Phorest FM Episode 125: Prof. Denise Baden On Sustainability & Motivating Eco-Friendly Behaviours In The Salon Industry

With the damage to our environment and the increase of plastic waste an ever growing concern, becoming more knowledgeable about the products we use, our actions and habits is key in discovering how we can make friendlier choices for both the environment as well as for ourselves.

In 2012, Professor Denise Baden from the Southampton Business School was awarded funds from the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) to engage with hairdressers and their clients to establish more sustainable practices. Following the success of this project, she has since been working with awarding organisations to further embed sustainability into the industry’s practices. A couple of weeks out of Conscious Hair & Beauty taking place in London at which Professor Denise Baden will be speaking, this episode explores ways to motivate eco-friendly behaviours and sustainable solutions in the salon industry.


Professor Denise Baden

Prof. Denise Baden is a Professor of Sustainable Business at Southampton Business School, University of Southampton. She followed her first degree in Politics with Economics, with several years in industry, then returned to academia to do a doctorate in psychology.

Prof. Baden now teaches and researches in the area of sustainability, ethics and corporate social responsibility. She won the ESRC Outstanding Impact in Business and Enterprise Prize in 2018 for her ground-breaking work embedding sustainability across the hair sector, providing free resources to educate about sustainable practices and sustainability certification for hairdressers and salons, see


Killian Vigna: Welcome to the Phorest FM podcast, episode 125. I’m Killian Vigna.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And I’m Zoe Belisle-Springer. This week on the show, we’re joined by Professor Denise Baden, Professor of Sustainable Business at Southampton Business School and first announced speaker at Phorest’s Conscious Hair and Beauty Event in London this coming August.

Killian Vigna: So, grab yourself a cup of coffee, sit back, relax, and join us weekly for all your salon’s business and marketing needs. Good morning, Zoe!

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Good morning, Killian. So, before we jump into this episode, remember how I mentioned the hail storm in Mexico in a previous… I think it was two weeks ago or something.

Killian Vigna: Episode 122 I think it was. You brought it up maybe just a bit off by an episode or two.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, something like that. Well, we’ve seen many heatwaves this summer, and I think like these things are just going to happen more and more. Just about a week ago, even if we look at the south of France, the temperature hit 45.9 degrees Celsius, which is an all-time record and definitely not a good one.

Now, according to scientists, planting billions of trees across the world is by far the biggest and cheapest way to tackle the climate crisis. On a smaller scale, it’s each and everyone’s responsibility to make changes in their own lives. Even more so if you run a business – I think, anyway. At Phorest, I know we have the whole Phorest:RE initiative going on, but based off say what Jennie Lawson of Mimosa Beauty was saying on the show about a year and a half ago, salons and spas can also make changes in the way that they run their businesses and bring more sustainability in the balance. Now, it’s just kind of where do you get started with it? You know?

Introducing Professor Denise Baden [01:43]

Killian Vigna: Yeah, exactly. And that’s what we’re hoping to figure out today by introducing Professor Denise Baden who teaches and researches in the area of sustainability, ethics, and corporate social responsibility. She also provides free resources to educate about sustainable practices and certifications for hairdressers and salons. Denise, thank you very much for joining us on the show today!

Denise Baden: Pleasure to be here, Killian!

Killian Vigna: This is all in prep for your talk at Conscious Hair and Beauty coming up soon, isn’t it? So we get a little preview of what we can expect there.

Denise Baden: Yes, yes! Looking forward to it.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So, the hair and beauty sector, it’s somewhat of a niche sector to begin with. The fact that you specialise in sustainability in salons is even more kind of niche. Why is this something you had close to your heart?

Denise Baden: Well, I don’t think it’s niche because all of us are gifted with hair.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Fair.

Denise Baden: We wash our hair. Our hair matters to us immensely. We visit the hairdresser, so it’s something that is part of our everyday lives. Hairdressers probably use more electricity, and chemicals, and waste than most other industries, and they also talk to more people than probably most other occupations, so they’re really well-placed to make substantial savings in their carbon footprint, but also, advise their clients on how they can make savings. They seem an obvious occupation to pick actually.

