Review from The Sparkling Blueberry about us.

Or I could give the title; A Hair Salon Like No Other.
There is this amazing little space in the hearth of The Pijp in Amsterdam, that I recently discovered, and it literally changed my whole view on “Good Hair Salons” and what I thought good service is. You want to know why? Read on!

I’m not a “blowout every week” type of hair salon client, I go three times a year (or less) but then I cut, colour and everything whats possible. I was used to the standard, not so personalized care, and the fast phased, sometimes frustrating work style of the hair stylists, who maybe had 10 clients before you, and 10 more after you and basically lost their passion about what they are doing and just do the routine.

Stamatia Gotsi, – Owner of the StaAn Studio – is different.

Stamatia (Hairdresser, Hair Practicioner, Life Coach – NLP) and her partner the Photographer André Bakker have worked together for many years and have decided to combine parts of their professions in StaAn Studio. So in the studio a lot is going on: portraits shoots, photography workshops, hairdressing, make-up lessons, styling and image workshops, etc.

The salon has an unique atmosphere, that makes you wish you could stay much longer than you were first intended to. For me the most amazing thing – after the worlds best head massage – was that, however I went there with an exact idea (to be blonde) I left with a beautiful, but very much healthier hair-do. Because Stamatia really took care of my hair. She explained me the dark side of going fully blonde from my quite dark base colour, she suggested me another option that was using less harmful products to reach a colour ,that suits me much more than the cold blonde I had in mind. The decision was in my hand. I chose to go on the healthier road, and I did not regret it for a single second.

Stamatia’s Philosophy: I believe in “less is more and do the right things” to have beautiful & healthy hair! Healthy hair is my passion! In my studio I want to take care of every individual guest depending on his or her wishes and needs. This means I only work on appointment, so I can keep to my ‘one on one’ philosophy and provide everybody with their own personal care. It needs to be a place for relaxation as well.

As I already mentioned she is much more than a hairstylist. She is a qualified Hair Practitionerthat means she not just styles your hair, but can help to cure the problems you might experiencing with it such as hair loss, psoriasis or hair breakage. A Hair Practitioner examines your hair and scalp and the hair-products you use.

“With a hair and scalp analysis I can help you find underlying problems and any nutritional deficiencies you might have. I also count with your eating habits and what, if any, supplements are you taking. A hair-product analysis for example is very important as many products contain substances that are really bad for your hair and scalp without you knowing this. So I check these for their ingredients too. Then with all this information I can make an analysis, and give you advice on the use of hair treatment, hair-products, food, nutrition and supplements that can help you to get back your healthy locks” – explains Stamatia.

So if you are saying yes to any of the following, the best place to go is the StaAn Studio;

  • looking for a hairdresser that gives you real ‘one on one’ attention?
  • want to have a hair & scalp analysis?
  • want to have a quality haircut that really matches your features?
  • want to have a color specialist, that works with gentle, conventional and the organic way; herbal colors?
  • like to have healthy hair and skin?
  • want to use organic hair care products ?
  • want to be in a quiet, relaxing environment?
  • want to have beauty & styling coaching?
  • looking for quality portraits with the whole package: Hair, Make up & Photography?


Visit the website or they facebook page to know more and to book your appointment!


Why Use Organic?

Organic hair & skincare products are manufactured from ingredients grown without the use of toxic pesticides and fertilisers. This means less damage to the soil and environment and more in keeping with safe ecological standards and practices.

Your skin absorbs things easily. Anything that is applied to the skin - such as shampoo, conditioner, moisturizers, lipsticks, deodorants, and other cosmetics are absorbed into the body and into the blood stream just as if you’d eaten it.

Organic products just work better. Non toxic hair & skin care products are more effective simply because they are made with ingredients that don't disrupt your body's natural state. Since what you put on your skin will end up in your body, treat your body well and you will feel and look your best.

List of 15 Toxic Chemicals to Avoid in Personal Care Products

The US personal care and cosmetic industries greatly lack oversight and regulation. In today’s climate it is necessary to arm yourself with the essential knowledge to be your own product police. Unfortunately, this is what it has come down to.  Companies put their bottom line before the well-being of their consumers’, and load their products with toxic chemicals.

The average adult uses nine personal care products a day, with roughly 120 chemicals spread among them, many of which are incompletely tested for toxicity. That is why Natural Cosmetic News wants to provide you with a list of 15 toxic chemicals to avoid in personal care products. And be aware, just because a company claims to be natural does not mean there really are. Read the ingredients list, and use a discerning eye.

Natural Solutions magazine, in collaboration with Whole Foods Market, has created the following list of toxic ingredients that you don’t want in your personal care and cosmetic products.

1. Synthetic fragrances often contain phthalates (pronounced THAY-lates), synthetic chemicals commonly used to stabilize fragrances and make plastic more pliable. These endocrine disrupters mimic hormones and may alter genital development. Avoid products that list fragrance as an ingredient unless the label states that it’s derived from essentials oils,
or look for a phthalate-free label on the packaging.

