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Category Archives: Green Salon Tips

Greening Hairdressing: How to Cut Waste in the Salon

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Every day, the salon industry in North America churns out 421,206 pounds of waste. That’s about over 150 million pounds of trash thrown into landfills and our oceans each year!

As holistic hair stylists, we abide by our Do No Harm mantra, meaning we do no harm to the health of our clients, environment and ourselves. So, our day-to-day operations should also consider the direct impact we’re having on the planet. Are we contributing to the waste problem or are we finding a solution? As stewards of the environment, we should be doing the latter. And it starts in our own salons.

With proper salon waste management, we can actually help reduce the immense amount of trash we are generating. Below are some effective ways on how to cut salon waste.

5 Ways to Cut Salon Waste

Reduce product waste.

Foils, hair treatments, hair colors – these are only three items from a long list of salon-generated waste. From the plastic product containers to the rubber gloves and even the tiniest bit of leftover hair color, all these either find their way into our water supply or end up in landfills.

Fortunately, more and more environmentally conscious salon owners and private organizations are making a huge effort to inform hair stylists on proper waste management. One of them is reducing product waste by encouraging salons to purchase products that use recyclable materials like amber glass and aluminum as containers.

Unlike plastic, glass and aluminum can be recycled over and over without losing their strength, durability, and purity. Furthermore, recycling aluminum, including foils, only takes about 5% of the energy used to produce it, as opposed to plastic which hovers around 30%. Meanwhile, recycling glass releases 40% less carbon in the air and requires less raw materials than plastic. That’s a significant energy savings for the environment!

Once you’ve cleared your salon of plastic, the next logical step is to think about how you can avoid disposing of hazardous chemicals. Many salon products contain reactive and toxic ingredients and thus require proper handling. Always:

  • Keep them at room temperature.
  • Make sure they are properly sealed to prevent contamination.
  • Use a weighing scale when measuring hair color to prevent waste. Through this method, there are no leftovers and therefore no toxic waste finding their way into our water systems.
  • Encourage your clients to take part in your Refill Product Program. Glass products allow clients to reuse the containers and get the same product quality at a lesser cost to them and the environment.

Use salon water efficiently.

As water supplies begin to dwindle and drought in some parts of the country worsens, we need to re-evaluate our water usage and look for ways to cut back.

There are several water-saving practices that you can do to efficiently use water.

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  • Recycle water by installing a system that allows you to reuse water from your shampoo bowls and sinks for flushing toilets.
  • Fix leaky faucets and showerheads. Did you know slow drips waste about 150-300 gallons per month?
  • Replace old toilets with the new high-efficiency ones. This will help you save 22,000 gallons of water every year.

Conserve energy.

Hairdressing is considered one of the most energy-intensive business in the industry. Salons typically use 40,000kWhs of electricity annually. According to the International Energy Agency, producing electricity uses 40% of primary energy, like coal and fossil fuel, and produces an equal share of energy-related CO2 emissions.

As we all know, the excess of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes the greenhouse effect, which lead to global warming. Fortunately, there are several things we can do to reduce our salon’s carbon footprint.

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  • Consider using a tankless water heater. It heats water directly without using a storage tank. It only heats water when needed, thus allowing you to conserve not only water, but also energy.
  • Opt for renewable sources of energy, like solar energy, to produce electricity and power your salon equipment. Renewable sources contribute to about 96-98% LESS greenhouse gases.
  • Use low-energy lighting instead of the traditional incandescent bulbs. Incandescent bulbs emit 90% of the energy it uses as heat. Halogen incandescent, CFL, and LED lightbulbs are far more energy-efficient and cost-effective.
  • Take it up a notch by making the most of natural light. It doesn’t require any energy, not to mention it’s free!

Upcycle salon products.

Upcycling takes recycling a step further. While recycling is great, upcycling transforms an otherwise ordinary material into something more desirable. For example, Oway’s amber glass jars and bottles can be used as beautiful plant holders or shelf décor. Check out this article for more ideas.

Donate. Donate. Donate.

All that hair has to go somewhere. You can donate them to organizations like Locks of Love and Wigs for Kids where they make wigs for people and children with cancer.

Hosting donation drives to support calamity survivors and less fortunate communities is also a great way to safely dispose salon products you no longer need, such as unused shampoo, conditioners, hair styling products, and tools.

Also, hair can be donated to Matter of Trust, where it’s used as an eco-clean up method during oil spills, furthering your salon’s eco-friendly efforts.