Killian Vigna: I suppose it makes sense. Yeah, you’ve got that whole kind of talking in the chair environment, so if there’s anyone just going to share knowledge, it’s probably going to be your hairdresser… because you listen to your hairdresser!

Denise Baden: Exactly.

Killian Vigna: You listen to your beautician because you’re getting advice about dealing with chemicals and stuff. You want to make sure it’s the right advice.

Denise Baden: That’s very important because when you look at research in how to get people to behave more sustainably, you find that the biggest predictor of behaviour isn’t necessarily their attitudes or their knowledge. It’s what they did before. It’s the habits, so where do you get the habits in the first place? Well, when it comes to hair care, it’s your hairdresser, so it’s a really good place to go.

What hairdressers can tell us about sustainability [03:46]

Killian Vigna: On that research, because you did a talk about this a few years ago on TEDx titled “What Hairdressers Can Tell Us About Sustainability.”

Denise Baden: That’s right.

Killian Vigna: Was that one of the biggest, I suppose, insights you find about the research, or was there a few things that came out of that?

Denise Baden: A lot of the research surprised me, which is great. One of the things, when we first started this, we assumed that things like hair drying and hair straightening would be the ones with the highest energy costs and carbon footprint. But when we did some research, it turned out that actually heating water is the most energy-intensive thing that goes on in hairdressing salons and also in our homes . For example, we could leave our television on all day for the same energy cost as a 10-minute shower , and so learning that heating water was the most energy-intensive aspect, that’s where we then started to focus our ideas and suggestions, so that was a big surprise.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: What would you say were the, I suppose, top three insights from, say, the TED talk if someone hadn’t seen it on YouTube?

Denise Baden: Well, one of the things is that when we talk to hairdressers, to begin with, we wanted to find out what ideas they had. I mean, they’re immersed in the business, so unless you can come up with ideas that they agree with, you’re not going to get anywhere.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: True.

Denise Baden: We found some win-wins very quickly. Reducing the amount of hot water also reduced energy bills, which was great. It reduced water bills, which was great. It’s better for clients’ hair because neither the planet nor your bills nor your hair like an awful lot of hot water or chemicals going through them. It’s also better for the skin. Once you can get hair routines that use less water and require, say, maybe less blow drying, it saves time as well. It’s also more convenient, so having those win-wins was really good because then there are numerous reasons to reduce the use of hot water. For example, if you use leave-in conditioner, for certain types of hair, it’s really great. If you’ve got fine hair, it gives it extra body, but it also saves an extra rinse, which for long hair can be quite a long time.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Hmm, true.

Denise Baden: We did some research on using conditioner at all, and we found that 40% of people said it made no difference if they use conditioner, and these are people who normally used it every time, and they tried it, and they said it made no difference. 30% said their hair was better for not using any conditioner, and 30% said it was worse. Now, if you go… I’ll challenge people listening. Next time you wash your hair, try going without conditioner. It will feel awful while it’s still wet but check it when it’s dry, and then make your decision, and there’s a 70% chance it will make no difference or actually be better. Straight away, you’ve used less product, less resource, saved money, and so on.

Killian Vigna: That is an interesting one about kind of the save and product because in this industry if I’m going to get my hair done, I want that pampering feeling. I want that sensation of if you’re going to wash my hair with shampoo, I want to see all the suds. I want it like as much product in there as possible. Same with gel. Things like those.

Denise Baden: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: If we were to turn around and say, “Use less products,” is that not kind of counterintuitive of providing an excellent customer experience?

Denise Baden: Well, I completely agree. You go to your hairdresser to be pampered, but you can also go to be educated. One of the pieces of research I’ve done found that one of the main motivations for hairdressers getting engaged in this was they want to feel like professionals.

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Denise Baden: They don’t want to feel like a blond with scissors. They want to feel like they’re giving professional client advice, and actually, the stuff that makes your shampoo foam, sodium laureth sulfate, is not great for your hair. It strips it of all the oils you need to keep your hair healthy and to keep your skin healthy, so it feels good. We’ve been educated to think that we need lots of suds, but actually, we’ve been missold that. We’re much better off having fewer suds, less shampoo. Most of us use way more shampoo than is good for our hair or skin.

