UPDATE: Since this post has been posted, we have been updated that all the products used were in fact vegan! YYAAYY!!
I'm not someone who really takes care of their hair, or truly knows what to do with it half of the time. As someone who is extremely into makeup and wanted to go to beauty school, you would think that I would like doing my hair, or at least know how. But on the contrary. That was one of the main reasons I chose not to go to beauty school, and just ended up coloring my hair random colors from time to time. I've had blue, I've had green....I loved having red, and there were too many times to count, when I had blonde.
But for the past 2 years, I did nothing. I just cut it straight, some layers inside to help with it being heavy and that was it. Super simple, super boring. For people that know me, they were surprised that 1. I let my hair grow so long and 2. I hadn't done anything to it. I think part of me was nervous to take the plunge and do something refreshing and different, especially given my status of off and on jobs. That was until last month, when I finally decided to take the plunge.
I stumbled upon a new cruelty free hair salon, and saw that they were following me. I immediately messaged them and asked to work together. To my surprise, the owner was following me on all her accounts. I was one of the first people she followed when she went vegan. I already had a great feeling about this. I shared pictures of what I wanted and had a consultation.
I walked in and it's not only gorgeous in there, but the owner, Heather, is one of the friendliest people. Don't let her resting bitch face fool you! I sat down and we went over the whole process, the cost of each step and how long it would probably take. We set up the appointment. Usually a consultation takes about 20 minutes, but we chatted about all things vegan, the products she has and works with at the salon, and life in general.
A couple weeks later, I went into my appointment. I was BEYOND nervous. I mean, realistically, I hadn't done this in so long, I was scared I would hate it, or it wouldn't come out right, or it wouldn't look good on me. But I ignored all my anxieties about it, sat in the chair and let Heather and Jax do their work for the next 7 hours. Yes, this took 7 hours.
It started with Jax giving me a dry cut. I saw mounds of hair getting cut and my heart was sinking a bit. I had stated I was OK with cutting a lot of hair, but seeing it on the floor made me feel super scared. Alas, we went into color. Once color was done, we finalized my cut, and then Jax gave me an amazing blow and subtle curls. The moment I saw the final result, I cried. I was so happy. All the anxiety I had built up, was just released once I saw my dream become a reality.
Now, here is the information you need to know if you go to Amethyst Hair Studio. All the products used are 100% cruelty free, including the fake leather seats, the cleaning supplies used, and the founder herself. With that said, the brand Davines, used to dye, bleach, and wash the hair, is not 100% vegan. That information was disclosed to me immediately by Heather herself. I went into getting my red hair, knowing it wasn't vegan, and I'll explain to you why I did it.
Davines is actually a brand that has a farm, and I know you may already be making assumptions about where I'm going with this, and you're probably right. They use some of the animal ingredients ethically sourced from their farm. There is no animal cruelty, no testing, no harming, and no hurting. Just like having a dog or cat in the house. And while you may say, 'their hair is not ours to use', I can also argue, cats and dogs are not ours to home. I'm not a perfect vegan, but I make conscious decisions I feel OK and at peace with doing. In the end, it's the same as supporting a brand that is CF, but not 100% vegan.
The choice is yours, but knowing that there is a badass vegan business owner, changing the game for cruelty free and vegan hair styling, is an amazing change in itself. Amethyst Hair Studio is located in Verona, and you should totally go support this amazing company! Below is a mini Q&A with the owner herself.
Get to know Heather!
What made you want to open a cruelty free and vegan hair salon?
Firsthand, after holding these bunnies that had been tested on and seeing the numbers written in Sharpie on their ears, like they were nothing more than objects, I immediately switched my product lines. I was originally going to use all Wella, which I've used for the past 6 years, but changed even before I had a salon. But it wasn't worth it to me after seeing it.
How did your veganism start?
I was having health issues and a friend of mine told me going vegan will help. She made me watch Coswspiracy and What The Health, and I turned vegan the very next day.
What has been the hardest part of owning and promoting a CF and vegan business?
The hardest part is a lot of people not understanding why animals even matter. I've had sales reps laugh at me, tell me I'll never find certain products that are cruelty free, etc. That is why I educate my employees so they can educate our clients to be more compassionate in their product choices.
What made you decide to sell and support Davines over all the other brands?
I chose Davines Sustainable Beauty because it had both a styling line and color line. Everything is made from food grade plastic, recyclable and biodegradable. Everything is plant based, each product has a special ingredient: melon, tomatoes, olives, almonds, lentil seeds. Everything is good for your body, and good for your hair. The hair color is made with quinoa! I wish the color was vegan, but I will change that. They come from a very small family farm in Italy. Also, almost all of their products are Zero Impact! Their website is full of information.
As a vegan, what's your favorite thing to eat?
My favorite thing to eat is a bunch of random vegetables roasted with garlic. Very simple but so good! I also LOVE any vegan version of a Reuben.
What do you hope to see from your business in a year?
I hope that more salons will follow my lead on the cruelty free movement. You don't see a lot of them in the area I'm in. Also, how can you make people feel beautiful by using products that are harming other beautiful creatures?
*Disclaimer: All products BUT the dye's, are vegan. None of the products are tested on any animal.