Clean Up Your Act Uncover some of the most common misconceptions of owning a green (or clean) hair salon.
BY KAROUN CHAHINIAN
Beauty comes at a price, especially in the hair industry. From water usage to improper waste disposal, there are many ways that salons can be not-so-green. Thankfully, now more than ever, there are tons of educational resources and organizations available to help salons adopt greener practices. Whether you’re a sustainable pro or a curious novice, we’re breaking down the most common myths and misconceptions of owning a green salon.
The Cost of Going Green
There’s a common perception that anything environmentally friendly is more expensive, but that’s not always the case, says Will Simpson, head of global corporate accounts for Green Circle Salons. For salons interested in ecofriendly business practices, Green Circle works with individual budgets. Though there may be some upfront costs, there are definite financial advantages in the long run. “As you’re reducing waste, you’re automatically creating more proﬁtability,” says Simpson, who adds that a lot of business owners are hesitant to make expensive changes to their salon without being able to see an immediate return. However, what they often don’t realize is that they’ll notice an immediate improvement in their monthly energy bills. Two of the most common sustainable upgrades include installing LED lighting, which can help save up to 70 per cent of electricity every month and installing efﬁcient showerheads, such as Ecoheads, that will use less water and reduce rinse time. “Each of our products pay for themselves within months of the purchase because of how much you’re saving,” says Valorie Tate, co-owner of Ecoheads North America. “The sustainability pays for itself.”
“Based on the business’ size, location and any other unique parts of their proﬁle, we offer customized education and guidance, walking them through what the program would look like based on their needs,” says Simpson. Having this customizable approach is key because, for example, a smaller salon in rural Saskatchewan wouldn’t have the same questions or concerns as a larger chain in Toronto. Green Circle also provides many online resources to help all salons and businesses—regardless of whether they work with Green Circle—to incorporate more sustainable practices. Even if you decide to work independently, it’s important to do your research and educate yourself about how to reduce your carbon footprint or use cleaner products. For Rolanda Anderson, owner of Salon True, Calgary’s ﬁrst “organic” salon, she decided to explore more sustainable options following a health issue she experienced. “I dove into so much research on organic hair lines and the types of chemicals [used],” she says. Though skeptical at ﬁrst, Anderson found Organic Way (Oway), which is dubbed “the world’s ﬁrst professional organic hair colour, care and styling line” and is made with biodynamic, organic and
CURRENTLY, THERE ARE 750 CANADIAN SALONS THAT USE ECOHEADS SHOWERHEADS. THEY USE 65 PER CENT LESS WATER AND ENERGY, WHICH ON AVERAGE, REDUCES WATER USAGE BY 103 GALLONS (OR 780 WATER BOTTLES).
Some business owners think of “green” as a niche market, but that’s far from the case. In today’s world, there are so many educational resources to help equip owners with necessary knowledge and to connect them with experts who are ready to answer any questions. 60 salonmagazine.ca / April 2020
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