There’s an educational aspect, so one of the things we did to follow up on this, because obviously, first and foremost, you want to please your clients, is we did a survey of close on 800 clients, and we asked them, “Where do your hair habits come from?” We found that most of them came from the hairdresser. “Would you like your hairdresser to talk to you about these kinds of issues, environmental issues, healthy hair care issues?” The vast majority said yes, which kind of reassured us there’s this kind of silent demand from clients.

Not many will openly say, “I want you to be more environmentally-friendly with my hair care,” but when we asked them, I think it was like 79% said, “Yes. Actually, we do feel that way,” and this was before the Blue Planet episode and the dead baby whale came out if you remember that. Since then, we’ve had so many hairdressers get in touch saying, “The clients are asking us now. They really care. What can I do for them?”

But to answer your question, Killian, you’re right. There are other ways you can pamper your clients, so you can say, for example, “I’m only going to shampoo your hair once because I can see you’ve been over-shampooing it. Your hair is quite dry. It’s quite brittle. That’s all you need to do, but I’m going to give you an extra head massage or massage this in.” You can educate them about their own hair care practices while still giving them the service, and then they feel that you really care about the quality of their hair.

Killian Vigna: That is interesting because while I said, “I want to see more foam and I want all the product in,” what you said there about kind of the sulfate acid going in, it kind of reminded me of the book “The Power of Habit.”

Denise Baden: Yes.

Killian Vigna: Where… with the toothpaste and stuff like that, when we see foaming, whether it’s washing off liquids, hand gel, it’s actually done to make us feel like it’s doing better, isn’t it?

Denise Baden: Yes.

Killian Vigna: Essentially, less is more.

Denise Baden: I think if you look at it in the historical context, so perhaps in the ’50s or whatever, women especially, they might go to the hair salon once a week and get it properly set, and they wouldn’t touch it for a week.

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Denise Baden: When you come back, obviously, then you have to shampoo it twice to get rid of all the product, but now, people are washing their hair more often. You don’t need to be shampooing it twice. You don’t need to be using much shampoo, and you don’t need to be shampooing it as often. Only if you say work in a fish and chips shop or put tons of products do you need to shampoo, rinse, and repeat. You’ll find now the default advice coming through training is to shampoo just once, unless you have a particular need to do it twice.

Eco-friendly choices: more accessible to small or big salons & spas? [10:46]

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, so for salons and spas, is there a way to compete with bigger companies who have way more resources to becoming eco-friendly or making eco-friendlier choices at least?

Denise Baden: Yeah, so I think it’s a misunderstanding that to be eco-friendly, you have to spend more money. In fact, usually, it’s the reverse. Yeah. There are some companies that sell especially eco-friendly shampoos or organic shampoos, and they’re wonderful. Great if you can afford them, but… and they do push the price up, but it’s not all about the product. It’s about the practices, and I think there’s been some research that says 1% investment in behaviour change leads to a 10% reduction in costs.

For example, pretty all trainees use too much shampoo, so just training them to use less. Again, switching taps off between use, not using a full kettle sort of. There are loads of… Switching to LED lights is an instant payback. I think within about a month, you get your money back. Eco-shower heads that restrict the flow on the taps and the showers, they’re great. I’ve had sort of salons come to me, and one of them said, “Oh, we didn’t use to better run the hot water on both our sinks at the same time, but now we’ve got those. Now, they both run,” and they put bubbles in the water, which reduces the flow. It feels beautiful on the client’s hair and skin. Again, the payback is about a month or two, so these are things that are a minimal investment, and you save money straight away.

I would say we’ve got our sustainable salons certification scheme, and to do, to get your certificate, all you need to do is work through our virtual salon on our website, which is, and that takes 30 to 45 minutes. If you pick up all the suggestions there, we’ve worked out that your typical small salon would save about 5,000 pounds, so mostly from reductions in hot water, also from reductions in energy, from lighting, and so on, so you’ll save money. It’s not something that you need to be a big company to do.

Killian Vigna: It turns the whole stigma of going green is going to cost you more money on the flip side to say, “Actually, you’re going to save a lot more money.”

