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Nov 29, 2016 04:26PM

Pure Hair Studio: Davenport salon works to be waste-free

By Ann Ring
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Pure Hair Studio stylists Brittney Sixtos and Ashley Fahrenkrug hold up large bags of waste from the salon to be recycled.
If you're like me, you probably haven't thought much about the waste that accumulates at your hair salon — the foils, hair, the products or bottles. When you leave the chair, the floor is swept and everything is just tossed out, right? Well, think of how much waste adds up in just a single salon with eight to 12 clients per day, per chair.

Pure Hair Studio in Davenport is one salon that gets it.
"We're all about reducing our carbon footprint," says studio director Aimee Weaver. Owner "Stacey (Spillum) is very conscious about this in her personal life. She knew how much waste was being thrown out at the salon, so she wanted to do something about it. She brought her own philosophy of what she lives by to Pure Hair Studio."

Pure Hair Studio practices zero waste by recycling as much as it possibly can. According to Weaver, 90 percent of its waste now is shipped off, and the rest of it equates to only half a bag per week.

"We recycle our foils, vinyl gloves, excess color, bottles and plastics, color tubes, aerosol cans, hair tools, mannequin heads, ink cartridges, batteries, lights — just about everything, even hair," Weaver says.

For example, because human hair and animal fur absorb oil, hair clippings swept up from the floor can be stuffed into recycled nylon hosiery covered in mesh to make large sponge-like mats known as hair booms, which are then used to clean up oil spills and sewage drainage systems.

Spillum learned about a company called Green Circle Salons during a class hosted by Salon Only Sales, which promotes organic and sustainable hair products. Green Circles Salons, of Ontario, Canada, offers a comprehensive recycling/repurposing program that ensures hair, foils, color tubes, plastics, papers and chemicals get diverted out of our waste and water streams. Spillum was inspired by what she heard, and back at Pure Hair Studio, Weaver was able to connect with the Green Circle Salon partners to learn more about how Pure could go waste-free.

As of July, Green Circle Salons has certified Pure Hair Studio as one of only three certified Green Circle Salons in Iowa.

"Green Circles handles everything for us," Weaver says. "We put nearly everything in chemical recycling bins, then ship them off to a Green Circles Salon Chicago location, and they take it from there. We can even recycle used hair foils that have product on them."

There is a fee of about $1 per customer for the recycling service, which is divided equally between Pure Hair Studio and its customers.

Weaver also expresses how pleased they are with their choice of hair care products, which are made by Davines of Italy. The line offers options for no sulfates, parabens, gluten and nonammonia hair color. It also promotes sustainability projects, including its eco-packaging initiative, which creates packaging that is as environmentally friendly as possible.

Pure Hair Studio also uses Youngblood Mineral Products, which are free of talc, parabens, oil and fragrance, and are made of natural, finely ground minerals from the earth.
"We do a ton of (makeup services for) bridal parties and events. Women wearing Youngblood look great in front of the camera," Weaver says.

Pure Hair Studio also sells Original Sprout, a line of baby- and kid-friendly products made with natural and organic ingredients free of parabens, nanoparticles, musk, propylene, glycol, sulfates, gluten, soy and dairy.

The products Pure Hair Studio uses work differently than conventional hair products, so Weaver says stylists explain how their products work to their customers ahead of time.
"Our products definitely have a different feel and consistency," she says.
For example, since their products do not contain sulfates, hair will lather differently than what many clients are used to.

Weaver says its products "will change your life. It's like a full treatment every time you use them."

A July Pure Hair Salon Facebook post sums up their enthusiasm: "Going forward, all of our waste will be recycled and used in ways to better the world around us! At your next visit, you will leave the salon knowing the world is a better place than when you entered!"
Ann Ring is a frequent Radish contributor. For more information about Pure Hair Studio, visit facebook.com/PureHairStudio563 or call 563-424-2327.

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