Saturday, August 21, 2010

Review: Hybrid Hair & Detox Spa, Kitchener (and the Sullivan & Sawyer Giveaway Winner!)

I'm a fairly low-maintenance kind of girl these days. While I spent my early twenties bleaching the life out of my hair and caking on pounds of makeup every morning, these days it takes a night on the town to get me to even reach for mascara. While this is partly due to the fact that I would rather spend as much of my mornings before work in bed and not in front of the bathroom mirror, it's also because I have had some trouble accessing earth-friendly items to use for this purpose. Not to mention that I do think it's important to let your skin breathe every now and again, and since I've applied my "no makeup on weekdays" rule, my skin has been doing much better.

But let's be honest, a girl could use some pampering now and again. Back in the day I was known to frequent a spa or two, spending copious amounts of money on highly questionable hair chemicals. And admittedly, though I have been vegan for a very long time I have not been as diligent with my hair products as I have been with my diet and clothing. While the dyes that have been used on my hair in the past have technically been "vegan friendly" (in that they contained no known animal products and were not, to my knowledge, tested on animals) they were hardly earth friendly. Being the hypochondriac I am I was convinced I was subjecting myself to a long battle with cancer every time I sat down in the salon chair (who knows, maybe I was) and after leaving the salon I would have headaches for days. I would literally have to wash my hair immediately afterwards, sometimes a few times, to make the headaches go away.

The turning point for me was when I went dark, after years and years of being blonde. The first time I washed my hair all the residual dye was creeping from my scalp and going down the drain and I panicked. What am I doing, putting these incredibly harsh chemicals down the drain and subsequently back into our drinking water?

I started doing the math. The scary kind of math when you try and calculate your contribution to the plight of our earth based on the number of times you've had your hair dyed since you were fourteen years old. It was time for a change.

This change terrified me. Honestly, I say it once and I'll say it a million times: the food aspect of going vegan is the easy part. The product aspect is far more difficult. First and foremost, so many hair products don't even list what's actually in them. Secondly, unlike food, it's far more difficult to take the DIY route and make your own hygiene products and cosmetics. Thirdly and although you know better than to trust big business advertisements, it can be scary to go against the grain when it comes to your looks. It's vain. Absolutely. But we're all friends here and we can admit to being a bit fickle now and again.

Regardless of all that, if I was going to continue calling myself an environmentally-conscious vegan it was time to set aside vanity and I was fully prepared to do so, thinking that grey hairs would start creeping up all over the place and I would age fifty years in a day or something (if you haven't realized my propensity to be extremely irrational on a daily basis, you haven't been reading my blog for very long).

And then I googled "vegan hair kitchener waterloo" and low and behold, Hybrid Hair & Detox Spa popped into my life. Kitchener-Waterloo's first earth-friendly hair salon located in the adorable Belmont Village area of Waterloo.

I called them immediately and I had my first appointment yesterday afternoon.

My first impression was that everyone was really, really friendly. My second impression was, "WOW these people really do walk the talk".

These days, so many folks throw around the terms "environmentally-friendly" and "green" without truly knowing what they mean. Or even caring what they mean. These terms have become marketing ploys like any others - catchy gimmicks used to lure people in by making them think that they are bettering the planet based on "green" labels and extensive marketing strategies as opposed to actual results for the earth.

This could not be further from the truth when it comes to Hybrid. The folks at this salon actually care about the planet and those of us who reside on it and that is evident from the moment you walk in the door.

The salon is bullfrog powered. They rely on natural light when they can, utilizing the beautiful and enormous windows all over the salon. Their products are completely and totally free of all harsh chemicals and preservatives and are plant-based (I think my stylist said that the hair dye she used on me was made from a broccoli-like vegetable?! How cool!).

And the best part is that your appointment includes a scalp massage of the finest proportions.

Their hair dryer and flat iron are even green, made from recycled materials and soy inks. Seriously! And they offer a refill program for their shampoos and conditioners to cut down on plastic waste.

And the best part of it all is that I was assuming that I would have to make a great sacrifice by going green with my hair routine. In hindsight, I don't know why I thought this. It's pretty ignorant of me really. I guess I should really watch my mouth when I get irritated with folks who think eating vegan is too difficult. But honestly, it was the best salon experience I have ever had. The colour is exactly what I wanted: dark but still warm. It actually cost less than the previous salons I've attended. And my hair is straighter than it's ever been in my life.

Can we take a moment and acknowledge how straight my hair is?

If you know me in real life, you'll know that I have this ridiculously thick and curly mop of a mess on top of my head. I have so much hair. I rock bedhead on a daily basis and front like I intended to, but seriously, there are days that I cannot get even a wide comb through my hair. I put on a thick headband and avoid mirrors for the day.

My entire life was spent longing for long, pin-straight hair. I grew up in the 90s, when the world expended an enormous amount of energy worshiping Jennifer Aniston/"Rachel" straight hair. My hair stood no chance (regardless of the fact that I would take an actual clothes iron to it on a daily basis. AN ACTUAL CLOTHES IRON. Teenagers these days don't understand the privilege of ceramic hair straighteners).

So let's take a minute and look how straight my hair is in the above picture. And that was nothing more than a little planet-based product, a blow out, and a wee bit of flat ironing. Love!

In conclusion, if anyone wants to spoil me, a gift certificate for Hybrid Hair & Detox Spa should do the trick. And for those of you looking to green your hair routine, give them a call and I guarantee you won't be disappointed. A special thank you to Erin for the amazing cut and colour and Stephanie for the wash/condition and scalp treatment. It's so refreshing to interact with folks who act on what they believe in and who take risks to turn their values into reality and into something that we all benefit from - as such I, without a doubt, give Hybrid Hair & Detox Spa the This is Vegan: Seal of Approval!

I wish I could give to them twice because it seems like once is not enough for how great this place is.

The green revolution is taking over!

Hybrid Hair & Detox Spa
678 Belmont Ave, Suite 202
Kitchener, ON N2M 1N6
(519) 886-8624


As you can see, yesterday I was too busy getting my scalp massaged to even think about sitting by the computer (can you honestly blame me?) so I am a little bit late in announcing a winner for the Sullivan & Sawyer Baby Co. giveaway. And the winner is....

AMANDA THOMAS, who entered via Facebook
Congratulations, Amanda! Send me an email at and you will receive information on how to redeem your $30.00 store credit.


Addicted to Veggies said...

Love this post!!

Jupiter Chiropractor, Palm Beach said...

Wow nice hair!

Bliss Doubt said...

I always enjoy your posts Mary. I use the Whole Foods house label shampoo and shower gel. They're more expensive than conventional products, but the labels say the things I want to see, "no parabens, no phthalates, no animal testing", and they do come in the gigantic bottles, and cost a lot less than some of the good products that are out there. The mint eucalyptus really wakes me up in the morning, though some think it smells like disinfectant. I rotate it with the citrus, the lavender and the unscented.

Amber and Tanuki said...

Thanks for posting the link for

I've been hoping for a place like this for years and funny enough have worked down the street from them the whole time!


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