There are some instances where a salon refurb simply cannot be done on a budget, as was the case when Elan Hair Design in Aberdeen which had its sights set on a green initiative. With an initial budget of £140,000, final costings came in at £225,000- seemingly a lot to pay out to achieve its green goals but methodical spending menas the salon should get back the money, plus more in the years to come.

“Elan’s main objective was to create as green a salon as possible, the second was to make green exciting,” said designer Charlie Hearn who helped Elan complete its green goals.

As well as changing the lighting system to LED, using solar energy , purchasing zero carbon furniture and installing ceramic flooring made from 40 percent reconstituted material , Elan has changed everything down to the combs to make sure that the salon’s materials are recyclable, composted or reused wherever possible .

salon furniture

salon design by beauty planet

The eco-crazed salon has always looked at ways to reduce CO2 emissions using biodegradable single-use Scrummi towels to cut energy and water consumption. Staff even collect cut hair for composting at a local farm. But where exactly were the 250k spent?

“Although it seems like a big budget, it’s easily spent,” says Charlie . During the design process they took over the adjoining building and extended the salon by 30 percent. Now the salon spans 3,000 square feet and the extra space has allowed them to incorporate 20 styling positions, four backwashes, three barber positions, a colour process zone, makeup bar, manicure station and a beauty room.

The salon furniture budget was £50,000 and it was all spent on styling chairs and backwashes specifically chosen for their eco credentials. There was no scrimping on green initiatives from recycled floor materials to solar thermal and solar PV panels and Air Source Heat Pumps.

Charlie explains: “Solar panels produce the hot water at Elan, so they now have free hot water along with free electricity from the solar TV panels.”

The staff, kitchen and toilet areas were also fitted with motion detectors to eliminate lights being left on in empty rooms and any electricity that doesn’t get used gets sold back to National Grid so the salon actually makes a profit- the mechanisms make great business sense as well as being environmentally positive.

It took five weeks in total from an empty shell to a finished salon but the bonus with a lot of the work being on the outside meant Elan remained open for business throughout most of the building work.

Charlie’s advice to any salon owners thinking about going green is to seek help from Government initiatives who can help your budget for environmental changes, adding: “Going green will save your business money in the future. Swopping to low energy lighting, disposable towels, water saving devices or looking at solar paneling are steps any slaon big or small can take. It’s about getting everyone on the first step of the green ladder.”

Whether you want to make your salon more eco aware or just give it a new lease of life, there are simple changes you can make without breaking the bank[ unless you want to of course].

Salon design by Beauty Planet.

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