WITH RISING ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS, MORE AND MORE SALONS ARE STARTING TO DO THEIR BIT FOR THE PLANET. BELOW ARE MY TOP TEN TIPS ON HOW TO BECOME AN ECO-FRIENDLY SALON.
1 – Use a renewable energy supplier
The first step to becoming an eco-friendly salon is to reduce your carbon footprint. A good place to start is changing over to a renewable energy supplier. Renewable energy is the energy that is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat.
There are plenty of providers in the UK that use renewable energy. Here are a few you should check out –
2 – Use eco-friendly disposable towels
Using a washing machine even on 30 degrees uses unnecessary energy. Using disposable towels is not only better for the planet but also time-saving. One of my favourite companies we use is EcoTowels. Made from 100% natural viscose fibre, there are no plastics, toxins or chemicals in their towels.
3 – Only use and sell recyclable products
Most single-use plastics contain BPA and Phthalates. These materials are known to be toxic, with many studies linking them to cancer and issues with the reproductive system. Not only does that suck, but the damage plastic is causing on our ocean wildlife could be even more reason to think twice about using and selling products that use single-use plastic. Thankfully there are some great brands that use glass and recyclable plastics.
4 – Fill your salon with air-purifying plants
Plants not only look beautiful in a salon they can also be vital for air-purification. Not all plants have this magnificent skill but I’ve listed 5 that are great air purifiers –
1. English Ivy – Not only does it remove benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene, but it also removes airborne mould as well
2. Mother in Law’s tongue – Not only a great name, its removes benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene
3. Weeping Fig – Removes Benzene, formaldehyde and ammonia
4. Peace Lily – A stunning plant that removes formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene and ammonia
5. Aloe Vera – It removes formaldehyde and benzene from the air
|5 Most Common Salon Air Toxins|
|Formaldehyde||Permanent Straightening Treatments, Keratin Treatments, Nail Polish, Nail Polish Hardeners||Known Human Carcinogen|
|Ammonia||Hair Colour, Perm Systems, Window Cleaners, Floor Waxes||Corrosive, damages cells upon breathing, swallowing or skin contact, Respiratory Irritant|
|Benzene||Hair Colours, Plastics, Pesticides, Detergents, Synthetic Fibers||Known Human Carcinogen, especially Leukemia|
|Trichloroethylene||Hair Extensions Glue, Lace Wig Glue||Long term exposure causes liver, kidney and skin damage|
5 – Only use and sell vegan and cruelty-free products
Over 100 Million animals die from animal testing. Not only is this cruel it’s also not a sustainable way of testing products. Vegan products do not contain any animal products or derivatives and tend to be made with natural ingredients. Vegan and cruelty-free usually go hand in hand, however, it’s not a given so make sure to always check the labels.
Did you know any brand selling products in China are not cruelty-free? It’s illegal to sell products in China that HAVEN’T been tested on animals.
Here are a few of my favourite cruelty-free and vegan brands –
6 – Change your showerheads to water-saving showerheads
Water waste is a big issue for the hair and beauty industry. With Hair salons being one of the biggest culprits for water waste on the UK’s high streets. One of the easiest ways to reduce water waste is to use water-saving showerheads. These showerheads double the pressure and save around 50% of the water. EcoHeads is one of the industries leading water-saving devices.
7 – Use Non-toxic nail polish
You may have seen nail polishes carry a “free” label, with the most common being “3-free”. But what exactly does that mean? Known as the “toxic trio” – formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and toluene are harmful chemicals often found in nail polishes. While these are the most talked-about chemicals there are other chemicals in the mix which include triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), formaldehyde resin and camphor to name a few.
Studies have shown the body can absorb traces of some chemicals through nail polish, but there is no need to panic. With awareness growing there are plenty of brands out there offering non-toxic ingredients. One of my favourites known for their “12 Free” formula is cult nail polish brand Nailberry.
8 – Offer a refill station for products you sell
A great plastic saving technique and a financial saving for your clients. Offering a refill station will help to limit both yours and your client’s single-use plastic consumption. A great way to entice customers to use your refill station is to offer a discount on products they refill vs buying a new product. Why not ask your supplier if they can support you in going plastic-free?
9 – Install a water system to ditch the single-use plastic
Rather than offering your customers a bottle of water why not install a water system. A water system purifies the water with the option to serve both chilled and boiled water. In some cases, they even offer sparkling too. One of the best water purifiers I’ve come across is Virgin Pure. It’s an easy way to ditch the plastic for both staff and customers.
10 – Decorate your salon with reclaimed and up-cycled furniture
Avoid buying new furniture where possible. There are a number of items of furniture that definitely don’t need to be bought new. Mirrors, tables, chairs and shelves just to name a few. There are some great sellers on Etsy who create reception desks, nail stations and chairs from reclaimed wood and pallets. Not only are they environmentally friendly, but they also look pretty cool too.
It was hard to narrow down my top ten tips on how to become an eco-friendly salon. So here are some extra quick tips.
Quick tips –
Change all light bulbs to LED
Replace plastic brushes with bamboo brushes
Ditch the foil, use paper!
Replace sinks with Pedicure bowls (Use the used water to water your plants)
Use green cleaning products
Use ammonia-free hair colour
Recycle Recycle Recycle
Donate and hold events in aid of environmental charities