Denise Baden: I know, and sometimes people think, “Oh, if you’re buying a green product, you’re necessarily paying more for it or it’s going to be less good for you.” But in this case, the green hairdressing products are going to be much better and kinder for your hair and skin, so they’re higher quality. Some of the green products do cost more, but the green practices we promote will save you tons of money, and that’s not just for the salons. It’s for the clients as well. One of the reasons it’s been quite successful, our sustainable salon scheme, is because it saves money.

Keeping staff engaged with sustainability in your salon or spa [13:51]

Killian Vigna: Let’s say we’ve gone through, and we’ve done your certificate, and we’ve implemented I suppose the new tools in place in the salon like the LED, the shower head you were talking about.

Denise Baden: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: But one thing that… It’s like at the start of any initiative or any big idea that we ever hear, everyone is on board from the start.

Denise Baden: Yes.

Killian Vigna: Then, about a week to a month later, the mindsets are just gone.

Denise Baden: Yes.

Killian Vigna: They’ve moved on to the next shiny thing. Everything that you’ve worked so hard, this big idea, “Let’s become eco-friendly,” it’s great for the first few weeks, and then people have just dropped the ball on it.

Denise Baden: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Killian Vigna: How do we, I suppose, fix that? It’s funny. I say fix it for the mindset because it’s the opposite to the fixed mindset that we’re talking about. How do we keep that, I suppose, drive going?

Denise Baden: Yeah. Well, I think as you see savings in your water bills and savings on your energy bills, straight away, that’s a motivator.

Killian Vigna: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Denise Baden: Probably, the amount you spend heating hot water is going to be your major cost, I would have thought, in terms of bills, so that should go down massively. That’s going to be a constant motivator. I think you’ll find… I’ve been in this business a long time promoting green behaviour, and mostly, it’s been an uphill struggle, but the last year, I’d say it’s progressing faster, and faster, and faster, and people who never cared now do.

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Denise Baden: I think if you’re not on top of it, you’re not going to be in tune with your customers. I also think that the idea back 50, 60 years ago, we kind of thought the more chemicals, the better, and I think now we’re learning more and more that actually the fewer chemicals, the better for our health. Another helpful thing is that hairdressers suffer way more than the general population with things like skin allergies, asthma. I don’t want to scare anybody, but cancer, and it’s because the chemicals are really harsh and toxic. Yes, there might be a higher expense in going for less toxic products and more organic products, but they pay off in terms of the hairdresser’s own health and safety. I had one salon on in Leamington say the moment they switched to organic, the hairdresser’s dermatitis cleared up straight away. They’re supposed to wear gloves, but they don’t mostly.

Killian Vigna: I suppose the two things there are, first and foremost, the salon owner is going to see a drastic reduction in their overheads and their bills. That’s always going to be the win.

Denise Baden: Yes.

Killian Vigna: I suppose my biggest concern then would have been getting the staff on board, keeping that motivation, and you’ve just explained that their general health is going to improve.

Denise Baden: Yes.

Killian Vigna: There’s going to be a lot less of those chemicals in the air that affects your breathing, affect your skin. So then, you were saying kind of people are becoming more environmentally aware as in their clients.

Educating salon and spa clients on eco-friendly alternatives [16:56]

Killian Vigna: How do we go about educating our clients then? Because this comes back to what we said at the start of the show where the salon industry is looking in the sense of you do have that kind of conversation through the service? How do you share that education?

Denise Baden: Yes. I’m really glad you asked that. I’ve recently come back from a trip to Malta where we were trying to spread our virtual salon and sustainable salon certification there, and Natural Health Malta are doing a similar thing, and they’re going to put eco-tips on the mirror of the salons and see if that sparks conversation. Maybe a different eco tip on each mirror or every week like, “Shampoo once rather than rinse and repeat,” or, “Have you tried dry shampoo?” Things like that. “Have you tried leave-in conditioner?” “Have you tried going without conditioner?” “Have you tried leaving an extra day between shampooing?” to see spark these kinds of conversations and get them talking about that. We’re doing a little bit of research. It’s very early days. I can’t report on it yet to see how clients respond to that.

