My Non-Toxic Journey - NVBL

My Non-Toxic Journey

I had always been into health and self-care and was super careful about what I put into my body. It never occurred to me to consider what I was using on the outside of my body. I was aware of the holistic beauty products that had been around for a while but always thought of them as natural grocery store products that didn’t actually work. 

Co-founder Margaret Yeates early career in beauty industry

In the beginning

I started in the beauty industry when I was 18 years old. I worked my way through college at the beauty counters at Nordstrom. After graduating with a degree in business and a masters in education, I decided to stay in the industry and pursue hair and aesthetics. Even with my employee discount, I was spending a small fortune on my beauty routine. I was using the most expensive product lines on the market and rarely questioned the ingredients I was slathering onto my skin. 

Baby steps

When we opened our salon in 2010, Parabens and Sulfates were buzzword ingredients linked to health issues. It was an easy choice for us to avoid products with these particular ingredients. Unfortunately, it didn’t occur to me that other harmful chemicals could be in the brands we collectively trusted. I had no idea the thousands of toxic ingredients that continue to be legal in the US but have been banned by the EU for decades.

Co-founder Margaret Yeates with daughter

A life changing experience

It wasn’t until I had my second child that my eyes were opened. I remember just not feeling right. At first, I thought it was postpartum depression, but even 6 months after giving birth I still didn’t feel like myself. I had debilitating anxiety, hair loss, insomnia, and extreme weight loss. (Not the ‘my jeans are kind of baggy’ type of weight loss, but the ‘wow you’ve aged 20 years overnight’ type). I saw several doctors who simply prescribed medication for anxiety, but I knew myself and my body and was certain my problem was physical. While trying to find answers to fix my health, I discovered the Environmental Working Group, as well as some more “woo woo” but beneficial resources such as The Medical Medium. My perspective was forever changed.

Through my research and with the help of a Naturopath, I healed my body and mind. After this experience, I was motivated to take what I learned a step further. I quickly switched to exclusively ‘clean’ products. At first, I didn’t care how effective they were, I just wanted toxicity out of my life. However, I soon found that thanks to consumer demand, clean products that performed as well as, if not better than the mainstream brands, were now available.

Mainstream products use harsh chemicals and waxes that puff up the skin temporarily or coat the hair. In contrast, when naturally nourished with healthy, plant-derived, GMO-free ingredients, your skin and hair will thrive long term!

Learn more about why non-toxic products are beneficial. 

New Vintage Beauty Lounge salon in Portland, Oregon

Going non-toxic in the salon

Becoming a mother has made me pretty low maintenance. While having wet noodle hair is no biggie for me, my team of professional stylists and make-up artists expect results for their clients. If I wanted to replace the products at our beauty boutique, I needed to find products that really worked. Although the “clean beauty revolution” has made strides, it’s still not commonplace to see non-toxic products in salons. Nonetheless, we were driven and knew we had to make a change in our business. 

Almost overnight, we replaced all of our popular luxury hair brands with cleaner versions. It was financially difficult. We lost a lot of money, replacing thousands of dollars of inventory, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Our clientele comes to us because they want to look their best. We want to deliver amazing results and also help them feel their best. 

The NVBL shop

The health of our clients, stylists, and customers is too important to compromise. This is why we started our online shop. Our hope is that by simplifying the process of conscientious shopping, we make it easier for you to incorporate non-toxic beauty products into your everyday routine. 

Cheers to a healthier you,
Margaret Turner

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