There are numerous ways in which it's possible to become a sustainable salon. Hair salon owners may already utilize some of these measures, such as outfitting their salon with LED lighting for reduced energy consumption, offering organic styling and coloring products, and using water-saving devices to reduce water usage when washing clients' hair. But hair salons create a significant amount of a specific waste product. Is there a sustainable way to dispose of the hair that would ordinarily be thrown straight into the trash?
Depending on the size of your operation, you might not be left with sufficient hair waste to implement a distinct repurposing scheme. This doesn't mean that hair waste should be unceremoniously discarded. Human hair can in fact be composted, creating a fertilizer rich in nutrients. If you (or any of your staff) compost at home, salon hair can be used for this purpose. Alternatively, reach out to any local community gardens, offering them the opportunity to regularly collect your waste hair for their own composting needs.
Useful in a Crisis
It might require some research on your part, but you should consider looking for environmental organizations that accept donations of waste hair. In creating a partnership with such an organization, waste hair is regularly collected from your salon. It has a practical application in an environmental crisis with waste hair being woven into mats which are used to collect oil from the ocean in the event of an oil spill. Human hair naturally repels water while absorbing grease and oil, making it an effective (and natural) tool that can be extremely beneficial in an oil spill.
For Those in Need
There are a number of charitable organizations that also accept human hair. These donations require a usable length of hair (such as when a client has their ponytail removed), as opposed to fragments. This hair is then used to make wigs for those in need. The finished product might assist someone suffering from temporary hair loss as the result of chemotherapy or someone with an autoimmune medical condition that has led to hair loss, such as alopecia areata.
There are many ways in which a business can minimize waste, but for a hair salon, waste hair is the byproduct of a thriving operation, and that can't be minimized. However, there are far more sustainable uses for that hair which will keep it from becoming trash.
For more information, contact a company like She's a Head Case.