How can you Make your Salon More Eco-Friendly?

by laurahusband / last updated April 23, 2019

eco friendly

Make your salon more eco-friendly for Earth Day on 22 April by following this year’s business panel’s advice. The British Hairdressing Business Awards winners reveal the steps they are taking to be more environmentally aware in the salon and the importance of sharing this message with clients.

Name: Hannah Kernick
Salon: H&Co Hair Salon
Awards: Customer Care, Independent Salon – Business Newcomer and Salon Design

“We use an electricity provider that generates its supply from green energy sources. We use eco-friendly backwash shower heads, which use up to 40% less water and produce a higher pressure. We ensure as little waste as possible goes to landfill. We wash all of our towels internally and use eco-friendly washing powder with an eco wash cycle. We spin our towels on the highest setting to reduce drying time. Finally, we offer product refills rather than bottles.”

Hannah’s steps to success:
– Research the eco credentials of your current electricity supplier.
– Replace your backwash shower heads with ones that use less water.
– We’re launching the botanic bar which allows clients to pump their own organic shampoo and conditioner. The products can be refilled up to three times to reduce the amount of plastic.

Hannah Kernick

Name: Steve Rowbottom
Salon: Westrow Academy
Award: Training Award

“We endeavour to maintain environmental awareness across our nine salons and educational academy in Leeds. At Westrow we are always looking at ways we can evolve the business to be kinder to the planet and to share this message with our clients ”

Steve’s steps to success:
– Incorporate potted plants into your salons – the oxygen produced will help to balance out carbon dioxide emissions. It also looks aesthetically pleasing and clients will comment.
– Wait until your washing machines are full before using them. This will conserve energy and water while reducing salon CO2 emissions.
– Ask staff to turn off lights in the staff room or any area that is not in use. Install dimmer switches where you can use softer lighting or motion sensors for storage and staff areas.

Steve Rowbottom

Name: Mimi Kobayashi
Salon: Billi Currie
Award: Salon Stylist of the Year

“As a company we recycle as much as possible. We encourage each other not to waste anything. We ensure taps are switched off between shampooing and conditioning a client’s hair. We also use environmentally friendly care and styling products which are biodegradable.”

Mimi’s steps to success:
– We have recycling bins as well as rubbish bins to recycle as much as possible and we only stock paper bags in the salon.
– We use the evo Fabuloso Pro care and styling brand because all of its products are sulphate- free, environmentally friendly and completely biodegradable.
– We make sure the washing machine is always used on a cool setting and we use the shortest wash time.


Name: Lisa Walby
Salon: Francesco Group, Cheltenham
Award: Franchisee of the Year

“It’s really important to do all we can to reduce our carbon footprint and there are lots of easy steps you can take to ensure your salon runs in an eco-friendly way. We use Easydry towels, which are recyclable and biodegradable. We also re-use them as cleaning cloths and we have a big recycling bin to ensure all our product packaging is recycled. Cutting up our skin stain wipes helps them to go further, while also saving money. Our salon is housed in a large building with old sash windows so we give out hot water bottles to keep clients cosy, instead of blasting the heating out. It’s a personal touch that clients really appreciate. Finally, we ensure that tint waste always goes in the bin instead of down the drain.”

Lisa’s steps to success:
– Stock hot water bottles for your clients as they will appreciate the personal touch but it will also reduce your energy output.
– Provide recycling bins to ensure everything in the salon that can be recycled is being recycled by all of your staff members.
– If there’s anything you can re-use in a different way, such as Easydry towels, or adapt, like cutting up skin stain wipes, do it. It’s such a tiny step but it will make a big difference in the long run.

Lisa Walby

Name: Natalie Love
Salon: Edward James London
Award: Salon of the Year 1

“We’ve built a sustainable workplace where we aim to create and consume with care. During our salon design process we sought out recycled and reclaimed materials wherever possible. Implementing eco initiatives while considering practicalities and the client experience has become critical.”

Natalie’s steps to success:
– Educate guests on energy saving hairstyles such as braids, dry styling and wet-to-dry hair sculpting that require little or no heat styling.
– Use techniques to minimise foil usage such as balayage, hand painting, colour blocking
and melting.
– Educate guests on how to do an eco-shampoo at home to prevent excessive water usage.

Natalie Love

Name: Phil Smith
Salon: Smith England
Award: Salon of the Year 2

“It is very difficult to make an existing salon business eco-friendly. This should be a fundamental consideration when designing a salon from scratch. Unfortunately it is not always possible to make the design eco-friendly due to building restrictions and other such issues. In saying this, every salon can take steps to become more eco-friendly. Disposable towels, LED bulbs, turning the heating down and being mindful of water usage can all make a big difference.”

Phil’s steps to success:
– We offer a discount on products when a client returns old bottles to be recycled. We’re also launching our own haircare range which is made from recycled plastic.
– We’re in the process of setting up a cycle ride-to-work scheme.
– We’ve introduced an Earth Hour where we dim the lights and turn down the heating for the first and last 30 minutes of the day.

Phil Smith

Name: Christian Wiles
Salon: Christian Wiles Hairdressing
Award: Male Grooming Salon of the Year

““Respecting the environment is deeply rooted in our DNA. Our salon features reclaimed furniture, recyclable paper and eco-friendly products. This allows us to be committed to the environment. We have a strong brand message and the team are educated on eco-friendly choices. We’re living in an era that encourages an eco-conscious attitude and small changes in buying habits and branding material can make a big difference. Market your eco approach to clients as it’s a unique selling point.”

Christian’s steps to success:
– We have a no plastic policy so we only use recyclable bags.
– Focus on creating a positive team spirit to ensure everyone is behind the philosophy and make it part of your brand identity and ethos.
– Use eco-friendly products such as Matrix Biolage Raw – it contains 95% natural origin ingredients.

Christian Wiles

Name: Janet Maitland
Salon: Janet Maitland Hair Excellence
Award: Business Director of the Year

“I implement practises that are good for the environment and save money. I have posters around the salon to remind staff that we are an eco-friendly salon. The posters say: ‘do you really need to have two boilers on?’, ‘do you need the air con on?’, ‘switch off the light, turn onto green’. We also have a poster to remind staff to mix only the amount of tint required and our final poster tells staff to turn off the water when shampooing to save 50% more water.”

Janet’s steps to success:
– Explain your ideas are good for business as well as the environment.
– Use posters to remind staff to be eco.
– We ask clients to bring in old towels and blankets and collect bras for the ‘Smalls for All’ campaign. We also collect toys for a women’s refuge.

Janet Maitland

This article was originally published in the April 2019 issue of Hairdressers Journal 


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