Bye, Chemicals, Hello Organic: A Salon Chat with Hello Curls
Curly Hair Artist Beverly Turner is the picture of health. She’s tall and lean, with a child’s laugh and gorgeous mermaid waves. You’ll see her biking through Sacramento in the morning on her way to the salon, curls clipped under her helmet. But she wasn’t that healthy 12 years ago, surrounded by hormone disrupting chemicals and respiratory irritants in cosmetology school. She fought chronic bronchitis and painful dermatitis and knew perms, additives and chemicals were the cause. So she took control of her professional life and opened her own organic salon.
Today Beverly celebrates the grand opening of her third reincarnation of Hello Curls Salon. She’s back in Sacramento, California, in a retro cool, eco-friendly space where she teaches and preaches curl-ology, flour sack plopping and fends questions about the vintage perm machine in the corner (ironic, right?).
“Our hair is the barometer of what is going on inside our bodies, both mentally and physically. If we respect/love/honor ourselves, we are going to respect/love/honor other people and our environment,” she tells us. Here’s our convo with this “passionate curl nerd,” former wig maker and bicoastal curl goddess (she still maintains a station in Virginia!).
Innersense: Why are organic products important to you?
Beverly: There is no government agency that protects consumers; the industry is self-regulated and cosmetic products do not need to be tested for safety. Industrial farming practices and toxic pesticides do provide higher yielding crops, but at what price? I don’t want residual pesticides and herbicides in my body, because if it is strong enough to kill a bug or a weed it certainly isn’t going to benefit my health.
Innersense: How has using organic beauty products and natural ingredients changed your hair, skin, mentality and focus as a stylist?
Beverly: What goes on my body is just as important as what goes in my body. Our skin, our largest organ, is really efficient at absorbing anything; chose wisely! I don’t get sick easily and if I do, I recover quickly because I am not harming my body with unnecessary chemicals or harmful ingredients.
Hairdressers, as a group, have one of the highest cancer rates. By tenfold, we are exposed to more chemicals than the average consumer. While I was on maternity leave in the summer of 2007, the stories of hairdressers dying due to exposure from the vapors of keratin blowouts were in the news. When one company started marketing a “safe and formaldehyde-free” version, I had clients call me at home to see if the new line would work for them.
I called the technical support center and I explained I was a new mom and breastfeeding. The employee paused and said, “Our product isn’t for you. It isn’t formaldehyde free, it is possible for the chemicals to get passed on through breastmilk.” I was enraged that the company promoted a safe alternative but it was all a toxic smoke screen. It was then that I started to report on product safety in my newsletters to clients.
Innersense: How do you apply your values in your work environment and with your clients?
Beverly: Natural, non-toxic, eco-friendly products absolutely tie in to healing and nurturing naturally curly hair. This quote hangs in my studio, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” I nurture my weirdness and sense of play and it comes out at my salon. My space is peaceful, serene and welcomes everyone home. Wearing my hair curly, the choice and intention of being who I am, speaking out and supporting others to be their natural selves and providing a safe and healing place for people to let their hair down supports the quote.
Innersense: We look great in your new space.
Beverly: Innersense goes above and beyond my expectations for non-toxic ingredients, eco-friendly and ethical business practices, and it’s the BEST performing line I have ever used on myself and on my clients. I love the high concentration and efficiency; it makes organic and sustainable ingredients obtainable for my clients. The scent is a delight; the cold-pressed and distilled essential oils smell amazeballs.
I am constantly learning new ways to use and combine the line. I appreciate that the line has core products that can be custom mixed and layered to work on any texture and any age. One line can be used on baby fine straight hair all the way up to thirsty, coarse or super curly hair.
Innersense: What is your favorite Innersense Organic Beauty product?
Beverly: Color Radiance Conditioner. The foundation for healthy curly hair starts with hydration. The conditioner makes my job as a curl specialist easy. The immediate benefits and instant results help my clients gain self confidence; their curls feel great, naturally slick and smooth without the WD40 slime feel of traditionally marketed products.
My favorite part of a new client appointment is the joyfully shocked reaction as they touch their hair, how their hair is supposed to feel, for the first time. Most curly people are accustomed to using a mountain shaped blob of conditioner. I tell my clients to start with one tablespoon and work their way down to a smaller dollop as their hair will require less conditioner over time. Yes, I have a deep passionate affection (obsession) for Innersense conditioners!
Innersense: You only do curly hair at Hello Curls. Tell us about that.
Beverly: I want People of Curl to feel welcome and safe in my salon. I only accept new clients that want to wear their hair curly and agree to use products and styling practices that improve the health of their hair. I don’t just cut hair. I develop a professional relationship of trust and advice. I am there for my client’s hair journey as it is influenced by changes in their personal lives. I am honored to help a client adjust and cope with cancer treatment, career advancement or personal reinvention.
Because I am exclusive to curly hair, potential clients know that I will not try to offer any service that could damage their delicate tresses. As a curly haired person, I know how scary going to a new stylist can feel. I do not pick up my scissors or start touching a client’s hair before I see them relax and I have their permission to begin.