Hair salon near Hazleton to keep things green

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No waste, no problem. This is the new motto of Halogen Hair Company in Hazle Township.

HAZLETON, Pa. — Salon owner Ashley Evert didn’t like seeing all the hair sheets filling her trash cans every day at Halogen Hair Company in Hazle Township.

“A single-use item like this that goes in the trash and sits in the landfill literally made me want to cry.”

Some research led her to the Green Circle Salon program, a company that collects and recycles beauty waste, from hair dye to real human hair.

“Green Circle actually sends [hair] to oil spills to help clean up oil because hair is porous so it safely absorbs it,” Evert explained.

“Our metallic hair coloring foils, spray cans, all that kind of stuff gets recycled into new metallic objects. Our color – I think it’s the coolest – is separated between oils in water in the water treatment facilities, then the oil is mixed with the fuel and the water is returned to the water system.”

Recycling so much trash is no small feat, especially since Ashley was the only one running the show here for years. Thanks to a team of stylists and state funding, items like single-use gloves now have a place to go other than a landfill.

“The beauty industry is one of the biggest contributors to waste; everything we have comes in the form of metal tubes or plastic bottles,” said stylist Brooke Sheets. “So knowing that we’re sending all of these items somewhere where they’ll actually be used for a greater good is really gratifying.”

“It really makes me feel good, as someone who just graduated from cosmetology school, and seeing as this is the first salon in the area to do something like this, it makes me really proud to ‘be part of it,’ says Johna Rudden.

“It’s just gratifying to know that we’re making a big difference. It’s being used for something better,” said Kassandra Bogner.

“It’s definitely been a bit of a learning curve to figure out what goes where. Those are some of the little things that we didn’t think about,” Kimberly Ray said. “But now that we’re finally getting into the groove because it’s our first month doing it, we’re really having a great time and having fun doing it as well, which is awesome.”

And as Ashley says, it doesn’t have to be perfect to be worth it.

“I think we read a lot in the news about climate change, and we see things on social media, we watch Netflix documentaries, and it can seem very dark and scary, and I think we can feel crushed by this weight. But I think it’s important to start, to do anything.”

Halogen Hair Company is the first salon in Luzerne County to register as a Green Circle salon, but the owner hopes they won’t be the only ones for long.

“I really, really hope this inspires other salons, and other businesses as a whole, and even an individual, to make a change.”

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