The Hive Salon: An Exclusive Interview

by The Ingredient Critic on April 18, 2011

Photo by: Jade Patrick

Ingredient Critic: The Hive Salon is making itself known as the (virtually) non-toxic / chemical free salon for the Twin Cities area. What initiated this interest in non-toxic ingredients and how did that lead to starting a salon with this motto?

The Hive Salon: I guess first thing is to define non-toxic and chemical free. We don’t claim to be completely free of toxins or chemicals because as a salon offering texture and color treatments, it’s virtually impossible. What we do claim is that we are as free of potentially toxic ingredients and are as natural as possible. We’re consistently looking into new and better approaches while still being able to give consistent quality results. Not only did we have to wean ourselves off of traditional products and treatments, but also we have to be able to convince our long-term clients that we aren’t a bunch of crazy hippies!

I (Jen) made the switch in my home products years ago – dryer sheets made me itch, lotions gave me rashes and the smell of most commercial cleansers were enough to make my head spin. After noticing how I would feel after a long day at work at the salon I began to look into healthier alternatives for clients and myself.

Ingredient Critic: The Hive Salon’s website says it is also interested in being environmentally friendly. Give examples of ways your salon is keeping up with “greener” practices.

Photo by: Jade Patrick

The Hive Salon: We are recycling maniacs – if it can be recycled it will be recycled! We also try hard to reduce our incoming waste as well. It’s hard when you can’t control what your packages are being padded in, so we save previous padding for when we need to do a return order. We also send love letters to companies that use those awesome compostable packing peanuts and ask companies who aren’t using them to consider the switch. Clients who bring back 5 previously purchased styling product containers ready for recycling get 50% off of that days product purchase. All of our waiting room furniture, and product displays are either used, vintage or both which helps cut down on landfill waste and indoor air pollution.

Product use in a hair salon is major as well. We try to only mix what we need to help slow the amount of chemicals that are getting dumped down the drain. We are also trying to find ways to reduce our energy and water use by unplugging electronics before the weekend, using compact fluorescent bulbs, and experimenting with low-flow shampoo nozzles. Oh, and Jen sometimes steals the used coffee filters and tea bags for her compost bin at home.

Ingredient Critic: What are some harmful coloring or perming ingredients that people should be more aware of? Why should they be avoided?

Photo by: Jade Patrick

The Hive Salon:

Ammonia is a major offender and we are delighted that our color and perm are both free of it. We’re not doctors or experts, but a quick google search will yield enough precautions. It’s a corrosive agent used to raise the PH level of hair, causing it to swell open and allow dye pigments through. Even one use is enough to cause damage to your hair, and over time can lead to split ends, breakage, and uneven color fade.

Ammonium Thioglycolate is a main ingredient used in hair relaxers and perms, and is also a known skin irritant, and the sulfur like odor it produces can be overwhelming.

Formaldehyde and its presence in smoothing treatments is a huge topic right now, I encourage your blog readers to check out our “discussions” section on our Facebook page to gain some insight. It’s bad enough that we breathe it in every day from furniture, exhaust, old paint etc., but some people aren’t aware of how intense the concentrations are in their keratin treatments.

Ingredient Critic: What are some of the hair care brands you are proud to carry at your salon? What makes them better than other typical hair care brands?

Photo by: Jade Patrick

The Hive Salon: We’re huge fans of the lines Simply Organic, Hair Fix, and John Masters Organics. These three lines all promote the use of organic ingredients and shun synthetic ingredients like silicone, fragrance, propylene glycol, parabens, etc. and are all made in the USA. Most “natural” products at your local retailer still contain some or all of these ingredients. The products we chose feed your hair and scalp the nutrients it needs to be healthy and won’t leave build-up or residues.

Ingredient Critic: Tell more about your organic curl treatment as well as your ammonia-free coloring services. Those sound amazing!

Photo by: Jade Patrick

The Hive Salon: We’re pretty excited about ammonia free hair colorant, too! There are actually quite a few lines available on the market right now, and we are looking into the new color from Simply Organic Beauty as a new line to potentially offer. Oil-emulsion, ammonia-free hair colorants use oils to slide under the cuticle layer of the hair, rather that ammonia to swell and lift the hair shaft. Since it’s not as aggressive as traditional hair color, the amount of lift you can get is reduced but the hair is left in the best condition possible.

Our perm contains organic chamomile, glycerine, and wheat protein. One thing we really want to stress is that if you are truly concerned about chemical exposure you shouldn’t get either of these services done; although, they have had most of the corrosive materials removed and are vastly superior to old methods, they still need some small amounts of chemicals in them to make them work. Our goal is to remain as transparent as possible about our color and texture ingredients, which is why we’ll never call ourselves a “natural” or “organic” salon. We are consistently researching safer alternatives and will continue to evolve our offerings as they become available.

Ingredient Critic: Your salon has agreed to provide a product discount for first time visitors to The Hive Salon that saw this interview on Ingredient Critic. Explain more.

The Hive Salon: That’s correct! The Hive Salon is offering 20% off of a first time product purchase to anyone who mentions this blog. Better yet – this offer won’t expire!

Ingredient Critic: That’s amazing!! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story with Ingredient Critic’s readers as well as offering such a nice incentive for them to stop in and meet you face-to-face. So, if you’re reading this – make an appointment to see them today! :)


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mandy March 31, 2012 at 3:48 pm

If you have an answer to ppd or tds-free color that actually works – I’ll make the 6 hour drive from Wisconsin. There are thousands of us out here who have had to stop coloring because there really are no safe or “organic” products to use.


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