FAIRBANKS — Everyday, hair salons across the country generate hundreds of thousands of pounds of trash.
In May, Salon Bella became the first salon in Fairbanks to become Green Circle certified. Salon Bella is now recycling 90 percent of its waste through the program.
“We don’t have many options for recycling in Fairbanks and salons create a lot of waste,” Salon Bella owner Haanah McFadden said. “We really wanted to be a part of that movement.”
Inside Salon Bella there are recycling bins for hair, tubes, aerosol cans, papers, foil and electronics such as old curling irons and light bulbs. Once there is enough recycling to fill a pallet, it is shipped to a Green Circle certified salon in Anchorage before being shipped Outside for recycling.
“It’s pretty cool and it’s staggering to see the waste we see accumulate in a week,” McFadden said. “It’s nice to know it’s being put into renewable resources.”
When Salon Bella was certified, McFadden added a $1.50 eco fee to every client’s appointment cost to compensate for the cost of recycling. Most customers were excited about the program, while others got on board once they were shown the recycling program.
McFadden’s salon isn’t just about recycling, though. Since purchasing the former Lotus Salon two years ago, she has worked to create an inviting atmosphere.
On Tuesday, Christine Toth received her last cut and coloring at Salon Bella before moving to Colorado. As Salon Bella stylist Steven Cervantes colored her hair, she explained how she sought out Cervantes after a recommendation from a friend. Toth said it isn’t just the quality of the stylists that keeps her coming back to Salon Bella, it’s their excellent personalities.
“It’s small and very comforting,” Toth said of the salon. “They’ve evolved. They’ve branched out.”
“We giggle a lot, too,” Cervantes interrupted in a serious tone, before he and Toth giggled together.
“I love their new products too,” Toth continued. “The first time I used them, my hair was so soft I walked out the salon with $100 worth of products and I had to beg forgiveness from my husband.”
Salon Bella recently started carrying Davines, an all natural beauty product company out of Parma, Italy. McFadden and Cervantes swear by Davines, which does not use sulfates or parabens. McFadden has started growing small plants out of the empty Davines containers to promote sustainability as well. Salon Bella carries Intelligent Nutrients as well.
Salon Bella also employs a masseuse.
Cervantes said he is quite happy working with McFadden as a stylist.
“I had only met with (McFadden) a couple times when I started working here. I wasn’t sure we’d get along,” Cervantes said. “But business-wise, we just have the same vision. She’s super open to new ideas.”
McFadden said she is open to expansion in the future, but the business is doing fine and she’s content. She loves owning a salon.
“Hair is not something I thought I’d get into,” McFadden said. “It gives me a lot of flexibility. I have two kids, so I can work and be a part-time parent at the same time.”
Contact staff writer Kevin Baird at 459-7575. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMcity.
Business: Salon Bella Address: 1716 University Ave, South Suite 201 Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday; 12 to 7 p.m. Wednesday; 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday. Contact: 456-9889 or email@example.com