To find a hair salon offering eco-cuts and coloring in your neck of the woods, you may have to do some legwork as the trend isn't quite widespread, although you should check out this article about a salon in Portland, Ore., that is seriously eco-friendly.

Inquire at salons in your area: Perhaps the easiest way to find a green salon is to call or visit some in your area and ask questions about what they're doing to reduce their environmental impact. Questions to ask include:

  • Do you use and carry eco-friendly products? Traditional permanent hair dyes, shampoos and conditioners, and other salon staples often contain a bevy of questionable chemicals that can cause health problems and environmental damage. Ask what natural and eco-friendly hair products and treatments the salon carries and uses in-house.
  • Do you employ water-saving practices, such as reusing rinse water? Salons obviously require a massive amount of water to wash and rinse you hair, as well as tools and equipment. Some salons have started to reduce their water consumption by mandating water-saving practices and installing water recycling systems. Reusing rinse water is one of the most common and effective water-saving practices in salons today.
  • Do you use energy-efficient equipment? Although Energy Star hairdryers and curling irons are not yet a reality, seek out a salon that restricts its energy use by employing energy-efficient lighting, graywater heat-recovery systems, and energy-saving equipment. Even better, ask if the salon is powered by solar or wind energy.
  • Do you recycle? In addition to ensuring that the salon you choose recycles their plastic bottles and other supplies, ask if they use products housed in eco-friendly packaging, made from recycled-content materials.
  • Do you use natural cleaning products and laundry detergents? Methods used by your salon to clean laundry, instruments, and building structures should also be green. Ask if they use natural cleaning products, laundry detergents, and pest control techniques.
  • Do you offer other eco-friendly services? If you're looking for a full-service salon, offering services such as waxing, tanning, and mani and pedis, ask if eco-friendly options are available for those services as well. Hair salons and spas often come hand-in-hand, so after that wash/cut/style session, you can unwind with a green facial, massage, or another treatment.

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