Organic Roots Eco Salon Creates Beautiful, Healthy Hair

Lori Goldstein believes that customers shouldn’t have to sacrifice their health to look and feel beautiful.


As the owner of Organic Roots Eco Salon, in Skokie (formerly Upstairs Hair Affair, in Morton Grove), she uses only products that are organic and free of harsh toxins, such as ammonia and phenylenediamine (PPD), that are found in traditional hair dyes and shampoos.

“We use products from Italy that are the cleanest I’ve found,” she states. “The ingredients are grown and hand-harvested on a family farm in Bologna. They have owned the farm for 125 years and never allowed chemicals on the land.” These certified organic products achieve professional results without the toxic chemicals that may contaminate other hair salons.

Traditionally, hair care products are filled with chemicals such as formaldehyde, which has been linked to an increased risk for cancer and other major health concerns; thus many people experience itching, burning and coughing during and after use. “For years I was getting traditional Brazilian blowouts. I loved the way they looked, but my eyes would water and my throat would burn. People come in now and don’t believe our products are working because they don’t feel horrible, but then they love the results,” says Goldstein.

The products at Organic Roots are chosen because of their health benefits and effectiveness. The Organic Way (OWay) line of hair color, with added essential oils and active botanicals, is organic, biodynamic and fair trade. Davines is a color cream enriched with antioxidant carotenoids and melanin that is ammonia- and PPD-free. Cezanne Perfect Finish is a keratin-smoothing treatment that is formaldehyde and carbocisteine-free. The milk_shake products are made with real milk, fruit and other natural ingredients.

As one of few salons in the area that offer organic color, Goldstein finds that most of her clients come in for hair coloring, but Organic Roots is also a full-service hair salon. “We offer haircuts, color, highlights, deep conditioning and keratin treatments, organic perms, updos and hair extensions. We can really do whatever people ask for,” she says.

Everything about the Organic Roots Eco Salon is as healthy as possible, including LED lighting and composting bags that disintegrate in a landfill. Goldstein works with a company that repurposes hair clippings into mats that mop up oil spills. “When you walk in, it doesn’t smell like a hair salon. You wouldn’t know we’re doing hair color here,” she says.

Goldstein studied cosmetology in high school, bought her first salon when she was 24, and has been doing hair for more than 30 years. She notes, “Women used to all want to have the same hair style. Now I see that people are much more individualistic and are expressing themselves with color and highlights a lot more.”

Organic Roots serves people of all ages and backgrounds. Most of Goldstein’s clients are women, but she does have some men and sees children and people in their 70s. “A lot of young women are interested in natural products, but I have older people who say they’ve been eating organic food and using organic products since 1972 and don’t want to stop now,” she says. Because there aren’t too many all-organic salons around, people come from all over the Chicagoland area; some travel all the way from Bridgeport, Gurnee and Downers Grove.

Goldstein says it’s a lot of work to own her own salon, but very rewarding. “A lot of salons have so much drama,” she comments. “I wanted to create an environment that’s peaceful, healthy and stress-free. I absolutely love my clients—many of them become my friends—we go out to concerts and lunch together. I love that I get to talk and share with people while I’m doing their hair. It’s really fulfilling when people come in and maybe they’re not feeling great, but I get to help them feel beautiful and confident and looking their best.”


Organic Roots Eco Salon is located at 3417 W. Dempster, in Skokie. For appointments, call 847-423-2653. For more information, visit


Carrie Jackson is an Evanston-based writer and frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine. Connect at

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Green Surfing

Ecosia, a German Internet search engine, has planted more than 52 million trees in the last 10 years by diverting its advertising revenue to funding new trees worldwide.

Aqua Breakthrough

Chinese scientists have used ultraviolet light and graphitic carbon nitride to purify two and a half gallons of water in one hour.

Far Out

The outermost region of the Earth’s atmosphere has been newly determined to reach out much farther than the moon.

Baby Balking

The U.S. birthrate has been falling steadily, partly because prospective parents are worried about the increased frequency and intensity of storm, drought and wildfires, as well as about growing geopolitical unrest and resource scarcity.

Revamping Recycling

China, a major importer of recycled waste, is rejecting shipments contaminated by greasy pizza boxes, polyethylene-lined disposable coffee cups, and plastics like yogurt cups and butter tubs.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »This Month

Sign Up for North Shore Classic Half Marathon and 5k Race

RAM Racing will host the 38th annual North Shore Classic Half Marathon and 5k race June 5 in Highland Park, featuring the Illinois Elite Prize Purse for the third year.

Massage Therapy Conference Open to All

The Illinois chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association will host their 2016 annual meeting and conference this spring from April 15 to 17 at the Sheraton Lisle Hotel, in Lisle, Illinois.

Excellence RULES! Accept Nothing Less

There is a tendency for small business owners and entrepreneurs to unconsciously accept mediocrity in their businesses, and it’s costing them money and clients. We don’t do it on purpose, but we often settle for it by not being clear about the true value of our own business.

Raby Institute Offers New Vaginal Health Service

The Raby Institute is one of only four medical offices in Chicago to offer an innovative laser treatment, MonaLisa Touch, to relieve vaginal atrophy; a painful thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls, and is safe for women that cannot use hormones.

Fresh Delivery From Farm to Doorstep

Sandhill Family Farms, a partnership of farms and farming families serving more than 600 community supported agriculture (CSA) members in the Chicago area for more than 15 years, is introducing home delivery of vegetables, meat, dairy and eggs to the Chicago, Madison and Milwaukee areas for those that would like to become CSA members, but don’t live close to the farm or neighborhood pickup locations.CHI

Asparagus to Celebrate Spring

Asparagus is a favorite springtime veggie packed with nutrients and fiber that help eliminate toxins. Here are two simple recipes to enjoy the detoxifying benefits of asparagus.