By Megan Goodwin.
Sarah Whitesell and her business partner Marion Dodd opened Organic Hair Lab in March 2018. Sarah is a mentor, and stylist at Organic Hair Lab on Grand Avenue in Phoenix wants your hair to go green. Organically, and environmentally, green, that is.
Sarah’s journey in the beauty industry began in her aunt’s salon, took her to Las Vegas and New York, and finally brought her back to the neighborhood of her youth. Along the way, she discovered a passion for organic color and styling. Sarah’s passion for creating a healthy environment resulted in her becoming a Platinum Level Green Business Leader.
Organic Hair Lab, located in the Desert Sun Plaza in the Grand Avenue Arts District, takes being green seriously. From the products used in the salon to specific business practices, they make an effort to be eco-conscious in every area possible. And being a leader in water conservation, electrical use and trash diversion is just the beginning.
Organic Hair Lab – a Clean Air Space
Sarah had her green vision in mind from the very creation of her business. “Most of us came from an organic way of doing hair for years but wanted to take it a step further and really see how we could minimize our impact on the environment and still be a successful business,” she says. Building the salon from the ground up, she was able to incorporate green building practices into the design. Organic Hair Lab is a “clean air space” using zero VOC (volatile organic compound) soy-based floor stains, all natural fragrance-free cleaning products, and live plants that not only make the salon beautiful, but help to filter the air. “Since we got to come in and build from scratch, we had the ability to research our options and make the best decision based on a strict criteria,” says Sarah.
Sarah is proud to partner with companies who help her extend her mission. She composts with Recycled City and saves water by using Ecoheads shower heads and tankless water heaters. She’s partnered with Green Circle Salons to recycle her hair foils and hair color waste. The company even takes the hair clippings and upcycles them into nylon bag sponges to soak up oil spills in the ocean! Sarah doesn’t use any single-use plastic, opting for corn-based compostables instead. She provides hot and cold cups for both her customers and her employees, and recycles everything possible.
The products Sarah uses are kind to her clients’ hair and the environment. She only uses products manufactured by companies whose philosophies are in line with her own. Organic Hair Labs only uses certified organic, biodegradable, and cruelty-free products.
A Leader of Green Practices
Sarah’s commitment to being green isn’t limited to her business. She’s been a leader in recruiting other businesses in the complex to adhere to green practices, as well. “I was the first person to sign a lease at Desert Sun Plaza in its re-birth which started in early 2017. As each business opened, I presented them with the idea of using green business practices and gave them the information they needed to be successful,” she explains. “Now that it’s in place it’s easy, but it took about six months to have every detail working for our needs as a community.”
Today, there are four businesses in Desert Sun Plaza recognized by the City of Phoenix as being Green Business Leaders: Organic Hair Lab, El Charro Hipster Bar & Cafe (also a Platinum Level Leader), ChaChas Tea Lounge, and Cookie Broker’s Bakery. El Charro Hipster and ChaCha’s use all compostable cups, lids, plates, to-go containers, and utensils, and both recycle paper, cardboard, and glass. Cookie Broker composts food waste and recycles.
Sarah’s proud of the other businesses that have followed her lead. “We can adopt these practices and show people fun and easy ways to make small changes for themselves. Businesses can create a lot of waste and if one by one we find better ways to make a difference, it adds up,” Sarah says.
With this level of commitment to green, sustainable, and eco-friendly practices, Sarah is making a bold and valuable impact on the health and well-being of her clients, her co-workers, and her community. Sarah’s Organic Hair Lab is a perfect example of one person’s passion igniting the passion in others. It’s truly a cut above.
For more information about Organic Hair Lab and to receive 10% off your next service with them, check out their Facebook page.
Megan Goodwin just received her Masters of Arts in Creative Writing and Publishing from City University of London.