Hairdressing is one industry that Laurie Carter doesn’t see slowing down anytime soon, so to make sure that she can be in it for the long haul, she takes a sustainable approach to hairdressing — one where people and the environment are at the heart of everything they do. Meet our latest Customer of the Week: Salem Hair Co.

Customer of the Week: Salem Hair Co.

Laurie was working in the same salon for 6 years and was ready for a change, but when she began to look for a new job, she realised there were no companies that she was desperate to work for. With an increased dissatisfaction for business models of other salons in her area, the only option was to go out on her own.

Salem Hair Co. opened its doors in March 2015, at a tiny 40sqm space in Lower Hutt. The business was just Laurie and two chairs. Soon after she hired her first staff member, Kate. After 18 months in their tiny salon, they moved to their new, and much bigger, current location. The team now consists of two senior stylists, their first apprentice and a nail and spray tan technician.

This freedom has enabled Laurie to create a business that suits her, her team and their clients. Even seemingly small things, like choosing what music can fill the studio every day. These nuances contribute to the unique atmosphere at Salem.

“We work as a team and I run everything by everyone before doing anything, as that’s something I would have appreciated.”

Customer of the Week: Salem Hair Co.

The salon is a hive of activity! It’s filled with laughter, talking and positive energy. They know how to have a good time. Happy staff results in happy customers, and that has been the crux of the success.

Social media is the new-age ‘word of mouth’, and everyone is talking about Salem Hair.

Laurie is quite confident that the hairdressing industry isn’t one that will be automated anytime soon, and because of this, it’s important that her team can be in it for the long haul!

“Unlike other industries, hairdressing is so personalised and hands-on.”

Laurie encourages her team to take care of their bodies and work as ergonomically as possible. They use the lightest hair dryers available, have basins they can stand behind and use hydraulic chairs and stools.

The team are encouraged to do regular exercise, get massages and take time off to keep the work-life balance in check. They spend so much time making others feel good, it’s important to Laurie that her team practice self-care too.

Customer of the Week: Salem Hair Co.

Not only is it important that beauty professionals can endure the demands of the industry, but our environment also needs to withstand the pressure that the industry places upon it.

“Hairdressers produce a lot of waste so we try to diminish that by recycling as much paper, plastic and aluminium as we can.”

Over 1.5 million kg of foil and colour tube waste was dumped into Australian landfills last year, despite aluminium having the ability to maintain its quality and properties after being recycled time and time again. Laurie doesn’t want to be just another statistic and she is working hard to make sure they can make a difference.

Laurie estimates that they use a whopping 13kg of aluminium recycling a month, so because of this, they want to make sure they’re using it sustainably.

Salem uses a brand of tinfoil called Refoil which is made using recycled aluminium and they follow the Refoil method of recycling all of their tinfoil.

Being sustainable is often as easy as creating a few new habits, such as asking the client if they’d like a receipt before printing it, or turning off lights in rooms that aren’t occupied. It’s these small steps that salons can implement that can make a huge impact on our environment.

The team at Salem care about others and the world around them, and we’re willing to bet that their success will be just as sustainable as their salon!