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Sustainable Salon Tips

Before you read the tips below, try our brand new Carbon Footprint quiz, great to use in class or just for fun. Equally skip straight to our Carbon Footprint Calculator and find out how much CO2 you could save with you hair care routine.

Click here for the full Carbon Footprint of Your Hair Care Routine Quiz

Click here for the Carbon Footprint Calculator

Staff Training

Have monthly meetings to train your staff about consumption and all the benefits of becoming sustainable salon

Calculate your carbon footprint for as many activities as possible, and introduce individual plans and a salon plan with simple steps for reduction.

Ask your energy provider to conduct an energy audit of your salon and provide you with specific suggestions to conserve energy.

Use Renewable Energy

On average, you save 600g (21 oz.) of CO2 per KW of electricity consumed when you use renewable energy, as opposed to energy deriving from fossil fuels. Contact your local utility company for more information.

Monitor the salon climate control

Install a programmable thermostat and set to a comfortable temperature. For every degree you lower your heat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range, you’ll save up to 5% on heating costs

Turn down the thermostat just 4°F / about 2°C in the winter and up the same degrees in the summer to prevent the emission of nearly 1,100 pounds / 499 kilograms of carbon dioxide annually.

Install ceiling fans. Most ceiling fans use only as much power as a 100 watt light bulb. When used properly, ceiling fans can help save money on your utility bill in both the winter and summer months.

Use Energy Saving Bulbs

Look closely at labels when buying light bulbs for your salon. Those marked CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) last 10 times longer and use 66% less energy than incandescent bulbs while delivering the same light levels. CFLs also reduce the release of greenhouse gas emissions and are safer because they burn at a much lower temperature than incandescent and halogen lights.

Reduce use of lights

Ask employees to turn off lights in staff/break rooms, storage rooms and vacant treatment rooms. In break rooms and storage rooms, install fixtures that are activated by a motion detector.

Install dimmer switches in areas in which maximum lamp output is not necessary.

Install occupancy sensors in back of house, less busy areas.

Choose equipment and appliances with energy saving features. Look for copiers, printers, washing machines etc. with the energy smart logo.

Unplug all appliances when not in use.

Only use washing machine when full

Wait until your washing machine is full with towels and other linens before you run it. This is a simple way to conserve both energy and water that can also reduce a salons CO2 emissions.

Invest in solar panels

If possible, install solar panels to produce your own energy.


Equip your salon with recycling bins for paper, plastics, glass, hair-colouring tubes and foils for meches. Look for organisations in your area that will use your hair for wigs etc. Call your local council to find out how to recycle in your community and place recycle bins in convenient locations.

Incentivise recycling

For example, for every container brought back to the salon apply a discount to your client’s next product purchase.

Buy things that last

One of the simplest ways to reduce waste is by buying items for your salon that are designed well and built to last. It may be more convenient to purchase disposable objects, but the consequence is an enormous amount of physical waste as well as the loss of energy needed to produce and break them down

Donate or exchange unwanted but usable items such as salon fixtures, supplies, etc.

Go paper free

You don’t need paper invitations and flyers: just use email and social media. Identify and eliminate unnecessary forms. Double side or redesign forms to use less space, or have forms on electronic media such as an iPad.

Transfer to cloud software and reduce need for large computer systems and switch to laptop.

Reduce Water Usage

Contact your water utility provider to schedule a water use survey of your facility. Surveys are usually free and provide an easy way to identify the most effective means to save water in your salon.

Keep the water tap closed to save water while massaging in colour, shampoo or conditioner. One drop of wasted water every two seconds equals 4000 litres annually. A great instrument for saving more water is a flow reducer, a special nozzle that, when attached to the end of a water faucet, divides the water into tiny particles and mixes it with air. It’s very inexpensive and can reduce your monthly water bill by 50%. Also fix all leaking pipes and taps.

Invest in water purification

Instead of offering clients bottled water – and adding to the already enormous amount of plastic being recycled daily – invest in a water purification system that connects directly the pipes under your salon’s kitchen sink and purifies tap water. There are numerous companies that offer these systems, from very basic designs to more elaborate models.

Use Environmentally Certified Hair products

There are a wide variety eco products available stock a least one range to offer your customers

Clean Green

One of the basic necessities of any salon is keeping the space clean and presentable. Whether you use a professional cleaning service or do it yourself, read the label carefully to choose environmentally friendly products to ensure your salon is a safer and healthier environment. E.g. Purchase non-chlorine bleached and/or chlorine-free paper products with recycled content. Choose post-consumer recycled (PCR) content in as high a percentage as possible.

Sustainable Decorating

If possible, consider using as many recycled or repurposed materials as possible for furniture and decor, especially if you can support local companies.

Make it green by building with sustainable materials like bamboo flooring, recycled metals, energy efficient windows and other locally manufactured materials. Check the current LEED standards for commercial properties to see how you can earn a green building certificate. Building with energy-friendly materials could result in a sweet return on your taxes.

Produce Oxygen

Feature some potted plants in your salon (possibly using recycled Essential Haircare containers as vases). The oxygen produced by green plants helps to balance out carbon dioxide emissions and they will make your salon more attractive.

Encourage Gardening

If you have the access, a roof garden will provide natural insulation for your salon and a great source of herbs and vegetables for your clients and staff. Remember to opt for local and resistant plants which need little water. When they need watering, do it in the evening to limit evaporation.

Sponsor sustainable transport

Encourage your staff to carpool to work, use public transport or cycle

Inspire customers not to use their cars by offering a discount if they come to the salon by bus, bike or on foot.

Organise eco chic evenings

Are you fashion-minded? Try organizing eco-chic evenings periodically and ask your clients to bring any clothes or accessories that they don’t use any more to swap with other clients. Free shopping!

Inspire Your customers

A large part of living sustainably deals with the relationships people and businesses build between each other, and how these relationships are cultivated and strengthened. Because you value your customers, share your salon’s eco-activities with them. You may become their source of inspiration for both beauty and sustainable business practices.