Written by Nicole Barker, ESLLC 2016-2017
Every year, millions of people get their hair cut and unknowingly come into contact with environmental issues such as water use, energy use, and toxic chemicals. Let Em Have It Salon, located in downtown Denver, is changing that. They are a sustainable business focused on reducing waste, using natural products, and emphasizing local causes.
Unlike other salons, Let Em Have It practices zero waste with each client. They partnered with Green Circle Salons, based in Toronto, to make this happen. To achieve zero waste, they recycle and repurpose hair, foils, color-tubes, papers, plastics, and divert excess hair chemicals from being rinsed down the drain. They recycle more than they throw away! The salon is also committed to having a zero footprint and are certified green through Certifiably Green Denver. The products that they use have biodegradable packaging, their furniture is either up-cycled or antique, they use only LED lighting, ammonia-free color, eco-friendly cleaning services, and the best, they have over 500 plants to filter and insulate the air!
Another super cool aspect of this salon is that they give back and support the local community. They offer organic refreshments that help fight hunger or support local sustainable farms. The salon also promotes small businesses and local artists.
Many products used in hair and nail salons contain numerous toxic chemicals due to lack of government oversight. BHAs and BHTs, often found in moisturizers, cause genetic mutations in amphibians and bioaccumulates in marine species. Siloxanes, found in hair products commonly used in salons, have been found in krill. Krill is at the bottom of the food chain so siloxanes bioaccumulate too and contaminate our waterways. Triclosan, found in cleansers, changes the biochemistry of species and increases resistance. These are only four chemicals out of the extensive list that are bad for the environment. Let Em Have It salon does not use any products with any of these chemicals-only natural products.
If all salons went green like Let Em Have It, there would be a significant drop in energy and water use, contamination, and trash. This salon is pioneering the way towards a greener world!