The hair is stuffed into recycled nylon hosiery and covered in mesh to make booms for soaking up coastal oil spills
Spotted: We don’t often consider the environmental impact of hairdressing, but beauty salons can be more polluting than we think, and the way they are run can make a big difference. This is because many salons use and sell products containing extremely toxic chemicals, and much of this goes straight down the drain. However, one Midlothian salon is demonstrating that an eco-friendly approach can also be lucrative.
The salon, Luvely Hair, is owned by Gemma Hill, who stumbled on the Green Salon Collective on social media and knew right away that she wanted to get involved. The Green Salon Collective is a UK-wide initiative that aims to make the hairdressing industry more sustainable. Luvely will use Wella’s new WeDo range of products, which are 100 per cent recyclable, certified cruelty-free and vegan. On top of this, for every WeDo product purchased, the company removes eight pieces of ocean plastic.
The salon also recycles everything it can – including hair. While most salons throw everything in one bin, Luvely uses a strict bin system that separates used foils, empty colour tubes, chemicals, and PPE for recycling. Long hair is donated to wig making charities, while shorter hair is collected and sent to a programme that stuffs it into recycled nylon hosiery and covers it in mesh to make booms for soaking up coastal oil spills.
Hill enthusiastically describes this last use: “Hair doesn’t absorb water but it does absorb oil so it can be used to clean up oil spills. It can also be cleaned and reused so it can be used over and over again.”
Luvely Hair is an example of how beauty is the next frontier for green products, as more people begin to move away from using chemicals that are damaging to the environment. We have seen this demonstrated recently with innovations that include water-saving salon-quality hair products for home use and plastic packaging-free solid shampoo bars.
Written By: Lisa Magloff