Tips from an Eco-Friendly Salon Owner
BY SAMANTHA LACOSTE
I decided a few years back I wanted to live cleaner, eat more naturally and use less plastic. So I decided to attend a Zero Waste meetup, where people exchange ideas on living more clean; the host gives insight and education on clean eating and how to utilize literally everything in your house.
So it got me thinking, I’m a salon owner, educator, and hairstylist; I run an eco-friendly salon, have partnered up with a company that repurposes 95% of the materials in our salon, but I still felt like I needed to do more. What about all the bottles of shampoo and conditioner? What’s inside them? What can we possibly do to make us even more green?
So after doing much digging and soul searching on what products are out there, what home remedies people use, and the plastic-free options on the market, I wanted to share my findings with you on what products will be a combination of the greenest living and the best hair care options.
Before we make a conscious decision, I believe it is important to understand the science and the why behind things. I promise I’m not going all Bill Nye on you!
We are all unique in our own way, and the same goes for our hair. Each person has individual hair needs; some get dry scalps, some get excess oily hair, some hair is susceptible to breakage, and some hair is resistant to colour. But one thing is for sure, everyone’s hair is made of protein and moisture, some have less than others depending on how they treat it, but a strand of hair can not live with one and not the other. When we colour our hair or use heat, we are stripping the hair of its natural proteins and moistures, so we have to constantly replenish our hair to maintain its strength and health.
Now, it goes without saying, professional haircare will have higher grade ingredients than a cheaper product sold at Walmart, but what about making our own haircare using ingredients bought in the grocery store?
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good DIY; however, we need to know what some of these ingredients can do to our hair. I love using the analogy of medication. Some medications work topically, and some work by ingesting, but neither will work the other way around. The same goes for our hair. Using avocados, honey, and apple cider vinegar are great ingredients for treating our bodies internally, but they don’t necessarily work the same way topically. They can strengthen our hair internally, but externally they can cause build-up on the hair and scalp. Yes, some can give our hair moisture depending on the ingredient, but they won’t add the proteins that our hair needs (the same goes for shampoo bars).
I could go on and on sharing my thoughts on every product and ingredient, but my point is;
- choose a product that works for your hair and scalp needs
- find a haircare company that aligns with your values
- check their ingredient list to see if it’s free of parabens, sulfates, etc.
- check to see if their packaging is eco-friendly (some of them even have compostable plastics)
I will leave you with this, the best advice I got when trying to switch to more clean living was not to stress if you can’t change every single item in your life to clean and plastic-free; some of them, it’s just not possible. As long as you do your best to choose better products and ingredients that work for you, then that is the first step to a life of greener living.
Hey there! I’m Samantha Lacoste. I’m a salon owner, hairstylist, and educator from Winnipeg, Canada. I’m what they call a “student for life”, I’m obsessed with learning new skills, new hair trends, and currently how to macrame and grow my own garden. I have been fortunate to travel the world, work backstage at fashion week, and lead a team of stylists in my own salon. But my passion is sharing all the knowledge that I have learned over the years with others. You can find me on Instagram @hairbysamlacoste and my podcast and resources for hairstylists and creatives @secretlifeofa_hairstylist.