North Van salon collects hair to help in the event of a West Coast oil spill
A hair salon on Lower Londsdale is ready to help if an oil spill damages the West Coast.
After each appointment, staff sweep hair off the floor into a big bag. But instead of throwing it away like they did before, it’s recycled into hair booms (nylon socks filled with hair) that could help clean up an oil spill.
“Hair is one of the most absorbent fibers in the world,” Supernova Salon manager Kaycee Kennedy tells The Outlook. In fact, we wash our hair when it collects too much oil from our bodies.
The same reasoning is behind the clean up effort. Filled with hair, the long hair booms are swept through the water, soaking up oil in their path.
Each week, around one trash bag filled with hair is picked up from the salon. The clippings are stored in a warehouse in Burnaby in case they are ever needed.
“The [hair booms] virtually clean all the oil up,” says Kennedy. “We’re definitely a green city, so we should be a green salon too.”
The booms would only be used in a West Coast oil spill because transporting them long distances would add to the the carbon imprint.
Supernova Salon recently joined the GreenCircle Salon program, pledging to divert 95 per cent of their waste from the landfill.
“Waste from salons was previously impossible to get rid of,” says the salon’s owner Dana Lyseng. “No one would take this stuff off our hands to recycle it.”
Now the salon recycles most metal colour tubes, chemicals, plastics and highlighting foil. By 2020, GreenCircle hopes that the Canadian salon industry will be sustainable.
“Other industries have to recycle,” says Lyseng. “There will probably be a mandate in the future that ours will have to too.”
What’s next for the salon? Florescent lighting will be switched to LED, a long-lasting, more efficient type of light.