It’s not often I’m bowled over by getting my hair done. I have high expectations of walking out like Beyonce and it just never seems to happen. Still not sure why. But after being invited for a complimentary blow-dry at The Glasshouse Salon in the so-cool-it’s-not-cool Hackney, I was genuinely lost for words at how my hair looked and felt afterwards. The brassiness was gone, it was visibly stronger yet softer, and I left feeling like my hair was never going to be the same again, for the better. I ended up buying nearly all of the products that were used in my hair that evening and I’ll 100% be buying the rest of the products when I visit again in a few weeks time. So I had to spend some time with Olivia to get the wealth of knowledge from her gorgeous blonde locks out onto paper so I could share the secrets of amazing looking hair with you. Introducing the founder of The Glasshouse Salon, Olivia Crighton.
What is Glasshouse Salon and why did you set it up?
Glasshouse Salon is a destination for all hair colour, cut and styling services. We incorporate naturally enriching products and sustainable practices. We’re big on keeping the hair in the best possible condition to help ensure the hair looks its best in and out of the salon.
I had been working in the hairdressing industry for over 10 years and had been living somewhat organically in terms of my food and lifestyle. The use of chemicals and irritants was becoming a problem for me in my working practices. I was on the look out for high performance alternatives, and upon moving to London in 2008 I discovered Organic Colour Systems; colour, care and styling products that contain gentle, natural ingredients and avoid harsh or damaging chemical additives. It’s even produced here in the United Kingdom! It was a safer alternative for myself, and in turn for my clients.
I spent the next 5 years freelancing as a stylist, working on editorials and doing education work for the company. I was noticing a huge interest and demand for hairdressing that puts the clients health and hair condition first, and It got to the point where I couldn’t keep up with the demand on my own, setting up Glasshouse was a natural next step.
Why should people choose natural/organic beauty products?
Initial reasons for pursuing this route were for my personal health and well-being, being mindful of the fact that what you put onto your skin gets absorbed into the blood stream and needs to be processed by the body. But once you start learning more however there are so many other factors, such as sustainability. By minimising synthetic and chemical ingredients and maximizing more biodegradable and ethically harvested ingredients, we are being much kinder to the planet. It’s also great to support smaller, more conscientious companies!
What advice would you give to people who are new to natural/organic beauty?
I think most of the barriers on trying products are based on preconceived ideas about their performance. I like to find the best products and stick to them, most of us occasionally get into a beauty rut, and have cupboards full of half used bottles. The beneficial results from minimising the use of dehydrating and irritating ingredients are hard to ignore, and a little bit of education can go a long way. Sometimes you just need to give it a go and let the results speak for themselves.
Do you have a daily beauty & hair routine, and if so, could you share it with us?
My beauty routine is fairly simple day to day; I cleanse, tone and moisturise. Sometimes I add in a a facial mask and/or a jade roller for a mini facial massage, using home made oils such as a caster oil base with a drop or two of lavender and rose essential oil. I can be prone to break outs, and the roller is design break-up and drain impurities through the lymphatic system, it also helps relieve tension in the facial muscles for a little mini facelift!
I do wear makeup most days, but the brands I use are good at wearing into the skin and when used correctly can look flawlessly natural. I start with a liquid mineral foundation by Jane Iredale, full of hydrating and repairing vitamins and minerals and even better it tends to last me for 6 months or more! It would be rare for me to not use at least a little mascara, I’m a fan of the clumpy lash look when I have patience to layer it up. I also often go for a strong lip and/or a little eye liner. My favourite brands for lips and eyes are Ilia, RMS and BellaPierre. I’ve recently become a fan of highlighters and illumnizers, I like that you almost wouldn’t notice it’s makeup but it gives such a healthy natural glow. I always finish everything off with a touch of Jane Iradale pure pressed mineral base to Matt down areas around my fore-head, nose and chin- I tend to be a little on the oily side so a quick powder helps with longevity. Other than that I don’t tend to get too carried away unless I feel like a little extra bronzer and a little blush using slightly varied tones of mineral powders.
In terms of hair I am all about the condition. Blow drying and styling is always much faster and easier when working with hair in good condition. I use a mixture of Sans [Ceuticals] Hydratant’s and the Organic Colour Systems PowerBuild range— all SLS and SLES free. I use minimal styling products other than Thermal-220 heat protector spray and occasional Leave In Conditioner (also by Organic Colour Systems). Once a week I do a PowerBuild Revamp reconstructor, I’m very blonde and my hair tends to get weak and limp, revamp contains wheat and and quinoa proteins that help to strengthen, thicken and add shine back into the hair.
