Meet Heather Loudon, the creative thinker behind Society Hair Design’s eco-friendly practices. This talented lady is cutting, sweeping and studying her way to a greener future for hairdressing!
Not only is Heather a sustainability extraordinaire and salon owner, but she is also studying at the University of NSW!
“I’m hoping that, by studying, it helps me to become a better environmental, human and animal rights activist!”
Talk about a wonder woman!
Heather tells us that she was inspired to start studying when she attended an inspirational art team meeting given by Carmody Homan. He told her to, ‘have a thick skin and a soft heart…’ and to, ‘Go places that inspire you’.
“The thing that stuck with me most was when he said, ‘you never stay the same. You’re either getting better or getting worse. Ask yourself every day – Did I get better or worse today?’”
The reason Heather decided to pursue further study was that as a hairdresser and a person, she wanted to get better. “I want to live a good life in a way that aligns with who I am and I felt I needed a better education to do that.”
And she’s putting those critical thinking skills to good use!
Heather has drastically reduced the amount of waste that her salon creates. She’s done this by switching from disposable coffee cups to reusable cups, and not automatically giving out appointment cards.
“Lots of my clients put the details straight into their phone anyway, and I think that automatically writing on appointment cards was counter to [sustainable] practices.”
She’s also mindful when mixing colours to avoid excess wastage. Heather knows all too well the struggles of finding the perfect dye-to-hair ratio! “It’s not easy on a Saturday if you’re running late!” She comments, but assures us that, to her, it’s worth it.
In between shampooing, sweeping and cutting hair, Heather brainstorms the ways she can make her salon more eco-friendly.
She recently realised that lunchtime was their most wasteful time of the day, with her bins being constantly full of plastic takeaway boxes and soy sauce fish. “In order to circumvent this, I now keep a [reusable] plastic box at work to collect my food.”
She also keeps condiments such as soy sauce at the salon so she doesn’t need to accept disposable packets!
Another green step Society Hair Design takes is to save energy and water too! The salon uses an Eco Heads showerhead to save water and give more pressure. It’s a win-win!
They also pull down their blinds during the hottest part of the day instead of cranking up the air con. These simple steps make energy efficiency easy!
This year, Heather has decided to stop giving her clients individually wrapped chocolates. Instead, she has decided to make mini protein balls.
“It might also be handy for when I can’t get lunch!” She says.
Heather believes that, “The biggest thing that I can do this year is to try and inspire people by simply talking about sustainable practices.”
Through her studies, she has learned that the best way to create change is through positive social peer pressure.
“Not in a nasty bullying way, but in a positive and inspiring way. So that being environmentally friendly is not only the normal thing to do, but the most socially acceptable thing to do.”
“Thankfully the world is progressing and realising that how we act towards the environment will impact greatly on all our futures. If you can do something ethically why not? …The alternative is literally death for the planet – It doesn’t get more motivating than that!”
Heather wants to encourage all hairdressers to take action! She reminds us that it’s all about getting into the habit of sustainable practices.
“I know it’s hard when we are all so busy, but even just using reusable coffee cups and shopping bags can make a huge difference!” She says.
She encourages everyone to, “Cast your net wide! Watch lots of docos and videos. See what environmental incentives are happening in your local area! The more you immerse yourself, the more you’ll see how to add sustainable practices into your daily life.”
Heather’s next big dream is to help to coach other people to run ethical and sustainable businesses!
We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for what creative idea she cooks up next!
Sustainable Salons Australia provides the most comprehensive waste free systems to the professional hairdressing industry. We collect and recycle 95% of a salon’s waste and reward the salon for their recycling efforts!
Contact us here if you’d like to become a member of Sustainable Salons Australia.