In 2012, Dr Denise Baden (https://www.sbs.ac.uk/business-school/academic-profiles/associate-prof) from the Southampton Business School was awarded funds from the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) to engage with hairdressers (and their clients) to establish more sustainable practices in the hairdressing sector, see http://greensalonmakeover.org.uk/
Key issues identified from this project included: the potential to make resource efficiency savings within the salon, numerous ideas on products and practices that can enable salons to reduce their energy, water and product use, and how to engage, incorporate and promote sustainability aspects to clients and across the sector more generally. We found that once engaged and informed about sustainability issues, hairdressers were motivated and willing both to address their own salons’ environmental impact, and also talk to their clients about more environmentally friendly hair care practices. You can see a brief 13 minute talk on our project: Baden, D (2013) ‘What hairdressers can tell us about sustainability’ March. TEDx talk We found that customers of hairdressers (N = 776) reported that their hair care practices at home are influenced by their experiences at the hairdressers e.g. in terms of how often to shampoo, how long to dry/rinse hair, what hair products to use etc. Most also indicated that they would like their hairdressers to consider such issues.
Following the success of this project Dr Denise Baden was awarded further funds to work with hairdressing bodies and awarding organisations to embed sustainability into hairdresser training. Additional researchers working on this project are Catherine Tarrant, Dr Swarna Prasad, Danielle Mills and Jordan Peel. The aim of the eco hair and beauty project is to work with Habia, VTCT, The Hair Council, NHF, City and Guilds and My Hairdressers.com to embed sustainability in the hairdressing curriculum. We do this by training the trainers, equipping them with knowledge and skills relating to green issues within this sector and help them integrate it into every stage of training. For example, we visit hairdressing colleges around the UK to provide free workshops and advice on embedding sustainability into hairdressing as part of continuous professional development for trainers. We hope to do the same for trainers working for large salon chains Also we run workshops and disseminate information at pre-existing events that attract large numbers of hairdressers such as ‘Salon International’ and ‘Professional Beauty’ which are annual events which attract over 20,000 visitors. As part of this project we will be developing and promoting resources hints and tips, videos and short clips on sustainable haircare practices. In 2016 we developed a virtual salon as a fun training tool to show hairdressers how to save energy, water and money, completion of which entitles them to a free sustainable stylist certificate. In 2017 the Sustainable Salon Certificate is available (free) and we will help to promote those salons who have obtained one.
Save water by switching the tap off between shampooing and conditioning.
Save electricity by switching to single use towels that do not require a washing machine or a tumble dryer.
Reduce the use of chemicals by switching to an ultra-low ammonia or organic colour range.
Reduce waste by implementing recycling stations throughout the salon.
Save water by promoting the use of dry shampoo - It saves time, water and energy, makes hair easier style and is a great alternative especially for clients in a rush.
Save electricity by encouraging clients to leave their hair to dry naturally wherever possible, and begin blow drying when it is 90% dry!
Reduce the use of detergents by encouraging clients to try shampooing their hair once instead of the recommended twice!
For more tips visit: http://greensalonmakeover.org.uk