Eco Chick Starre Vartan Visits Grace Heaven Salon

Posted by on Apr 13, 2009 in Blog

This is reproduced from Greenopia’s website.

Be sure to check out Starre Vartan’s Great New Book The Eco Chick’s Guide to Life-How To Be Fabulously Green

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Super Natural Hair Color: NYC’s Grace Heaven Salon
by Starre Vartan

I’ve been dying my hair red since I was 16, and I’m twice that age now. I started with semipermanent haircolors (both traditional drugstore fare and the 90’s stand-by, the bright and fantastic Manic Panic) and I took some good advice from SalonTouch Studio and moved onto permanent, experimenting my way through the mid- late 1990’s. Forearm-thick blonde chunks over bright red was one of my fave looks of all time, and went great with my giant jeans made more voluminous with the addition of fabric panels I inserted in the sides. Throughout college, post-college travels, and my first job in 2002, I held onto increasingly more ‘natural’ red hair (though thankfully my wardrobe style evolved as well).

But when the superlong hair trend came along in the last few years, I found that I wasn’t capable of growing my naturally-curly locks to follow along and I was bummed. Before I had started dying, my (boring brown) curly hair had easily brushed my waist. But now my hair was beat-up; straightening and years of dying had taken their toll, and I couldn’t grow my hair past armpit length before the ends started looking like something the cat dragged in. I had been using Aveda color for a few years, but even that was too harsh (and twice I even had a minor allergic reaction to it, and I’m not allergic to anything!). After all, the rest of my life was super-green (disclosure, I’m web editor for Greenopia); but my obsession with having red hair had kept me on a chemical haircolor path. (Yes, I had tried henna in the past, several times, and for some reason my hair wouldn’t pick up the color). So I decided to go more natural, and looked through Greenopia’s NYC Hair Salon listings. All green businesses in the listings are independently vetted for their ecofriendliness.

And that’s when I found Jane Webb, who owns Grace Heaven Salon, in the East Village in Manhattan. I took her my abused locks and she kept them red- but using natural herbal color. She chopped off all my destroyed ends (to my horror, natch) and gave me a lovely haircut to boot (in the picture above). And since then, I’ve been back twice, and each time my red is restored (with no weird sneezing or itching fits like I had previously), and it is in better shape than ever before. Seriously, I am growing my hair and the ends, even after two dying sessions and (some) straightening, have maintained their health. Overall, my hair is shinier, bouncier, and happier.Jane’s been doing the natural thing for about twelve years, so she’s not only an expert in herbal color and a great stylist, she’s also proven that her dedication to healthy, nontoxic haircare is long-standing; she’s not just following the trend now that organic and natural is the new hot thing. Her cozy salon on 6th St. smells like nature’s steam room when you walk in; all products used are incredibly natural and let the lucky Jane gets to work around aromatherapy all day. (An example: Instead of the typical silicone-based de-frizzer, Jane uses a mix of delicious-smelling essential oils to finish my hairstyles- it works beautifully!) There’s always interesting folks in and out of the salon, from magazine editors to vegan chocolate makers to young women who are pregnant (or looking to be) who know that natural is the only way to go when expecting, or expecting to expect!

Grace Heaven Salon is located at 435 East 6th Street, SUITE 3F, NYC, NY 10009