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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Safe and Healthy Beauty at Fresh Organic Salon

Maureen Toohey

Most people come to Fresh Organic Salon because they want to look and feel beautiful and they’ve heard about the dangerous ingredients in traditional salon products. They want to take care of their hair, skin or nails without compromising their future health. Others are already battling serious health issues or are planning to get pregnant, and they want to enjoy the salon experience safely.

Whatever their mission, Fresh Organic’s owner, Maureen Toohey, makes it happen—not just by offering natural, nontoxic salon products and services, but also by sharing what she knows about the healthiest approach to beauty and personal care.

And that’s a lot. Since opening her Bedford Hills salon, Toohey has partnered with European companies that have been dedicated to natural health and beauty for more than 30 years. “These companies use the safest, purest ingredients in their personal-care products,” she says. “Because what’s applied to the skin enters the bloodstream, it’s important that beauty products protect the skin and diminish signs of aging without damaging the body.”

Toohey sat down with us recently to explain why we all should share that mindset, and about how she’s keeping her clients happy and healthy too.

What beauty products should we be worried about?

Traditional hair dyes contains known carcinogens. That’s one source of toxins in the beauty industry, but it’s not the only one. By the time most women walk out the door in the morning, they’ve put over 550 chemicals on their face and body without even realizing it—deodorant, body lotion, face cream, blush, perfume, eye shadow, lipstick, the list goes on. And then there’s the hairspray, the chemical-filled nail polish and the fake tans.

So what are the risks?

This is serious. Traditional leading professional products often contain aluminum, which can cause Alzheimer’s. Some beauty products contain chemicals that irritate the skin and even the internal organs. Some contain hormone disrupters like phthalates, which have been linked to fertility issues and even cancer. It’s crazy. Beauty shouldn’t be hazardous to your health.

Are there safe alternatives that work just as well?

Absolutely, and I’ve made it my life’s work to find them, wherever they are, and make them available to my clients. Every product we use in the salon—from hair and skin care to makeup—is made with the purest, safest ingredients and the most advanced technology, so the results are excellent. We also sell products for your hair, for your skin, for inside-and-out nutrition, and even a skin-care line for babies. It’s a full line of products for a holistic lifestyle.

Do you think the idea of organic beauty is catching on?

I know it is, because people are now seeking me out. Pregnant women and women in their childbearing years are coming to me because they know environmental toxins can show up in the milk ducts in the breast. People with rare cancers and lupus and other health issues are coming to me because they know the risks of using leading over-the-counter products. It feels good to be able to provide a service they’ve been seeking.

Do you address issues like hair loss and scalp problems?

That’s become an important part of our salon’s services. We analyze the scalp, discuss the client’s concerns and then detoxify and treat the scalp and hair to stimulate healthy hair growth.

We also talk about how nutrition affects their hair, and how to protect their scalp. People who have a flaky scalp assume it’s dandruff, but often they’ve burned their scalp in the sun, which can inhibit healthy hair growth. If you want to promote hair growth, you need to keep the scalp healthy: protect it from sunburn and don’t use toxic chemicals on it.

You also have to stay on top of fashion and beauty trends. What’s the latest?

The trending hair colors are sultry, rich browns and icy blonds. The Bohemian look is still on the scene as well, so hair has a natural look, soft and flowing, often with bangs. Mid-length is also trending. Then again, some women are going edgy rather than wispy. Especially as we approach the holidays, women are stopping in for a fresh look.

Fresh Organic Salon is located at 190 Route 117, Bedford Hills, NY. Appointments are recommended. Call 914.242.1928. For more info, email [email protected] or visit