Killian Vigna: That’s cool, that’s really cool!

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, that’s very interesting. I wouldn’t be surprised actually to see a good uptake on that. Just if you look at hotels and stuff when they started putting, “Let us know if you want to change your towels or not,” and all that kind of stuff that like it’s social behaviour, but if you’re encouraged to know that a lot of people have done this before, then you tend to follow suit.

Denise Baden: Yes. Uh-huh (affirmative). That is nice because sometimes you’re not sure what to say to your hairdresser. You might not have a holiday. You’re about to go on or [crosstalk] episode of a TV series.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, exactly.

Denise Baden: It’s a conversation-starter as well.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, yeah. Definitely.

Killian Vigna: Salons could even use that to their advantage from a marketing perspective.

Denise Baden: Yes.

Killian Vigna: With their social media posts, they could put those tips like through social media or a lot of pubs over here…

Denise Baden: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: Well, I’m sure a lot of buyers and pubs have done it in many countries. They stopped using plastic straws and have kind of started talking about this initiative that they’re going to replace them with the horrible paper ones, but I suppose it is better! You could explain why you’re doing these tips, and you could even have like a sticker in the salon saying like, “We’re making an effort,” and people are so aware of it nowadays that that is actually… they’re going to buy into that a lot quicker.

Denise Baden: Well, that’s one of the reasons we launched the Sustainable Salon Certification. It’s free. I mean, we were funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, so it’s a government-funded thing through the university, so it’s free. Really, like I said, all the stylists need to do is go through the virtual salon, and that proves then that they’ve been exposed to all the information, and ideas, and tips.
We designed it like a game. It’s quite fun, and then once a salon stylist is certified, they can then self-certify as a sustainable salon and take all the practices they’re engaged in, and then they’ve got a nice little certificate they can put up in their salon, and then we promote them as well, so we promote them via social media. Habia as well do and VTCT, so people then know. We’ve got a sustainable salon locator. They can find out where the nearest sustainable salon is.

Killian Vigna: That does really help.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: There’s also like a lot of awards are starting to recognise eco-friendly and sustainable businesses even in the hair and beauty space, so yeah.

Denise Baden: Yeah. Yeah, I’ve noticed that. It’s definitely on board, and I think it’s good for hairdressers to feel they’re part of the solution, not part of the problem, and they are a caring profession. They’re right at the heart of people’s behaviour, so they’re a perfect group to target.

What you can expect of Professor Baden’s talk at Conscious Hair and Beauty [20:43]

Zoe Belisle-Springer: If we’re looking at, say, Conscious Hair and Beauty, August 18th, for people looking at attending, what can they expect of your talk at the conference?

Denise Baden: Well, I can talk about specific tips that they can do. I can talk about different products, and practices, and technologies, and those that are brand new and they’re just coming on board. I can talk about our research with clients, and what we’ve done, and our research in terms of the environmental and cost footprint of the different practices.

Hopefully, that should be of interest to any salon owner who wants to save money, feel they’re environmentally responsible, and be in tune with what clients want to do, want to know about.

Killian Vigna: This is a must-go-to event at this stage like just even doing this interview, just kind of the few tips that you’ve shared there have already been incredible, and like we said, you’re saving money by doing this. I think that’s probably one of selfishly the biggest things about going green is the savings.

Denise Baden: Well, I’ve had some wonderful feedback. I was in a pub the other day, and this woman, gorgeous hair, was there with her daughter, and she said, “Ooh, I saw you on the TED Talk. You know, I’ve given up shampoo entirely now, and I just use conditioner,” and I think I’ve got a picture of her on our Facebook page because her hair was lustrous, and I had another person come up to me the other day, and it was a man. He just opened his man bag. He said, “Look in there,” and there was some dry shampoo. He said, “That’s from your TED Talk.” He says, “It saves me so much time. I do my hair on the way to work, and I run…” He lives with like loads of women, and he’s like, “I can never get in the bathroom.”

Killian Vigna: Yeah, I cannot wait for the episode to go live because I do live with three women as well.