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5 Simple Ways to Upcycle Your Oway Salon Products

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Every year, millions of tons of plastic are sent to our landfills, with only a small percentage being recycled. Many of them leak into our oceans, causing pollution and destroying our marine life.

In 2016, a study predicted that in 2050, plastics will outweigh the fish in our ocean if we continue producing and disposing plastic.1 This and other health concerns such as harmful chemicals from plastic packaging leaching into our food and care products pushed Oway to adopt amber glass as its primary source of packaging.

Unlike plastic, amber glass is 100% recyclable and can be repurposed in several ways. Here are crafty ideas on how you can upcycle Oway’s amber glass bottles and jars:

oway-reed-diffusersReed Diffuser

Give your salon a relaxing ambiance by creating your own reed diffusers. Oway retail and backbar bottles make perfect diffusers due to their narrow opening. The smaller the neck of the bottle, the slower the essential oil evaporates.

HOW? Combine Oway NOTA essential oil with a base oil (almond or safflower oil are great options) or water and vodka mixture. Then pour it in a clean amber glass bottle and place the reeds into the solution. Let them soak for a few minutes, then take them out and place the other ends into the receptacle. Make sure to swap the ends every week to keep the aroma wafting.

You can also try pasting custom labels or inspiring quotes to add personality to your reed diffusers.

Candle Holder

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If you want to give your salon a warm and cozy atmosphere, adding candles might just do the trick. They instantly set the mood and soothe the senses, allowing your clients to just sit back and relax. Since Oway packaging is made of amber glass, it makes an excellent candle holder.

HOW? Melt wax in a pan and mix with a few drops of essential oil once melted to create a pleasing aroma. Put the wick in your empty Oway Shabby Mud container, then pour the wax, while securing the wick in place. Let it cool for a few hours and you’re good to go. Looking for a larger size candle? Try one of Oway’s Backbar Masks (500ml)!

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Don’t you just hate it when you keep losing your hair clips and bobbie pins? By repurposing your Oway Boho Pomade and Oway Shaping Putty containers into little storage pots, you’re never going to lose them again.

HOW? Simply clean the pots and remove the label (if you prefer). You can add your own custom labels like your salon name, quotes, or drawings for some added fun.

Plant Holder

As hairstylists, we are exposed to various chemicals that can harm our health. Having plants in our salon not only make beautiful decorations, they also help eliminate air pollutants. Oway amber glass jars are big enough to fit small succulents like plush plants and aloe vera, which helps remove formaldehyde and benzene from the air.

HOW? Here’s a quick tutorial on how to make a plant holder out of your Oway Rebuilding Serum jar.

oway-soap-dispenserSoap Dispenser

The beauty of glass packaging is it’s infinitely recyclable. You can use it for refills or for a totally different purpose. Oway shampoos and conditioners have pumps that allow you to dispense liquid products with ease. This makes it an excellent container for hand soap, dishwashing detergent, and even lotion.

HOW? Wash bottles by soaking them in a saline solution overnight. This will help the label come off easily. Then, run them through the dishwasher the next day, but make sure to remove the pumps before doing so. Once they’re dry, you can pour soap into the container and add cute decals to label the bottles.

Why recycle when you can upcycle? By doing so, you are not only putting your creativity to good use, but you are also doing the planet and the future generations a huge favor.

Source:

1 World Economic Forum. (2016). The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics. Available: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_The_New_Plastics_Economy.pdf

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5 Air Purifying Plants To Detoxify Your Salon

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If the idea of an eye-catching new salon plant didn’t grab your attention, just wait until you hear the detoxifying benefits of these indoor air purifying plants! For a plant to make our list, it must meet the following requirements:

  • Hard to Kill
  • Eliminate Common Salon Air Pollutants
  • Aesthetically Pleasing Salon Decoration

In case you are wondering which airborne chemicals decrease salon air quality the most, we made this handy chart for you below:

5 Most Common Salon Air Toxins
INGREDIENTFOUND INFACTS
FormaldehydePermanent Straightening Treatments, Keratin Treatments, Nail Polish, Nail Polish HardenersKnown Human Carcinogen
AmmoniaHair Color, Perm Systems, Window Cleaners, Floor WaxesCorrosive, damages cells upon breathing, swallowing or skin contact, Respiratory Irritant
BenzeneHair Colors, Plastics, Pesticides, Detergents, Synthetic FibersKnown Human Carcinogen, especially Leukemia
TrichloroethyleneHair Extensions Glue, Lace Wig GlueLong term exposure causes liver, kidney and skin damage

 

Best Indoor Air Purifying Plants for the Salon

 

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Peace Lily

Eye-catching and easy-to-care for, Peace Lily’s would look beautiful in a salon of any size. Their elegant white spathes and low maintenance care routine, make them an all-around all-star plant to have on display at the salon.

