by Marlaina Donato
Kristen Vesely, of Pure Elements Organic Salon, in Albany, had been a seasoned stylist for almost a decade before she discovered the source of her severe, chronic sinus infections and lung problems. “My doctor pinpointed ammonia as the culprit and gave me an inhaler. Two weeks after using ammonia-free products, I no longer needed the inhaler and haven’t used it since,” marvels Vesely.
After doing research and learning that ingredients such as ammonia, sodium lauryl sulfate, fillers, parabens, synthetic dyes and formaldehyde commonly found in salon products might be human carcinogens, Vesely decided to invest in a significant change and opened the only organic salon in the area.
Pure Elements Organic Salon not only uses ammonia-free hair color and organic styling products, but is also committed to a chemical-free salon environment. From organic antimicrobial towels made from bamboo to non-VOC paint on the walls, eco-friendly styling capes to offerings of locally-supported organic teas and coffee, Vesely is proud to offer a luxuriously non-toxic space.
Going non-toxic in her professional life not only improved her health and ensured longevity in her career, but gave her clients a chance to experience the effectiveness and beauty of high-quality organic hair and skincare. “We do everything a traditional salon can do, just without the harsh and health-compromising chemicals. We have researched all the products we use in our salon to ensure that we are giving clients the least toxic products on the market,” says Vesely, who offers a spectrum of hair and highlighting options including current favorites. “We have a variety of traditional and fashion shades. Balayage, a painted-on natural highlighting technique, is popular right now and gives the hair a sun-kissed look. Rose-gold hair color is also trending, and we do that.”
Pure Elements also offers perms and a wide range of cuts for women, men and children, including master stylist cuts. French and European manicures and pedicures are done using a non-toxic, formaldehyde-free nail polish. For clients that want a little pampering, a menu of therapeutic massage is offered.
Styling products, including hair sprays, are non-toxic and as reliable as conventional brands. “Our pump and aerosol hair sprays hold up just as long as the traditional, chemical-laden ones. We do a lot of weddings and proms, so our hairsprays are up to the challenge,” says Vesely. From hair to makeup, complete bridal service packages for both bride and wedding party are available.
Pure Elements’ organic facials are skin-nourishing and range from blissful aromatherapy to soothing offerings for teenage skin. From steams and masks to anti-aging eye treatments, only the most reliable, natural ingredients such as grapeseed oil, fruit acids, vitamin C, aloe vera and pure, medical-grade hyaluronic acid are used. Specialty services, including waxing and spray tans, are popular favorites. “Our spray tans are organic, vegan, and paraben and gluten-free. Keeping in mind that everything we put on the skin goes into our body, why wouldn’t we want reliable and effective alternatives?” asks Vesely.
Men are always welcome at Pure Elements Organic Salon. Many products are unisex, including waxes and pomades.
To celebrate 10 years in business, the salon will be hosting a client appreciation day on April 6, 2019 with free samples and a gift basket raffle. After a decade of seeing gradual changes in the beauty industry, Vesely muses, “I am happy to see that other salons are following in our footsteps, because I think beauty comes from the inside, literally. Using healthier products helps to keep the inside healthier, so we are more beautiful on the outside. It goes hand-in-hand.”
Pure Elements Organic Salon is located at 1728 Western Ave. in Albany. For more information, call 518-608-5405 or visit Pure-Elements-Salon.com.
Marlaina Donato is a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.