Enlighten me: What is an Eco-Salon?

What does the term eco salon or organic salon represent? A valid question I hear often, and at one point asked myself, as the eco trend has hit the beauty industry. (Finally, let’s make this a trend to stay)

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Reclaimed wood and light fixtures are one of the many environmentally conscious choices at Birch and Lace. Photo by Keri Knapp Photography, courtesy of Birch and Lace Salon.
Reclaimed wood and light fixtures are one of the many environmentally conscious choices at Birch and Lace. Photo by Keri Knapp Photography, courtesy of Birch and Lace Salon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After extensive research, goal setting and dreaming up creative approaches I have something I want to share. The following article contains some key points that I personally think are what an organic/eco salon should be all about and are points that I myself modeled Birch & Lace around.

Waste Diversion: One of our issues as a human race is we create so much waste. And most of that waste isn’t actually waste – but ends up in our landfills nonetheless. A little known fact, that I hope to make a well-known fact, is that human hair — along with all other organic materials — create methane when they are trapped in a landfill. However, hair is naturally fantastic at soaking up oil. Currently, a synthetic material is being created to do this job. Why not save the hair from its trip to the landfill and creating methane? Why not send it off, reduce creation of synthetic material and clean up a mess that we ourselves have made? Hair is just one material that a salon must dispose of. In a typical salon environment, left over chemicals (hair color, perm solution) get rinsed down the drain and straight into our water systems. A responsible alternative? Store them in a sealed plastic bag and have them disposed of by a chemical waste management company. Foils, leftover from highlight services are usually tossed in the trash, as it is time consuming to wash & recycle. I have found a very effective program to take care of these needs and encourage other professionals to contact me for more information. I would be more than happy to share in more detail.

Environmental Responsibility: We often forget the first R: reduce. This is where waste diversion starts. Offering a refill program is a great way to cut back.

When choosing products to carry it is important to do your research. Remember that our dollar is our strongest vote. Don’t just skim the service, but dig deep. Find out all you can on the product, the brand, the ingredients. It’s a good idea to set out some guidelines before doing this so you know exactly what you are looking for. An eco salon or organic salon should be a place where your community can get the healthiest, professional products from the most responsible brands. They should have done this research for you.

 

Photo by Keri Knapp Photography, courtesy of Birch and Lace Eco Salon.
Photo by Keri Knapp Photography, courtesy of Birch and Lace Eco Salon.

Community Involvement: An eco salon should breathe their mission. A good way to do this is by supporting other community initiatives that align with their beliefs.

Greening the business: Whenever an opportunity arises the company should make a green move. Whether it is energy efficient lighting, solar panels, upcycled/repurposed furnishings or a grey water system — always dream big.

Clean Air:  Keep plants around, avoid the use of harsh chemicals, aerosols & other air pollutants.

I challenge you to reflect on this, translating it to suit your industry. This is the direction I believe we should all be heading — our planet would sure appreciate it.

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