Aqua Activists

The Western Cape is amidst the worst water crisis in a century. Carlton Hair has implemented a 5-part strategy to decrease reliance on municipal water.
Clients’ hair is rinsed with a jug, mineral water is used in all hair treatments, disposable towels are used, cleaning is done with a spray bottle, mineral water is served instead of tap water.



The Western Cape is amidst the worst water crisis in a century, which is why Carlton Hair SA has taken numerous steps, including a 5-part strategy, in order to decrease our reliance on municipal water, and significantly reduce our water consumption.

“As a hair salon, water is an essential part of our business operation, however, as part of the Western Cape community, we believe it’s our responsibility to act ethically towards the environment and ensure continued water supply while keeping the economy functioning” says Byron Mayer, Managing Director of Carlton Hair SA. Therefore, to hopefully avoid Day Zero, we have implemented the Carlton Hair SA Water Saving Campaign with a huge target to offer our clients a more sustainable solution going forward.

The plan has 5 components, dictating how we use water at the shampoo area, in hair treatments, in our laundry area, in our cleaning process, and drinking water we serve clients.

The first step of the salon process is the shampoo area. We have reduced our 4-step process of shampoo, condition, repeat, to a 1-step process, which means we only shampoo once. The shampoo is applied onto dry hair (instead of rinsing the hair first), and slowly adding water to lather the hair. Applying shampoo onto dry hair is more cleansing than applying it to wet hair (especially oily hair), which means your hair gets an extra stripping with this process. When rinsing, we use both the cold and warm water, to avoid wastage. Furthermore, our process now includes the use of a leave-in conditioner, as opposed to a conditioner that needs to be washed out, saving even more water. Depending on the hair type, we use the Davines Oi All in One Milk or the Replumping Hair Filler Superactive Leave-in.

All Carlton Hair salons in the Western Cape use the Water Saving Jug at the basin, instead of running taps. Here only 1 litre of water is used on fine hair, and up to 3 litres of water on thick hair, saving at least 2 litres of water per client, and 205 546 litres of water every month.

We now also use Agua e Vida mineral water in all our in-salon hair treatments.
The benefits of a mineral water hair treatment:
• Pollution and the sun can ruin hair quality. By washing your hair with mineral water improves overall hair and scalp health.
• Rinsing your hair, post-shampoo, with mineral water is crucial for washing out the hard water and helps to balance the pH of your scalp.
• Blondes in particular get a build-up of shampoo on the hair which can result in dull-looking hair. Rinsing hair with mineral water removes the excess shampoo and restores hair shine.

The Perm treatment has been suspended as a service until the Western Cape is no longer in a drought crisis.

Instead of using tap water, we offer all Carlton Hair clients Agua e Vida mineral water while they enjoy their hair service. The Agua e Vida mineral water will also be used in all of our coffee machines. Serving mineral water saves 2 803 litres of water per month.

In order to save water in our laundry washing process, we use easydryâ„¢ disposable towels. Easydryâ„¢ towels are manufactured from the bark of eucalyptus trees and contain no man-made fibers. If left out in the natural environment, the towels dissolve within 70 days back into nature with no environmental side effect. Every Carlton Hair client gets one disposable towel each, meaning we save on washing 1 cotton towel per customer. We are washing, on average, 9 343 less towels per month in top loaders, that is roughly 61 892 litres of water saved per month.

The third step of the salon process is cleaning. Carlton Hair now uses a spray bottle when mopping the floors of the salons, which is also a lot more hygienic. By using a spray bottle instead of buckets of water, we are saving an average of 7200 litres per month.
Lastly, we have introduced a sale on our Davines “water-saving” products, which includes the Hair Refresher, Oi All in One Milk and Replumping Hair Filler Superactive Leave-in.

All staff has been trained on the new Carlton Hair protocol, and will continue to receive ongoing training as we explore different and more effective ways of staying #waterwise. Our current initiative saves approximately 274 913 litres of water per month.

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