Introducing Mirror Talkers

In an exclusive interview with Denise Baden, Professor of Sustainable Business at the University of Southampton and Founder of eco hair and beauty we learn about Mirror Talkers, the innovative eco tips that can be applied to your salon’s mirrors to enhance your sustainable status.

Please introduce the brand. 

I set up eco hair and beauty as I believed hairdressers would be great to help spread the word about adopting more sustainable practices. Running hot water is one of the most expensive and energy consuming things we do in our homes, so advice such as shampooing once, rather than rinse and repeat, saves time, money and energy all whilst benefitting the condition of your client’s hair. 

Who are Mirror Talkers and what inspired you to pursue this study? 

We began by offering educational resources that are free to access. These include training videos, PowerPoints for hair colleges and a free virtual salon training tool. On completion, stylists receive a sustainable stylist certificate and once their stylists are certified, salons can self-certify as a sustainable salon. Thousands have gone through this process and been certified, but what was missing was the connection to the client. 

To address this, we partnered with Green Salon Collective to design Mirror Talkers – eco tips that salons stick to mirrors which prompt conversations about sustainable haircare practices. For example: ‘have you tried leave-in conditioner?’ or ‘most of us use too much shampoo and shampoo too often.’ A recent study with 21 salons found hairdressers enjoyed using them. Clients also loved them, with 73% saying it was very likely or likely that they would change their haircare routines as a result.

What do you think the future of a sustainable hair and beauty industry looks like?

The impact hairdressers can make is huge. The difference between high and low resource haircare is over two thousand percent! 

  • High resource client: shampoo once, rinse, repeat, condition, rinse, blow dry, and straighten every day. Water use = 14,222 litres; energy use = 1252kWh, carbon footprint = 579kg CO₂ 
  • Lower resource client: uses dry shampoo once a week, shampoos hair twice a week, uses leave in conditioner, and lets hair dry to 80% dry before using a hairdryer. Water use = 613 litres; energy use = 55 kWh, carbon footprint = 25.4kg CO₂ 

Our goal with Mirror Talkers is to get hairdressers to realise their power to share sustainable advice that is good for hair, bills and the planet. 

How can salons get involved with Mirror Talkers?

Download Mirror Talkers from www.greensaloncollective.com

Green Salon Collective will also post a pack of 12 Mirror Talkers to any salon for £1.50. 

Links to the Mirror Talkers, the report, video and free posters for salons can be downloaded on ecohairandbeauty.com