Who Cares About The Environment?
I do, but who’s with me?
Hairdressing salons are not known for being Green. Our energy consumption is high, to say the least. When you think about air-conditioning in summer, heating in winter, hairdryers going all day, lighting, towel washing and drying, you get the picture. Most salons have huge hot water tanks and they are being heated 24/7. I know of salons that have more than four big 500 litre tanks. And we haven’t even talked about the water usage that goes with washing hair and towels all day long! We are environmental mini disaster zones. But there are ways to make changes that will save both the environment and your profit margin.
I know that being ‘eco’ is very current, but this is a trend that is important and worth jumping on. There are a few ways to Green your salon, and they are all very simple and inexpensive. Think how your clients would react when you told them you were saving the environment AND making them look spectacular.
Water is an essential part of hairdressing. This will never change, but wastage can be minimised. The easiest way is to get water saving taps installed and use appliances with a high WELS rating. WELS is the government water rating and is given to all taps and water-using appliances Some salon furniture places will offer this as well. Comfortel is one such company and I use their basins in my salon as the taps a 4 star rated.
Washing machines and toilets are also rated this way and you can save thousands of litres of water each year.
Chemical wastage is another issue relevant to our industry. Think about the amount of colour, shampoos and product that is washed down the drain in just one day in a hair salon. Using product that have fewer chemicals is a simple way to reduce the amount of toxins that go into our waterways and also onto your clients’ heads.
I use O&M haircare , a company who have used research and technology to eliminate any harsh and toxic chemicals from their colour and product ranges. Their mission is to challenge the artificial norms of professional haircare with the message that healthy hair begins when it’s free from stress. They are committed to researching clean formulations while adding the many positives that quality botanicals and essential oils have to offer. It’s not henna-style natural, but it’s less harsh chemicals and that is a good thing.
Kevin Murphy is the other product range I use, they contain high levels of natural ingredients and they use high grade essential oils and amino acids for the ultimate hair and scalp treatment. You’ll see the effects immediately. I know lots of companies are looking at ammonia-free technology or looking at becoming greener, such as Joico, Schwarzkopf and a few others. It’s an issue that will not go away, and the companies that choose to embrace a greener option are definitely the future of hairdressing.
One more thing-Save the Dolphins bucket. Have a bucket in the salon,scrape any unused colour product into it, then throw it in the bin. It stops it going down the drain. Small measures, but small steps are what help make the big one easier.
As I mentioned earlier, hair salons use a lot of energy. The bills tell you that, if nothing else! A great energy-saving device I use in my salon is an instantaneous gas hot water system.Instead of using energy to continuously heat thousands of litres of water, the gas system heats the water as it comes through the pipe as you need it. And natural gas is a renewable resource. Saving you money and helping to save our planet.
Other energy-saving tips that apply to homes also apply to salons. Things like using high-star rated appliances . Install flourescent lighting. Recycle. Only use the air-con when you need to. It’s all pretty simple.
If you think you have done everything you can, there is still more. To offset all the energy you use, there are companies out there that will come in and audit you, and then you can purchase carbon credits. The Carbon Offset Watch will tell you which companies are the best. There are wind farms in India, solar energy in Australia, it’s completely up to you. Another option is to donate to Friends of the Earth, and they would put it into schemes that are helping our environment . I personally use Climate Friendly and offset all our carbon emissions.
It might seem like alot, but if you do a few of these things you will be making progress and together we can make a better future for our kids and the next generation of hairdressers.
Stevie Corthine has been hairdressing for over 15 years. Born in Somerset, England, he moved to the bright lights of London and began his brilliant career. Steve trained under internationally renowned hairdresser and organic hair colouring pioneer Daniel Field.