5 Ways to Be More Sustainable at Nails Salons

If you’re looking to attract new customers, you need to implement sustainable efforts at your nail salon. This important topic is not a trend, it’s a reality, and we want to help our nail tech family by informing you of ways to be more eco-friendly. 


According to the article, The Difficult Truth About Our Manicure Obsession, the beauty industry in North America alone contributes to almost 900 pounds of waste being sent to landfills every minute.


Is this number shocking to you? It should be. As nail techs, we can help reduce this number by focusing on ways to be more sustainable, like recycling packaging, reusing products, and conserving water.


At Erica’s ATA, we’re committed to being more sustainable through switching to recyclable packaging and manufacturing reusable products. But the real question is - how are you addressing this environmental issue at your nail salons?


If you don’t know the answer to that question, this blog post is perfect for you! We’ll be covering five of our favorite ways to be more sustainable at nail salons.

how to be more sustainable at nail salons

How to Start Reducing Waste as a Nail Tech

We’ll be completely honest, it can be difficult being sustainable as a nail tech. It may be inconvenient, adds more time to services, or may be too costly. However, there are still ways your nail salon can be more eco-friendly without the consequences to your business. 


Here are five ways in which you can reduce waste as a nail tech: 


  • Reduce water consumption - GO DRY!
  • Invest in non-toxic nail polish
  • Reuse, repurpose, and recycle
  • Start your own recycling program 
  • Stop using all of that plastic 


1: Reduce water consumption - GO DRY!

If you’ve known us for a while, you know that we’re all about dry manicures and pedicures. By opting for dry techniques, you can significantly reduce the amount of water used during each service.


Dry manicures and pedicures are also traditionally faster and lead to long-lasting results. You’ll be saving money by reducing water and energy consumption and will have happier clients. It’s a win-win if you ask me. 


2: Invest in non-toxic nail polish

Traditional nail polish may contain chemicals, like formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate. These chemicals could lead to health issues, including allergic reactions, and headaches. Once they’re thrown away, the chemicals can absorb into the soil and affect the surrounding area. 


Investing in non-toxic nail polish can lower the risks of your clients experiencing an allergic reaction or something worse. We’d also recommend researching options that offer biodegradable packaging to help reduce landfill waste. 


3: Reuse, repurpose, and recycle

Invest in tools that you can reuse, like our diamond and carbide bits. These bits, among other tools, can be reused after being disinfected. This helps to reduce waste and pollution.


Repurpose empty product containers as storage, decorations, or planters. If you have gently used furniture or decor, you may also consider donating to local charities or thrift stores. 


Ensure that you’re recycling materials, like plastic, glass, and paper. We’d also recommend properly disposing of hazardous material, like acetone and nail polish, by preventing any leakage and taking it to a hazardous waste collection site. 


4: Start your own recycling program 

Reduce the environmental impact at your salon and get your clients engaged in a recycling program. The purpose of this program should be to collect waste generated during nail services and daily operations. This can be implemented by simply butting out a dedicated recycling bin for you, your staff, and clients to use.


By starting your own recycling program, you may also influence your clients to be more sustainable, too. While doing so, you’ll reduce waste at landfills, prevent harmful chemicals from entering the environment, and build trust with your clients. 


5: Stop using all of that plastic

Opt for recyclable packaging, like glass or paper. We’d also recommend avoiding single use items, like disposable towels or plastic cups for refreshments. 


Another option for reducing plastic consumption is to use refillable containers. Consider refilling nail polish and cuticle oil bottles instead of buying them brand new every time. 


By following these sustainable tips, you’ll become more eco-friendly and have a competitive edge. Once you decide on which tips you want to implement at your nail salon, update your business plans accordingly and ensure that you inform your employees and clients of any changes.

why is sustainability at nail salons important

Why is This Important

Many consumers are now considering your sustainable efforts when determining if they want to do business with you. By being environmentally responsible, you can be a favorable choice compared to other nail salons. Additionally, being more eco-friendly can lead to:

  • Health and safety of employees and clients
  • Long-term cost savings
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Industry leadership


So you have two options - Continue with the same practices and limit the growth of your clientele OR implement sustainable efforts and see great success in the near future. The choice is all yours. 

April 21, 2024 — Erica Schlabach