Salon and sustainability aren’t two words you’d normally associate with each other but there is a sustainable salon right here on the Coast offering hair services for Coasties with an eco conscience.
Tucked away in a row of shops on the Central Coast Highway in West Gosford is Eco Chic Hair Boutique.
By using the most natural and organic products available and recycling as much waste as possible including hair, Eco Chic is leading the way in the Coast’s sustainable salon stakes.
It seems as though there are a lot of faux eco salons around but the only thing that appears to be fake at Eco Chic is the green wall, which owner Narelle says couldn’t sustain real foliage due to the lack of sunlight inside the salon.
Shelves are stocked with organic candles, tea, creams and oils, armed and ready to nourish even the most dry and brittle hair and skin using ingredients sourced from Mother Nature.
It has been a while between cuts so I indulge in a Natulique hair and scalp treatment (it only costs a little extra).
The organic-certified oil smells of Australian natives and leaves my hair feeling soft like the petals of a flannel flower.
One of the team of young staff members in salon-black, who are taking turns tending to my every need, prepares a Pukka tulsi tea – a refreshing blend of holy basil.
Between the plant wall, the communal table in the centre of the room, the friendly staff and the herbal tea, the small salon has an uber relaxed vibe (try not drifting off during the heavenly head massage).
Hairdresser Kyri, who has just moved back to the Coast after a stint in Sydney, sets to work snipping and shaping my hair after months of neglect.
What lands on the floor is swept up and put into a recycling bin. Narelle says the recycled hair could be used to soak up an oil spill, make wigs or to nourish a community garden.
As well as the usual plastic and paper recycling (most products come in recyclable packaging), aluminium foil from hair colouring is also balled up and sent off for reuse.
The salon uses Davines products, an Italian company which draws from nature to create innovative sustainable beauty products that take care of the environment while we’re taking care of ourselves.
Organic, ammonia free, sulphate and paraben free as well as ethical and sustainable, the ingredients are so natural – like extracts from tomato, sunflower, walnut, spinach, myrtle and hazelnuts – that Narelle says the containers they come in can be reused as food storage. Yet another link in the sustainability chain.
The range of shampoos and conditioners come in pretty pastel colours and have adorable pet names like Love, Dede, Nounou and Momo.
As well as being immediately nourishing and a sweet baby pink colour, Love has a beautiful earthy scent – like freshly cut grass or coriander – which is exactly what you expect from an organic product from an eco salon.
The Davines nectars, oils and butters are also divine – they look, feel and smell as though they’ve come from the Garden of Eden.
Between commuting, exercising and spending lots of time in the sun and sea, bad hair days can be a consequence of a Central Coast lifestyle.
But since my first “eco” hair cut and with a little Love here and there, my hair seems to be coping much better with the daily grind.
Coastal Chic tip: The Davines range isn’t cheap but I’ve been amazed at the difference natural hair products have made to my hair.