Going vegan has such a massive impact on so many of our lives. Andrea Harvey is a leading vegan hairdressing expert passionate to advise people what really is in their beauty products – so they can make an informed decision.
We chat with Andrea as well as discover some surprising findings…
At the age of 16, when Andrea Harvey decided to embark on a hairdressing career, little did she realise the paths it would take her.
Andrea started in a local salon in Southend-On-Sea, Essex, and grasped the learning experience with, well, 1 hand at least!
Not having realised quite how hard the life of a hairstylist was her legs and arms ached every day and her throat sore from non-stop talking!
She started to learn all about the many different styles and products she could use to achieve the clients every wish.
“When I turned 18, I worked with a funky woman, who I thought looked and acted so amazingly and I hung on her every word! She mentioned that she was vegetarian. ‘What is this?’ I thought. It must be so trendy if she is it! This was the early 80’s and not the norm to be veggie then.”
“So, after asking a few friends about the process of being a veggie, I decided that if it was good enough for my idol in the salon, its good enough for me.”
“This was my first, but not my last, experience of meat free and cruelty free living.”
Now, in 2018, Andrea finds herself as a forerunner in the world of vegan hairdressing.
After nearly 35 years of hairdressing, and 17 years of educating the next generations of hairdressers, Andrea has a passion for educating everyone about what really is in our cosmetics that we use on our hair and skin – and leads by example.
“When working with newcomers to my industry and experienced stylists and my own clients, I nearly always get the same reactions from my information on vegan products and the questions I ask them;
- Do you know what is in the products you are using?
YES! Of course!
- Do you understand the difference between cruelty free and vegan products?
It’s the same thing isn’t it? Sadly it isn’t!
So, lets address these questions.
“Looking and researching the products used in hair products all those years ago, when I began my life as a veggie, I realised that I couldn’t read most of the ingredients on the labeling, let alone know what they were!
To say I was disgusted when I found out the meaning behind the names, is an understatement.
Everything from Beeswax to Placenta!”
However, as we know, nothing in life is that simple.
“Some ingredients are now manufactured alternatives. For instance, Beeswax- an ingredients list may state beeswax is used, but it won’t state that it is a manufactured beeswax and not produced by bees.”
“Most salon owners and hairdressers would prefer to use cruelty free products but, either do not know where to start looking or, simply, do not have the time to look.”
“Surprisingly, just because a brand has the “cruelty free” logo on it, does not mean it is a vegan. It could still contain animal by products.
And visa versa! Just recently, an advert to promote a vegan shampoo by a company that most vegans wouldn’t touch, has been seen on TV – bandwagon jumps to mind!”
As years went by, Andrea’s passion for all things hair grew, and her passion for veggie life too.
13 years into the veggie living, she decided it was time to take the next step and become vegan. That was 3 years ago.
“Every day, over the last 3 years, I have worked in large well-known salons and training academies over the world, using their products that are tested on animals and contain animal by products that are not necessary and that there are amazing alternatives.
So frustrating – to say the least!”
I am now launching my own salon in Southend, Essex, that is 100% vegan alongside my training company, educating trainees in hairdressing services.
I also offer consultation service to salons and training companies that want to change some or all their products to vegan and cruelty free but aren’t sure where to start.
To book a free consultation for your business, to book a training course in hairdressing or to learn more about the vegan salon, call or text 07380100071 or email [email protected]
Check out more photos on our Facebook page!