A hairy adventure

The team at Hair to Stare At.

Thousands of strands of hair were once chopped off and disposed of, destined to spend their last days in a bottomless landfill.

Now, a Tauranga hair salon has given your forgotten hair clippings a new lease of life, by becoming completely sustainable.

Hair to Stare At is leading the trend of becoming zero waste thanks to Sustainable Salons - a social enterprise that rescues up to 95 per cent of salon resources from landfill.

Salon owner Corina Conn says becoming completely sustainable has been an ongoing project for the last year, and recommends all Tauranga salons to get on board.

“It started off with my kids coming home from school saying they didn’t want to use glad wrap, because they were learning about what it does to the environment in school,” says Corina.

She says she started recycling, reusing and re-purposing items at home and thought she better start doing it at the salon as well.

“I started introducing the same washing powder packs, getting reusable gloves and using products from companies that are all about being sustainable and cruelty free.

“That’s when I saw a Facebook post from an Australian company called Sustainable Salon, who do some really interesting stuff.

“They said that they were coming to New Zealand, so I put my name down for some help.”

Thanks to Sustainable Salon, Corina says the salon now recycles all paper, cardboard, foils and colour cans/tubes. All single-use plastics, such as bags, will also be recycled, reused or re-purposed, and hair clippings, razors and salon chemicals will be re-purposed.

“The hair that’s cut off will be collected in one bin and Sustainable Salon will come and take the hair to make into brooms for commercial oil spills,” she says.

“Anyone who wants more than 20cm of hair cut off will also have their hair collected and taken away to make wigs for kids with alopecia or cancer.”

Salon chemicals won’t go down the drain either - instead they will be processed and turned back into re-usable water.

“I think being sustainable should be something that everyone should consider, because it’s extremely important.

“But from a business perspective, it’s helping keep down waste and also bringing in a new range of clients who are really self-conscious about their waste.”