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Two million kilos of hair. That’s how much is trimmed off the top across Australian salons each year, and without any pull for a flash-mob level of Cousin It cosplayers, that waste used to just go straight into landfill.

Since starting in 2012, Sustainable Salons have collected more than 7 tonnes of hair across Aus and, as the name implies, they’re more avid recyclers than your mum was when the council finally gave out multiple bins.

Arguably, they can do more hair magic than whatever insane remote-control-wire mechanism Beyoncé uses to make her ponytail wrap around so perfectly:

What can they do with all your luscious locks? Well, there’s the traditional approach of creating wigs for people living with alopecia, for starters. But most of this discarded hair goes towards saving the ocean from oil spills.

When creative ambassador Shaun McGrath took us around Sustainable Salon’s Sydney warehouse space in the below video, he showed us how to create hair berms to be deployed during environmental spills. Check it out: just stuff a cardboard tube with hair, cover it with a stocking, and you get a floating oil-sopping device.

“These are being stockpiled up on the Great Barrier Reef,” says Shaun. “[We’re] saving the world with haircuts.”

But it’s not just hair that Sustainable Salons recycles. The haircutting industry is pretty wasteful: think of every chemical, piece of foil, bottles and broken appliances that get thrown in the bin each day.

Hair is a great start, but the company reckons they currently recycle 95% of salon waste: plastics go towards Dresden eyewear and electrical cover for the NBN, of all things, while aluminium foil and electronics are reused by St George Wires.

“Pretty much everything comes in here,” says Shaun. “We’ve even got a section called ‘weird stuff’.”

Speaking of which, Shaun also loves to reuse hair for his own creations. He’s crafted some impressive wigs you can catch in the below video, including a Marie Antoinette-style floral poufs using all kinds of recyclable materials.

“If we can make something pretty out of stuff that everybody else is throwing out, then that’s an incredible space to be in,” he says.

For Shaun, it’s clear his success is owed to his studies at TAFE NSW. It gave him the core skills to be able to lean with confidence towards the art-based hairstyles he loves, both at Sustainable Salons and previously working in London.  His TAFE NSW training gave him the confidence and skills to create genre-bending hairstyles and turn literal hot garbage into hot couture.

“If you stop learning, then you know you’re dead,” says Shaun. “You’re always going to pick new things up along the way.”

What can they do with all your luscious locks? Well, there’s the traditional approach of creating wigs for people living with alopecia, for starters. But most of this discarded hair goes towards saving the ocean from oil spills.

When creative ambassador Shaun McGrath took us around Sustainable Salon’s Sydney warehouse space in the below video, he showed us how to create hair berms to be deployed during environmental spills. Check it out: just stuff a cardboard tube with hair, cover it with a stocking, and you get a floating oil-sopping device.

“These are being stockpiled up on the Great Barrier Reef,” says Shaun. “[We’re] saving the world with haircuts.”

But it’s not just hair that Sustainable Salons recycles. The haircutting industry is pretty wasteful: think of every chemical, piece of foil, bottles and broken appliances that get thrown in the bin each day.

Hair is a great start, but the company reckons they currently recycle 95% of salon waste: plastics go towards Dresden eyewear and electrical cover for the NBN, of all things, while aluminium foil and electronics are reused by St George Wires.

“Pretty much everything comes in here,” says Shaun. “We’ve even got a section called ‘weird stuff’.”

Speaking of which, Shaun also loves to reuse hair for his own creations. He’s crafted some impressive wigs you can catch in the below video, including a Marie Antoinette-style floral poufs using all kinds of recyclable materials.

“If we can make something pretty out of stuff that everybody else is throwing out, then that’s an incredible space to be in,” he says.

For Shaun, it’s clear his success is owed to his studies at TAFE NSW. It gave him the core skills to be able to lean with confidence towards the art-based hairstyles he loves, both at Sustainable Salons and previously working in London.  His TAFE NSW training gave him the confidence and skills to create genre-bending hairstyles and turn literal hot garbage into hot couture.

“If you stop learning, then you know you’re dead,” says Shaun. “You’re always going to pick new things up along the way.”

How Your Haircuts Can Help Save The World

Fringe benefits.

Posted by pedestrian.tv on Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Image credit: The Craft