What do you do to be environmentally friendly in your salon?

March 30, 2009

What do you do to be environmentally friendly in your salon?



We cut open all bottles that we can to get out every bit of product. We send out e-mail newsletters, and print double-sided copies for in-salon use. We hang sheets and capes to dry, then just fluff them in the dryer; I compost dryer lint in my compost pile at home. We recycle all plastic bags, papers, magazines, light bulbs, ink cartridges, cardboard boxes, bottles, and batteries.

Deb Crouthamel-Blowars

Artistic Trends Salon, Sellersville, Pa.


I find being environmentally friendly in the salon a lot harder than at home. Perm solution, developers, activator sprayed into the air — I’m sure this gives us a pretty big carbon footprint. We do what we can, like recycling magazines, cans, newspapers, etc.; trying not to leave the water running in the shampoo bowl while shampooing; and turning the temperature down on the hot water heater. We bought a steam cleaner to clean our floors, so we don’t use harsh cleaners there, and we’re trying to go greener when buying cleaning supplies for the rest of the salon. I’m looking forward to hearing what other salons do and getting new ideas to make us a greener salon.

Dani Clark

Beyond Vanity, Fort Smith, Ark.


I print my menus and business cards on post-consumer paper and ask clients if they mind if I use the same plastic bag for their pedi as I used on their hands during the mani. (After the hand and foot massage, I place clients’ hands in plastic before inserting into heated mitts and booties.) My flooring is made from partly recycled rubber, the paint is low VOC (which refers to “volatile organic compounds”), and all the lotions I use are free from parabens and synthetic fragrances. I also recycle as much as possible (magazines, clients’ coffee cups, etc.), and I have water service instead of offering bottled water.

Karri Patton

Studio Karri L., Seattle


We’ve built a green building, which is in the process of earning gold LEED certification. We use green cleaning supplies, our linens are made from bamboo, we do our laundry in-house, and drive SMART cars. We’re also educating the public about being green; when a new client walks in, we talk to her about what we do to be environmentally friendly in the salon. Also, I ride my bike to work two or three times a week instead of driving and, for the ISSE tradeshow in Long Beach, the entire staff carpooled from the salon to the convention center.

Robbie Schaeffer

ROB|B: An OPI Concept Salon

Studio City, Calif.


MPC was built out of all recycled material, including the stuffing in the cushions, all the tile, metal, and leather. We used low VOC paint and, whenever possible, our cleaning supplies are non-toxic. All lotions and scrubs are all-natural/organic, and we use lemons instead of alcohol to prep the nail before polish. We recycle everything and use dimmers on all lights to save energy. Plus, if clients walk or ride a bike to MPC they get a free scrub.

Ally Conley

ManiPediCutie!, Hermosa Beach, Calif.


Changing to eco-friendly polish (I use Zoya) and organic scrubs can make more money for a salon when it is promoted and marketed as such. Some places are even using non-toxic paint for the walls. We use all non-toxic cleaning supplies, an autoclave to sterilize our tools, non-acetone polish remover, and recycle all paper, cardboard, and plastic.

Naja Rickette

Extremedys Hand & Foot Spa,

West Hollywood, Calif.



Read more about

What’s the cause of the pinkish-red oval area on the pad of my client’s toes?

I have a client who has a recurring problem with her fourth toes during the winter months. Both of her “ring finger” toes develop a pinkish-red oval area on the pad. Then a month later, when I see her again, the skin has become dry and hard like a callus, with the layers of skin peeling away to reveal a deeper, dark epicenter.  It’s extremely painful for her and, needless to say, we do not touch it. But it clears up in the summer when she’s wearing open-toed sandals, so I suspect it has to be due to the boots she wears in the winter. Plus she never puts lotion on her feet or uses a foot file in between visits. What do you think causes this?


What are the big white spots on my natural-nail client’s nails?

I have a client who has been with me for about two years. She used to wear acrylic nails but has been a natural nail client for eight months or so. She has these white spots on her nails — big spots that are dry, but not flaky, right in the middle of the nail. I did try to buff them lightly but they do not come off or grow off. I had a new client come in last week who had the same on her toenails. She said it started after she had a pedicure done at another salon. Can you help?

Load More