Albuquerque, NM There has been a dramatic increase in environmental and chemical sensitivities over the past 15 years, which may be a result of the virtual chemical industry most of us have bottled up in our bathrooms.
Beauty has grown to a $41.5 billion industry, according to the Natural Marketing Institute. Between shampoo, toothpaste, soap, deodorant and lip balm, men and women alike use anywhere between 10 and 15 different personal care products everyday without hesitation.
Industrial chemicals are the basic ingredients in the majority of personal care products. Approximately 10,500 unique chemical ingredients are found in these products including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, endocrine disruptors, plasticizers, degreasers and surfactants.
Jan Garcia, 52, saw the effects of chemical overload firsthand. For 25 years she battled open sores that covered her scalp with prescription drugs and natural and homeopathic remedies, but nothing worked.
"It was embarrassing to go to a salon to get my hair cut," says Garcia who lives in Albuquerque. "Most stylists were afraid to touch my head, fearing they would make it? worse."But everything changed for Garcia the day she wandered into a local Albuquerque salon, Tijeras Hair Company. For the first time she noticed her scalp did not burn while she was getting her hair dyed. And after three months her strange eczema problem vanished.
The secret remedy that alleviated Garcia's chemical irritation was bottled up in the salon's own organic shampoo called Tijeras Organic Alchemy.
Tijeras owners Jacqueline and Elizabeth Asher, a dynamic mother-daughter team developed their own line of hair care products four years ago when they became aware of the increased sensitivities.
"More and more of our clients had irritations on their scalps and what seemed to be an extreme sensitivity to certain hair dyes, shampoos and conditioners," says Elizabeth Asher. "That's when I really became aware of the amount of chemicals we were using, and that most people use everyday, and just thought this can't be good."
Asher and her mother started exploring natural products but couldn't find anything that gave the hair that salon look their customers came to them for.