Newport Beach has dozens of hair salons, but Susan Aikins-Farhang’s Honey Hair Studio prides itself on offering clients an organic approach to traditional hairstyling.
Honey Hair Studio, which celebrated its 12th anniversary on Valentine's Day, recently switched to completely organic and all-natural hairstyling, opting for products and treatments that are ammonia-free and contain only 100 percent certified organic ingredients.
Aikins-Farhang, a member of the Holistic Chamber of Commerce, has always been health-conscious, but she says 29 years in the salon world exposed her to the dangers of many standard products and treatments.
“I’m shocked that people think its normal for their skin to get red and itchy, or for their hair to break or fall out after a treatment,” Aikins-Farhang said.
The treatment that spurred Aikins-Farhang to switch to organic was the now-controversial Brazilian Blowout, a method that temporarily straightens hair. Although some Brazilian Blowout brands label themselves as having only two percent formaldehyde or less, Aikins-Farhang says the application process releases fumes containing 14-16 percent formaldehyde.
“I was wearing a mask, my client was wearing a mask, and you had to get up and air the place out afterwards because of the fumes. People’s skins were peeling, their scalps were peeling, the fumes would burn the back of your throat,” Aikins-Farhang explained. “I probably did about 10 and then I just couldn’t anymore.”
Canada has already banned the treatment on the grounds that it can cause cancer and other health complications, she said.
After researching for a better and healthier way to run her salon, Aikins-Farhang decided on products including Organic Hair Color systems, the world’s first professional use hair color system that is 100 percent organic, vegan and ammonia-free.
Honey Hair also offers Keragreen, an organic, nontoxic Brazilian Blowout, as well as an agave smoothing treatment. The air in the studio is also purified with essential oils, and clients are offered water enhanced with ginger, cinnamon and orange oils to boost energy and metabolism.
“I guess we do things a little differently here,” Aikins-Farhang said.
While many salons seem to prefer standard products, Aikins-Farhang says she has found that natural ingredients work just as well, and don’t cause any harmful side effects. Corn replaces harsh alcohols, the potassium from bananas lifts color rather than bleach, and coconut oil naturally balances PH content. And the fumes? None (unless you mind smelling like geraniums). Aikins-Farhang says everything offered is safe for virtually everyone, including pregnant women.
The salon already has clients commuting from out of the county for the unique experience.
Honey Hair Studio is located at 120 Tustin Ave. in Newport Beach. First-time clients will receive a complementary haircut with the purchase of a color treatment.