Want to work more sustainably in your salon or barber shop? Three salon owners share the key changes you can make to be kinder to the planet
Mewies & Co.
April marks Earth Month and many salons are actively working towards becoming more sustainable in their practices, how waste disposal is managed and staying in control of energy and water usage throughout the day to keep bills to a minimum and avoid wasting water and electricity.
As salon owner of proudly sustainable salon Mewies & Co. in Leicestershire, Dan Mewies has experience in the process of making sustainable switches. His advice? “Do your homework!” He adds: “Make sure you dedicate time to researching sustainable practices and pick what works best for your business.”
Time is a significantly valuable part of the journey towards achieving a greener salon and it is often a misconception that it can be done quickly or easily by changing some elements. While there are certainly easy steps to take in starting to make a change, it also doesn’t happen overnight. “Don’t be hard on yourself,” says Dan. “Sustainability is a journey with new options and resources becoming available all the time. Don’t try to change everything at once and remember it isn’t possible to be perfect. You just need to try your best at your own pace,” he adds.
Dan emphasises the importance of reviewing your budgets before you make major changes or attempt to jump right in. “Some changes required for an eco-friendly salon do cost more money, not always, but sometimes! So you have to make sure to factor this in and ensure you can make it work for your business,” he explains. “Lots of clients do want to make more eco-conscious decisions and are happy to pay the price, so you can always consider adding a green fee to your services if that works for you and your clients.”
Similarly, multi-award-winning hairstylist and salon owner Cally Borg has experienced the financial impact of striving towards sustainability. “I’ve learnt that to be as sustainable as possible, it takes financial commitment; it does cost to be sustainable,” she states. “A top tip I would give is to add your costs into your pricing. Whether it is incorporated in your standard pricing, or you charge each client a £1 ‘green contribution’ or ‘earth pound’, this way you explain to your client why you charge it and the wonderful things you do to be eco-friendly.”
Gina Conway Salons have several awards under their belt, and the high-end hair salons and spas in Wimbledon, Poole and Winchester are well known for their eco credentials. Founder Gina Conway has a plethora of knowledge and insight into the world of sustainable salon practices, with her most recent focus being on cutting back the water usage in the salons.
“We have been reducing our water usage and have introduced an Eco Shampoo technique. The team were resistant at first,” she shares. “Some worried that the clients are used to having that extra wash. However, when we tell clients that our new Eco Shampoos are helping to save essential water and energy to help us meet our pledge to combat climate change, they really understand and support us in our effort.”
The Eco Shampoo technique works to cleanses the scalp thoroughly without prior rinsing, as well as exfoliating and removing impurities, and it also reduces colour fade. “If they do this at home, they’re also saving energy themselves! We also make our clients aware they we use Scrummi towels and share our reasons for doing so, as well as highlighting that Scrummi is B Corp certified.”
Gina shares her super, simple Eco Shampoo routine for you to introduce to clients.
How to ECO Shampoo:
Step one: Pre-shampoo using a tint bottle. Fill it three quarters of the way with hot water and add one large pump of shampoo. Shake vigorously to make a foam soufflé.
Step two: Squirt foam all over roots and massage in, targeting the back of head, which people don’t tend to wash properly at home.
Step three: Eco shampooing exfoliates and cleanses better than any other technique as it can get straight to the scalp when the hair isn’t matted down and wet.
Step four: If you didn’t get a good lather, add some more water (30 second rinse) and do a second eco shampoo.
Step five: Now, rinse out.
Step six: When conditioning, we either go to the roots or just the mid-ends – this is where we apply our signature GC head massage.
Looking for more ways to work more sustainably in your salon? Check out the Salon RE:SOURCE guide from Most Wanted Sustainability Hero winners, Anne Veck and Keith Mellen.