Denise Baden: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: In the shower, I have one bottle of shampoo, it’s a two-in-one, and one bottle of shower gel, but yet the shower is full of different products, so I’ll be buying leave-in shampoo for everyone.

Hair and beauty products myth busters [22:48]

Denise Baden: While you’re talking shower gel, that’s another thing that I think people are beginning to catch on to the fact that bar soaps and tablet soaps are much better for your skin. Shower gel is really drying on your skin, really drying, and very ageing as well. Also, it’s much less environmentally friendly because you’ve got all the plastic that it comes in. Another thing I would say is to switch to those soap bars rather than shower gel, and I think some companies are now doing the shampoo soap bars. I know Lush does one, so it avoids the packaging issue.

I mean, there’s so many myths as well about some of these, these products. One of the things… One of the most difficult things I ever had to do for this project was to let my grey grow out to prove that organic hair colour worked. I had to let my grey roots, and I went to this sort of big hairdressing event, and there were hairdressers rummaging through my roots saying, “You’ll never get that out with organic hair colour,” so they did it then and then. This was Herb UK who do an organic range, and it was great, and it did. It worked really well. It was the best hair colour I ever had, and I was… Yeah. We’re really happy to give them a plug because their hair colour worked. It was the best hair colour that I had used, but that was a myth that was floating around, and hopefully, I’ve put paid to that now.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. We were talking about this, Killian, you and I earlier. It’s just like becoming eco-friendly… I feel like people don’t see the results like soon enough for people to get on board fast.

Denise Baden: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: It’s like this whole reward system. It’s like if I donate to a charity, I need to know what impact my donation has instantly nearly, and it is a selfish kind of fact because we’re not just happy with donating or giving to a good cause until we actually see I suppose the ROI, the return on investment instantly, and that’s what makes it so hard with environmental campaigns.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, because everything takes so much longer.

Denise Baden: Well, I think that’s why it’s good that sustainable hair practices are also healthier for you, so that’s a selfish reason to be using less shampoo, and standing under the shower less, and using fewer chemicals on your body.

Killian Vigna: Do you have any other kind of mythbusters that you could recite off maybe just to educate our listeners?

Denise Baden: Yes, I do! One of the things we were keen to promote was dry shampoo because I think 93% of the carbon footprint of shampoo is in hot water. Of course, you know you use dry shampoo, that’s gone straight away, and it also makes hair very easy to style. It’s convenient, time-saving, and so there are all kinds of reasons to use it, but we came across one myth that it makes your hair fall out. I got called out by this journalist from the Daily Mail, and she said, “I wanted to know if you knew anything about this or had any research.”

I said, “Well, what research have you found?” and she says, “None.” She says, “It seems like there’s no evidence for this,” and the person who had it actually had a problem anyway, and it was just coincidence, so I said, “Well, I’ve heard no reason behind this,” and I’ve looked into it. What was shocking though was when I read the article she wrote, it implied that it did cause your hair to fall out, but that’s the Daily Mail for you. They like to hype up fear.

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Denise Baden: I was furious about that because she said to me herself that she’d found no evidence and the tiny thing she had found was absolutely not based on facts, so I can bust that myth. Dry shampoo does not make your hair fall out. I wouldn’t use it every single day, but I think it’s a great one to use perhaps once a week to sort of extend the life of your shampoo. It’s actually perfect for that.

Killian Vigna: Would talcum powder be another kind of alternative to that?

Denise Baden: Just the same. All it does is mop up the oil really. You can spray it on, or there are some powdery ones, and it just mops up the oil, and you brush it out, and it gives it that extra body, which is great. If you want to style your hair and you’ve just washed it, it’s actually really hard.

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Denise Baden: Whereas it’s much easier if you use dry shampoo, so it’s great for that, and yeah, you just put it in and brush it out, and talcum powder I think probably would do the job just as well.

Getting in touch with Professor Denise Baden [27:14]

Killian Vigna: Professor Baden, we were going to wrap it up with the mythbusters, but I have to ask. If we want to get in contact with you now or if we want to check out that virtual salon ourselves, how do we go about doing this?

