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Sustainability in the Beauty Industry

When you visit a hair salon, you may have a more significant environmental impact than you realize. Hair salons use large amounts of water, generate waste, and frequently use potentially harmful chemicals to color and style hair. Thankfully, there is a growing awareness of the effect these activities have on the environment, and some salons are working to become more eco-friendly.

History of the Hair Salon Sustainability Movement

The beauty industry has been under public scrutiny for decades, creating pressure to develop more responsible approaches to current issues. For example, some of the earliest issues raised by the public over 75 years ago were about using animal testing for makeup and other beauty products. Thanks to this pressure, the industry developed more humane testing methods.

More recently, the public and the beauty industry have become increasingly concerned with environmental issues. Thanks to their growing awareness of problems like microplastic pollution, single-use plastics, and energy and water wastage, both major manufacturers and small salons are looking for ways to shrink their carbon footprint.


One of the most obvious steps a hair salon owner can take is to collect and recycle materials used in their establishment. This includes obvious items like paper, plastic, and glass, but some salons have also found ways to repurpose used foils, excess hair color, and even hair clippings, which can be included in compost. These recycling efforts keep the materials out of landfills and waterways, and also help reduce the need to harvest raw materials for manufacturing since the recycled items can be made into new products.

Eco-friendly hair salons are also choosing sustainable hair products that use recycled or biodegradable packaging, and also don’t include harmful microbeads. They may also offer organic products for more natural styles, highlights, and updos. Meanwhile, special showerheads can save water without decreasing the pressure during your wash and rinse, and well-designed color mixing bowls and color management systems allow them to use less dye, so there’s less waste afterward.

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