Removes: formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene and ammonia.
Care Tips: Low light or medium, indirect sunlight – soil: evenly moist; water weekly
 
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Aloe Vera

This healing succulent has multiple uses in the salon. It removes formaldehyde and benzene from the air, but it’s soothing gel can come in handy when you get the occasional hot tool burn. Tip: Our tribe of holistic hair stylists love to mix freshly cut aloe into fruit water for an extra kick of Vitamin E, or on clients with sensitive scalps!

Removes: formaldehyde, benzene
Care Tips: Loves sunlight, allow soil to dry between waterings
 
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English Ivy

 

These mesmerizing, vine-like plants can make a striking statement in any organic salon. Not only does it remove benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene, it removes airborne mold and feces. Yes, feces. So, don’t be afraid to put English Ivy in your salon restroom.

Removes: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, mold, feces
Care Tips: moist, even soil – water weekly, thrive in bright to low light

 

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Azalea

If you prefer a pop of brightly colored blooms for the salon, look no further than azaleas! This evergreen plant can thrive in salon without direct sunlight and even eliminates formaldehyde from the air. However, you’ll want to opt for greenhouse azaleas, as they’ll be able to survive indoors.

Removes: formaldehyde
Care Tips: prefers moist, even soil, humidity, cooler temps

 

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Weeping Fig

The Weeping Fig requires a bit more tender love and attention, but it’s intricately twisted trunk makes a beautiful statement in the salon.

Removes: Benzene, formaldehyde, ammonia

Care Tips: bright light, allow soil to dry between waterings, sensitive to temp changes

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5 Amazing Benefits of Amber Glass Salon Products

In an industry overflowing with plastic packaging, some brands are taking eco-friendly salon products to the next level.  Oway is the first professional hair company to adopt amber glass bottles as it’s primary source of packaging.

Amber glass is not only environmentally-friendly, but is 100% non-toxic – making it ideal for green salons everywhere.

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Plastic packaging accounts for 90% of all pollution in our oceans, and can leach harmful chemicals into our salon products.

Why Choose Amber Glass for Eco-Friendly Salon Products?

#1 Glass is 100% Infinitely Recyclable

Fun fact: glass is one of the only recyclable materials that can be re-used again and again – all without losing strength, durability or pureness.

Recycled plastic weakens over time and eventually cannot be re-purposed. And, where do you think unusable plastic is discarded at the end of its lifecycle? You guessed it – landfills and oceans.

#2 Amber Glass is Eye-Catching and Repurposeful

If you’ve browsed the DIY-crazed social network, Pinterest, lately, you’ll see thousands of crafts involving amber glass.

This unique material will give your green salon infinite upcycling and decor opportunities! From soy candles to indoor plant holders, the possibilities are endless with gorgeous glass!

Seriously, only with Oway’s eco-friendly salon products can you turn a once amazing pomade into a makeup brush or clip holder (as seen on the right).

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#3 Recycling Glass Is 40% Less Polluting Than Plastic

When you’re an eco-friendly salon, reducing your environmental impact is vital. Although plastic bottles can be recycled, the process is much more polluting than glass.

In fact, the process of recycling glass releases 40% less carbon in the air than plastic. Not to mention, less raw materials and energy are needed to reuse glass.

Choosing amber glass as your eco-friendly salon product packaging significantly decreases your environmental impact and carbon footprint.

#4 Protects Precious Ingredients From UV Light

Amber glass bottles are ideal for ensuring we reap all the wonderful benefits from active botanical ingredients.

Just how the sun’s UV rays damage our skin if left unprotected, they also adversely affect the purity of our eco-friendly salon products.

Not only does amber glass protect delicate, organic ingredients from photo damage, but allows us to eliminate toxic, synthetic preservatives, like parabens.

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#5 Glass is 100% Non-Toxic and Safe

In a recent study from Environmental Health Perspective, scientists found over 70% of plastic leaches hormone-mimicking chemicals into the substance it stores.

These undesirable plastic byproducts can wreak havoc on the human body’s endocrine system – the part of the body responsible for balancing hormones – making them exceptionally problematic for women.

Also known as estrogenic activity (EA) makers, these unseen ingredients are highly correlated with increased breast cancer rates – the most prominent cancer type among women in the United States.

When you choose eco-friendly salon products made with amber glass, you’re choosing products kind to your tresses, the environment, and your health.

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