Denise Baden: All right. Well, if you type my name in, Denise Baden, it will come up, and you’ll get my details, but you can also contact us through the website, which is You’ll also find the virtual salon there, so all the resources there. We’ve got PowerPoints, carbon footprint calculator, product tips, the virtual salon, how to get a sustainable stylist certificate. All that is freely available on the website, and if you’ve heard anything here that you’d like to try out like if you’d like to be part of our research into whether or not putting eco-tips and post-its on your mirrors before and after study, please get in touch. It would be really nice to have a variety of hair salons testing out this, this for us so we can report back, and in return, we can give you some publicity, and thanks, and so on, and promote it on social media.

Killian Vigna: No better reason.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, that sounds lovely! Well, thank you so much for joining us on the show today. It’s been an absolute pleasure, and I hope we’ll get a few more salons on board with becoming a bit more eco-friendly at least.

Killian Vigna: I’d love to see what people are saying online, yeah!

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, definitely.

Killian Vigna: Excellent. Thanks very much for joining us, Professor Baden.

Denise Baden: Thank you. It’s been great.

Inside Phorest: reflections, upcoming events & final words [29:08]

Killian Vigna: That was Professor Denise Baden talking about sustainability in the salon, and I have to say this episode is just a preview of what you can expect at the Conscious Hair and Beauty Event in London. Like the advice and I suppose even kind of the results and research that she shared with us in this episode, I can only imagine what you can expect to get at that show.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Oh yeah. Golden nuggets all along.

Killian Vigna: Golden nuggets. Yeah, but like it doesn’t even sound that hard to make the switch. Like we said during the episode, there was that kind of stigma around, “It’s going to be expensive, and I have to pull my salon apart and re-install a load of different things,” but it’s actually not the case. It’s quite easy to do, and she’s going to share all the different tools that you can implement in your salon like the shower heads. That alone, making that change.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. Actually, I did make that change in my apartment about six months ago, which I’m quite happy about. It’s lovely. It’s lovely on the hair. Trust me.

Killian Vigna: The one with the bubbles?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah!

Killian Vigna: Yeah, yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Absolutely. It’s lovely on the hair. You guys should try it in the salon.

Killian Vigna: Even right down to the soap bar like… Yeah, so like I… I don’t know why I stopped using the soap bar. Maybe it’s because when you leave it on the draining board, but the feeling you get from using a soap bar instead of the gel is so much better anyway. You just use one of those… What do they call them? It’s like a “luff” thing?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: Am I getting this right? Yeah?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I think it’s something like that. You never know the name properly in English.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, simple little things and talcum or dry shampoo like, again, just small little tips and advice that go a long way.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. See, the thing is like a lot of people when they think big change, they think huge, big changes. Like if you take the example of, say, even Jenny. Jenny went through this whole transformation, but she had this vision. She wanted to do this whole big transformation for the salon to be entirely eco-friendly. But if that’s not something that you can do or it’s not something that you want to do in the next like, say, year, or two, or five, there are so many other small things that you can put together that will have a massive impact, positive impact on the environment, and today is probably the most urgent phases of becoming eco-friendly because we’re just like seeing so many more heatwaves, so many more storms that don’t happen where they’re supposed to, and it’s just… You can tell that there’s an urgency to all of this.

Killian Vigna: Well, let’s face it. Like we talked about in the episode where… when you donate to these initiatives, you don’t see an instant return on investment, so sometimes you’ll kind of put these off and maybe donate to a charity where you see a direct impact. With this, you’re making small changes into a salon that visually and physically you see, so there’s no real excuse there. It’s not like donating to a charity, and you can’t see. You see this impact in your salon. Like Professor Baden said, in a month or two months, you’ll see your bills drastically decrease. This is going to become a government initiative or businesses are going to have to start putting these processes in place. Why not leverage the time now and use this as like a marketing advantage?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: First mover. Yeah.

Killian Vigna: First mover. Millennials are so aware of this like they’re actively campaigning about this. You saw with the schools to schools going to protests, and this is what they want. If you can leverage that and say that you’re the first salon in your town or in your area that’s eco-friendly or is making an effort to make these changes, you’re going to be the one that they’re going to want to go to.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly. Yeah. Now, for our Inside Phorest segment, we have Phorest Academy coming up first.

