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We all know that wasted hair color is bad for your business and the environment … but where does it end up after we’ve said goodbye?

The beauty industry creates a staggering amount of waste: nearly a half-million pounds come out of North American businesses every single day. We know that black trash bags usually take a one-way trip straight to the landfill, but what is the alternative?

Industry waste specialist Green Circle Salons has spent the last decade building innovative ways to recycle, repurpose, and reimagine what was once considered trash. Today, over 95% of the waste materials we use in salons and spas can be recovered through this simple program – from hair clippings and foils to electronics, spa materials, and yes, even leftover color.

So what’s the big deal?

“The problem with how we’ve previously disposed of these specific waste materials is that it just can’t be sustained by the planet any longer,” says Lead GCS Educator Will Simpson. “Leftover hair color usually gets poured down the drain, along with cleaning solutions, medication, and all of the other things that our wastewater centers were never designed to treat. The result is, it ends up back in our lakes and oceans where it bioaccumulates and creates disastrous impacts that move up the food chain. Our bodies end up as the final filter, and nobody wants to drink that!”

Keeping color clean and green

It starts at the color bar, with reducing the amount of color you mix to precisely the amount you need for the service. Then, we need to dispose of any residual leftovers responsibly. Green Circle Salons has developed a system that works in tandem with Vish technology to help salons responsibly manage any leftovers. With Vish reducing the hair color used at the source, and Green Circle Salons recycling any extras, salons are becoming more environmentally conscious without having to change much in their day-to-day.


How Green Circle Salons Works

Hair color gets collected at the salon in a specially designed unit and delivered back to Green Circle Salons for safe disposal. These materials are then sent to facilities that treat the color to remove and neutralize the water before turning the leftover pigment into clean energy ready for the local power grid.“With this program in place, every time we accidentally over-mix we are still able to produce a series of usable streams,” Simpson says. In addition to creating clean energy, the process also creates a type of ash that can be used to make bricks, cement, and other building materials.

Ultimately, this means that we no longer need to drink water tainted with our last balayage and everything picked up by Green Circle Salons is converted into something useful for life on earth. Finally, you can create, inspire and delight your clients without feeling bad for the future of our planet.

And now, for something completely different…

In response to the 2020 pandemic, Green Circle Salons has also released a PPE Recovery Initiative that allows beauty businesses to provide a safe and sustainable solution to single-use materials like masks, gloves, sanitary wipes, and more.

Because business shutdowns have taken a toll on everyone and owners are looking for more ways to shore up their finances, Green Circle Salons also developed a sophisticated Health and Sustainability calculator, which provides a better understanding of how to budget for new costs in order to maintain pre-pandemic profitability.

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