Sustainability in the Salon: More Important Than Ever


The demand for beauty products that are clean, ethically sourced and sustainable has not slowed during our current COVID-19 global crisis. If anything, the need to operate a sustainable business translates into being a more resilient business.  Salon owners who have grown their business with sustainability in mind as they designed their salon space and as they selected products to stock, sell, and use, do it out of respect for the environment, their team and their guests.


 Matthew DiBartolo and Joey Festa are stylists who for the last 10 years have been co-owners of The Capelli Salon (@thecapellishop) in Pennington, NJ. They stock Lakmė products, and brought in the recently launched Teknia line, a natural, vegan haircare brand brought to salon pros by Lakmė Inspired Haircare, which, from design to distribution, is committed to sustainable practices from the choice of packaging, production process, supply of raw materials and recycling of the final product.

Sustainability in the Salon: More Important Than Ever


“I think sustainability in the industry is just now starting to catch up to the standards of what we demand as far as the technology and quality of the products we use,” says DiBartolo.  “We try to be as sustainable as possible with everything we do in the salon.  When we designed the space, we hooked up with a sustainable wood worker, and he made all of our counters and stylist stations out of 200-year-old barn wood from a demolished barn it Pennsylvania. Apart from being totally sustainable, we thought it just looked incredible and really gave the salon a warm and modern vibe all at the same time.”

The co-owners also considered reducing electricity, heating, and water usage, while getting staff buy-in on all these eco-conscious practices.   

“All of our lighting in the salon was changed out to be LED power-saving light bulbs, and we have a water system that limits the water we consume, daily. We put our thermostats on a schedule, so the heating and cooling units are only running when needed.  All the staff uses reusable water bottles and we provide glasses to the clients for their beverages.

 “Our staff at Capelli is really the best; they pitch in and come up with ideas all the time,” he continues. “Most of the staff has at least one energy efficient styling tool that they work with. And they developed a whole recycling system which includes all of our used Lakmė color tubes.”

Their choice of the Teknia line checked the sustainability boxes, while also being the right choice from a retailing perspective.

Sustainability in the Salon: More Important Than Ever


“As a boutique salon, we have to choose every product and item that we put on our shelves very carefully. When it comes to products that are promoting sustainability, I think the biggest factor is that it must work. Sustainability is wonderful, and we all have to strive for that, but we also have to worry about a client base which is highly discriminating when it comes to purchasing products.

“We brought the Teknia line in because we were really impressed with it, from its packaging, to its incredible fresh scents, to its high level of  performance and of course the messages it carries, with its sustainability and responsible ingredients. By using it, our stylists and our clients feel good about being more responsible with their product use.”   


In today’s climate of social distancing, we also look at how we “sustain” our relationships with clients, how we sustain connections to our teams and how we help our guests sustain and maintain their hair health. Anthoula Mastoros is the owner of Halo Salon (@halosalonnyc) in Brooklyn, NY. She has been a stylist for 21 years and took the leap into salon ownership seven years ago. She incorporated a sustainable model in her approach to equipping her salon home.

Sustainability in the Salon: More Important Than Ever


“Being a salon owner is definitely a challenge but I love being part of a team,” Mastoros says. “I just love that everyone looks out for each other and that we are always thinking of new ways to continue learning and growing.”

In opening her salon, she wanted to create an atmosphere that was welcoming and inviting. “All of my clients feel like they are part of my family—we’re very close—so I wanted them to be in a place where they felt comfortable and could enjoy a very homey experience.

“Everything in my salon is pretty much done by me,” she continues. “I spent time considering all the different details, including the products I wanted to bring in and use.  I researched to find products that are cleaner and safer, which is always a good decision, but everyone is thinking about their health, especially now. We all have families that we want to protect and we want to protect the planet. Teknia was a great choice for us.”

Sustainability in the Salon: More Important Than Ever


Other sustainability practices include using salon software instead of paper, which will help provide a “touchless” approach to scheduling and check out. Even the salon menu is presented virtually, on a TV set, which also displays beauty images and product photos.

“We use the Salon Interactive platform, which allows our clients to purchase Lakmė and Teknia products, while giving us credit for those purchases.”

To maintain and sustain connection to her team during the stay-at-home period, Mastoros has been doing Facetime chats and reaching out every day to check-in. “I made sure that they could apply for unemployment, and anyone who needed help I helped them, I helped walk them through it. We’ve tried to stay creative and engaged, sharing pictures and encouragement.”


Not seeing clients doesn’t mean stylists aren’t  still ‘touching’ them.  A beauty professional’s product recommendation helps maintain a connection to a client while also helping that client maintain healthy hair and scalp.

“Before we use or sell anything, I try all my products and so does my whole staff,” says Mastoros. “This way, we can educate our clients on how to use them at home. And we’ve seen tremendous results with our clients using Teknia. They’ve noticed that the products are more soothing to their scalps and they’ve noticed an overall improvement to their hair health. I suffer from dry scalp and I have noticed a significant difference, too.”

The Teknia brand is divided into ranges, that address specific hair types and needs, to maintain hair health and scalp balance.  They include:

ORGANIC BALANCE:  This range hydrates and maintains the natural, healthy balance of your hair. Products made from up to 99% organic ingredients.

FRIZZ CONTROL: It polishes thick, straight or curly hair for perfect texture and shine. It protects while the hair is being dried and styled.

BODY MAKER:  Takes care of and treats fine hair. The essential, natural components based on organic soya bean and rice microproteins acts as reconstruction blocks for the fiber. Fine hair becomes more resistant to breakage. Promotes a feeling of thickness, volume and natural shine.

COLOR STAY:  Maintains the depth, tone and shine of colored hair. Protects colored hair from the effects of the sun, loss of color and free radicals.

WHITE SILVER:  It neutralizes and eliminates unwanted yellow highlights from white hair. It enriches, hydrates and revives the hair’s purity and shine.

PERFECT CLEANSE:  Deeply cleanses the hair and scalp, protecting it from impurities, grease and minerals from hard water that can stick to the hair.

 DEEP CARE:  It helps to rebuild, gives strength and increases resistance to breakage.

FULL DEFENSE: Acts as a total protection screen against harmful environmental stressors.

 “Everyone has to do their part in keeping the world we live in the best it can possibly be,” Di Bartolo wraps up. “Working with companies like Lakmė and brands like Teknia, it allows businesses like ours to do so much more on that front and to share our ideals with our community.” 

 Read more about how Teknia is making sustainable choices such as reducing the use of plastic, choosing reusable packaging, shrinking the carbon footprint, supporting local production, and participating in environmental initiatives.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.