Killian Vigna: Exactly, so Phorest Academy is your one-stop education shop. It’s our online learning portal full of fun, interactive, and bite-sized self-taught training courses covering every area of your Phorest system. So what exactly is it? Well, with Phorest Academy, you can go and do interactive online and on-demand training. You can learn on the go, so where we do live training at the moment for trainers, you can actually get the app and self-teach yourself new areas of the Phorest feature or upscale yourself. If you’ve got new staff members, we’ll get them signed up on Phorest Academy, and they can learn on as they go. It’s a library of regularly added and updated courses, and best of all, you’ll get Phorest Academy certified for each course you complete.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Then, we have Conscious Hair and Beauty, which is taking place on Sunday, August 18th and has for theme sustainability in the salon industry and personal wellness. Now, all of Professor Baden’s links, the ones that she was saying about, the virtual salon and all of those, they’re all going to be in the episode’s notes. The link to get your tickets to Conscious Hair and Beauty if you’re in the London area, that’s also going to be in the episode’s notes, and then we have the Salon Owners Summit 2020, our flagship event in Dublin. It’s taking place once again this year at the Convention Center. The theme is “Creating A Focused 20/20 Business Vision.”

The first announced speaker, you know her already. We’ve had her on the show a couple of times. Stefanie Fox Jackson. She’s a motivational speaker. She’s a generational leadership expert as well. She has spent 15 years building teams and educating leaders on the changes in today’s workforce. She’s also the founder of Canvas Salon and Skin Bar, a five-time recipient of the top 200 salons in America, and she’s the founder of Salon Colab.

Now, her talk at the Summit will be all about team-building. The workforce has changed, and you have to change with them, or you’re going to be left behind. In her session, you’ll learn why the most recent generations are showing up differently and what it takes to build a team in today’s fast-paced, option-field world. She’ll dive into key understandings of the millennial and generation Z employees, and talk about how you recruit the top talent for your business. That is not to miss. If you want to request a call back for tickets, you’ll have the link in the episode’s notes as well, or you can head over to the Phorest Blog for more information about the 2020 #SalonSummit.

To wrap up this segment, we have the Salon Mentorship Hub, which is a place to connect with industry mentors, coaches, and consultants.

Whether you’re a Phorest client or not, and whatever you’re struggling with in the salon, if you want to have a chat about it with someone who can help you see the challenge from a new perspective, head over to where you can book yourself in for a free 15 to 30-minute consultation on a topic of your choosing.

Killian Vigna: As you know, we’ve done a hundred of these episodes now, helping you bridge the gap between salon business and technology and a host of other business and marketing tips and it goes far beyond that. So, if this podcast has helped your business and you want to pay it forward to someone else in the trade, you’ve only got until July 31st, 2019 to cast your votes for Phorest FM at the Podcast Awards 2019. You can click the link in this blurb and give us a vote!

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Well, that’s all we got for this week, guys. As always, if you want to share your thoughts on this episode or have any suggestions, please send us an email at or leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. We genuinely love feedback and are always looking for ways to improve the show.

Otherwise, have a wonderful week, and we’ll catch you next Monday.

Killian Vigna: All the best.

Related links

Eco Hair and Beauty: Get your eco salon or stylist certification here!

Watch Prof. Denise Baden’s TEDxSouthamptonUniversity: “What Hairdressers Can Tell Us About Sustainability”

Register for the 6-Week Salon Management Course hosted by Business Strategist Valerie Delforge

Book a free 15-30 minute consultation on The Salon Mentorship Hub


This episode was edited and mixed by Audio Z: Great music makes great moments. Montreal’s cutting-edge post-production studio for creative minds looking to have their vision professionally produced and mixed. Tune in every Monday for a mix of interviews with industry thought-leaders, roundups of our most recent salon owners marketing tips & tricks, all the latest in and around Phorest and what upcoming webinars or events you can join.

Leave a review

Think other people should hear about Phorest FM or this specific episode? Share your thoughts, leave us a review on Apple Podcasts!


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments