Making Beauty Eco-Friendly: A Cosmetology Guide

The beauty industry is dedicated to helping people look and feel beautiful every day. Beauty salons require the consumption of a great deal of energy and water.  There are however no reasons beauty professionals can’t help support the natural beauty of the planet.

A growing number of consumers are demanding eco-friendly businesses, and more companies are taking steps that support sustainability to become eco-conscious. In addition to helping the planet, this approach can improve a company’s bottom line.

Go Green, Save Green

One of the biggest misconceptions is that going green costs more. It is not just buying sustainable and eco-friendly products, but it is about turning off a light or unplugging appliances when not in use. These habits are good for the planet and your pocketbook.

Reducing the salon’s carbon footprint is about simple habits to save resources. Does a faucet leak? Fix it and save money and water. Do you have openings in the salon that lets out air conditioning? Repair those cracks and stop wasting air conditioning. Can you use natural light during the day and dim the lights to save energy? Reducing paper usage is another way for a beauty salon to go green. The salon can keep digital records and email receipts to customers. If you must use paper, make sure it is 100% recycled paper.

Choosing fuel-efficient options, recycling, and buying products that help to sustain the environment is often more cost-effective than the alternatives. Many hairstylists and beauty salons are turning to these business practices to become more energy-efficient, lower costs, and embody a positive image that appeals to their clients. For many consumers, a company’s ecological footprint is the deciding factor in choosing their services. In response, the beauty industry is adopting some of the following solutions to become more responsible.

Sensible Electricity Use

Beauty salons rely on appliances to perform their services, making this an obvious target when looking for eco-friendly options. Awareness, responsible use, and the adoption of these eco-friendly solutions can help.

Lighting – Switching to LED lighting uses less energy and lasts longer, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. LED lights can reduce energy use by 75 percent and exceed the lifespan of an incandescent bulb. There are many options, and beauty salon owners can choose LED lighting that’s flattering for their customers and allows them to work their styling magic.


Appliances – Turning off hood dryers, flat irons, and curling irons when not in use has a big impact on energy consumption. Unplugging standby power appliances at night – like computers, automatic coffee makers, stereos, TVs, cable boxes, and cable modems further helps reduce waste. Using central power strips supports this effort. Choosing products with an ENERGY STAR label lowers energy consumption while the item is in use.


Heating and Cooling – Client comfort is key in a successful beauty salon, but HVAC systems represent a massive amount of energy use and waste. Upgrading to programmable thermostats, properly sealing ducts, and up-to-date insulation installation are smart options. Adding ceiling fans, awnings and vegetation helps reduce energy usage. These eco-friendly touches are also a wonderful way to create a warm, inviting space for salon clients.

Eco-Friendly Water Usage

Water conservation is a goal for many eco-conscious beauty salons and hair stylists. Fixing leaks and drips immediately is an obvious first step. Eliminating hot water use in salon washing machines and limiting laundry loads saves energy and money.

Low-flow shower heads offer another opportunity for water conservation. In support of that effort, ECOHEADS is partnering with salons across the U.S. to save “over a million gallons of water each day in North America alone.” This partnership furthers the industry’s dedication to sustainability.

Smart Consumerism

In addition to energy-conservation efforts and changes, the beauty industry is promoting sustainability in other areas and working to raise awareness by adopting eco-conscious habits.

Beauty salons may offer fair trade coffee and tea to their clients in reusable cups, instead of using disposable items. Some beauty salons even compost hair clippings.

The use of eco-friendly, natural, cruelty-free, and organic beauty brands makes a strong statement, demonstrating a true commitment to merging beauty and ecology. These eco-friendly hair care goods include dyes, shampoos, conditioners and product.

Eco-Friendly Marketing

Many salon customers are looking to help the planet and going to an eco-friendly salon is a good start. Advertising that you are eco-friendly can attract more clients. Show customers that your beauty salon cares about the environment by using green products, recycling and promoting your eco-friendly attributes to salon customers. Focus on a few key points to promote your eco-friendly salon, whether low-energy usage, sustainable product purchasing, non-toxic ingredients in salon products, and/or recycling practices.

Cruelty-Free Salon Products

Another way to help the environment is to use and sell salon products that are not animal-tested or animal-derived. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) endorses products that are cruelty free. Look for this endorsement when purchasing or selling salon products for use in the beauty salon.

Use Ammonia-Free Hair Color

Using ammonia-free hair color is not only good for the environment it is good for your clients. The use of ammonia has been linked to many health issues and the smell alone makes the beauty salon have a toxic smell.

For creative people who are passionate about both the beauty of the individual and that of the planet, a career as a hair stylist can be a fulfilling option. Happily, the beauty industry is receptive to the eco-friendly movement and embracing green options for conservative energy use and sustainability.

Ready to implement eco-friendly choices in a salon setting? Need to get your undergraduate certificate in cosmetology first? At Minnesota School of Cosmetology, we are dedicated to helping our Cosmetology program students develop a foundation and flair for style through hands-on training in basic and advanced industry techniques. You will learn how to cut, color and style hair, give manicures and pedicures, provide spa treatments and perform various skin care techniques from industry-experienced instructors in a professional salon setting. We have small class sizes to make sure you get the individualized instruction you need and attention you deserve. You will graduate with everything you need to be a versatile artist in an exciting industry, including a cosmetology diploma from a respected college.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a hairstylist and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

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