy.”
At the moment, GA’s herbal colouring processes cannot be used to lift hair (to create blondes), but GA can use their natural products after lightening treatments, like highlights, to restore the shine and condition of blonde hair, as well as tone it.
On top of all of this, for those of you that appreciate good coffee, they will serve you a delicious oat Americano for while you wait, if you ask for one.