2. Parabens, ubiquitous in skincare, preserve other ingredients and extend a product’s shelf life–but these antimicrobial chemicals also have hormone-disrupting effects.

3. Ureas, formally known as diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, or DMDM hydantoin and sodium hydroxymethyl-glycinate, are preservatives that have the potential to release formaldehyde in very small amounts and are a primary cause of contact dermatitis.

4. 1,4-dioxane, a chemical carcinogen, is created when ingredients are processed with petroleum-derived ethylene oxide. Common ethoxylated compounds include sodium laureth sulfate and polyethylene glycol (often listed as PEG). To avoid it, skip any product with the following ingredients: myreth, oleth, laureth, ceteareth (or any other -eth), PEG, polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, or oxynol.

5. Petrochemicals are derived from crude oil. Petroleum-based ingredients such as petrolatum, mineral oil, and paraffin (derived from nonrenewable sources) form a barrier when applied to the skin that does not allow it to breathe and can clog pores.

6. MEA/DEA/TEA are “amines” (ammonia compounds) and can form harmful nitrosamines when they come in contact with nitrates. Used as foaming agents, synthetic stabilizers, and to adjust the pH of cosmetics, they can cause allergic reactions, eye irritation, and dryness of the hair and skin.

7. Sulfates, such as sodium lauryl and sodium laureth, are harsh detergents that give cleansers, soaps, and shampoos their latherability. Often derived from petroleum, sulfates can also come from coconut and other vegetable oils that can be contaminated with pesticides. Sulfates can cause eye irritation and skin rashes.

8. Chemical sunscreens, such as oxybenzone and octyl methoxycinnamate, have been shown to disrupt endocrine activity. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are safer alternatives.

9. Quats, such as benzalkonium chloride, steardimonium chloride, cetrimonium bromide, and cetrimonium chloride, give a positive charge to conditioners in order to prevent static. They are necessary for conditioners, but we have allowed only the mildest quats in our Beauty With a Conscience standard: guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, hydroxypropyltrimonium oligosaccharide, and SugaQuats.

10. Antibacterial compounds, such as triclosan and chlorphenesin, do not break down in the environment and may contribute to bacterial resistance.

11. Synthetic polymers, such as sodium polyacrylate and carbomer, come from petroleum and give viscosity to skincare products. They are highly processed and their manufacture
creates toxic by-products.

12. Synthetic colors are made from coal tar. They contain heavy metal salts that may deposit toxins onto the skin, causing skin sensitivity and irritation. Animal studies have shown almost all of them to be carcinogenic. They will be labeled as FD&C or D&C, followed by a color and a number.

13. Chelators, such as disodium EDTA and tetrasodium EDTA, are used in personal care products to remove impurities from low-quality raw materials. They do not readily biode-
grade in the environment.

14. Nanos are a new technology with inconclusive but potentially hazardous study results. Research suggests that when tiny nano particles penetrate the skin, they may cause
cell damage.

15. Animal testing: A grim history of cruelty to animals lies behind many cosmetic ingredients. But scientists are developing new technologies to test cosmetics before a European Union ban on animal testing begins in March 2009.


Natural form of Vitamin E Protects the Skin & Brain

New research supported by the National Institutes of Health shows that a natural form of vitamin E can trigger the production of a protein in the brain that protects against a stroke. Apparently, the protein called alpha-tocotrienol, known as TCT, clears toxins from nerve cells, preventing those cells from dying after a stroke.

Vitamin E occurs naturally in eight different forms and is abundant in the American diet, as well as sold as a nutritional supplement. The new finding could prove that TCT could be more effective in preventing stroke damage than other drugs, according to Ohio State University scientists.

When TCT is taken orally it influences the production of a protein called MRP1 which clears away a compound that can cause toxicity and cell death as a result of the trauma of blocked blood flow associated with a stroke.

“This is one of the first studies to provide evidence that a safe nutrient – a vitamin – can alter microRNA biology to produce a favorable disease outcome,” said Chandan Sen, professor and vice chair for research in Ohio State’s Department of Surgery and senior author of the study. “Here, a natural nutritional product is simultaneously acting on multiple targets to help prevent stroke-induced brain damage. That is a gifted molecule.”

To date, no tests have been performed on humans, but over the past decade numerous studies have shown very favorable results on how the TCT form of vitamin E protects the brain against stroke damage in animal and cell models.

Stroke is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Stroke Association. Even though clinical trials have not taken place, TCT is set to be used as a preventive nutritional countermeasure for people at high risk for stroke.

So far the natural vitamin has only been studied via oral tests. It remains to be known what sort of preventive effects TCT will have via topical application, such as being used in product formulations like creams or lotions. Regardless if the vitamin is slated for oral use only, it is nonetheless a huge finding in the world of natural ingredients.