What is the best piece of beauty advice you have ever been given?
Hmm, it’s hard for me to think back far enough, when I was I child I did professional ballet so was introduced to makeup fairly early on, it never felt like a foreign concept to me. And from working within the beauty industry for quite some time, I pick up new tricks from friends and makeup artists often! But one thing I learnt many years back (and has always stayed with me), is what you put in is what you get out. My best piece of advice came from a very knowledgeable sales assistant in the beauty department of an organic supermarket; She used the analogy of dehydrating foods such as bread, can be like running dry sponge through your system, where as fruits and vegetables often contain up to 90% water so are a great way to keep/get hydrated (not to mention all the great antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and repairing properties in fruit and veg). What we eat and what we do affects the hair and skin in a big way. If I’ve had a particularly stressful week or haven’t been eating as well (particularly when it comes to too much sugar) it always shows in my skin. Personally I also think the occasional detox can also be great for the skin, and gives the system a rest, even if it’s just swapping out one meal a day for a healthier alternative.
What are your top 3 favourite beauty & hair products?
Organic Colour Systems: PowerBuild range: Great to any kind of heat or chemically damaged hair. Powerful enough to stop over bleached hair from breaking!
Sans [Ceuticals] Activator 7 hair, face and body oil: It’s my all round hero product, naturally based and free from chemical nasties. It’s high in vitamin A to help with cell regeneration and can even reduce scarring. I use it all over my body in the evenings; I love the way it soaks into the skin.
Bella Pierre lipsticks: Formulated with natural waxes and mineral pigments, iron oxides and antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E. They feel super hydrating and last very well. My favourite colours are Sassy and Mandarina.
Can you share some top tips on glowing from the inside and out?
I believe you should always listen to your body, if I feel unwell or am breaking out I know something is usually going on inside and it might be time to reassess things or take a break. For me personally, I have regular acupuncture and massage therapy to keep good circulation and help break down toxins. I feel it’s important to be kind to your skin, it has its own regenerative properties and we should support it with the products we use instead of blocking it up.
Even if I’m really busy I always make sure I don’t skip meals, if I’m tight on time I instead throw together a green smoothie to take with me on the go. We recently did a series of smoothie recipes for the Glasshouse Journal and my favourite is the blueberry, kale and ginger one, it’s super filling and packed with some great skin food:
1 ripe banana, cut up and frozen
½ cup blueberries
2 teaspoons ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 cups kale leaves, loosely packed
1 cup almond milk
Pinch of ground cinnamon
What is the most exciting beauty invention you have seen this year?
Although it’s by no means a new invention I’ve been really excited to see a big increase in the use of coconut oil. It seems to be the beauty ingredient of the moment due to its high lauric acid content, a great provider of good fats. I also love the cleansing and antibacterial properties and it’s so hydrating for both skin and hair.
What are your plans for Glasshouse Salon in the future?
I’m always on the look out for new and exciting projects and collaborations. We plan to expand our beauty repertoire, and have recently introduced Saturday nail services that focus on the long-term health of nails, mirroring the Salon’s hair care ethos. We use polishes and gels that are free from the five nasty chemicals; toluene, formaldehyde DBP, BHA and solvent.
Our Kure Bazaar lacquers are also up to 85% natural and are created from a natural base of wood pulp, wheat, cotton, potatoes and corn. We will be retailing these and other natural beauty necessities on our new E-shop so our clients never have to go without between visits! We hope to always be learning and stay up to date and educated when it comes to natural and organic beauty, and share our hair, beauty and lifestyle musing though our online journal Glasshousejournal.co.uk.
Sentences to finish:
I love natural beauty products because… they’re a safer alternative that minimise compromising the hair or skin’s texture and condition.
If I could tell my 20 something self, one piece of beauty advice, it would be… put those tweezers down!
My favourite beauty quote is… beauty comes from within
My favourite beauty resource is… Pinterest for aesthetic inspiration but as I’m big on beauty from the inside, so I refer to healthy cookbooks often, my current favourite is ‘The Fresh Vegan Kitchen’ by Charlotte and David Bailey. It features recipes with plenty of delicious raw and super food ingredients.
To relax I like to get back to nature, the beach, the countryside, or take a hot bath and read a book.
Wowzers. I just love this interview! If you want to check out the salon and book in just click here. Honestly, it will be the best hair money you ever spend. If you’re also interested in buying the products, just give the salon a tinkle and they will be sure to help you out. Beautiful hair, here we come.