Water conservation is in the DNA of every forward-thinking salon in New Mexico. It has to be – the south-western state is one of the most water-deprived areas in the country and the situation isn’t about to get any better. So when Angela Del Mar and her partner, Kevin Wilson, opened their beautiful Salon Del Mar in Santa Fe in 2008, saving water was high on their list of priorities.
‘It’s there in our mission statement and in our vision for our salon,’ says Angela. ‘Water conservation has always been a problem, so we have ensured sustainability is at the heart of our business, keeping a close eye on any innovations that could help us use even less water.’
Gorgeous as it is, New Mexico is high desert, struggling with few natural water reserves, little rainfall and high temperatures. To reinforce the message that water is a precious resource every water bill comes with a graph showing exactly how much has been used by the recipient. It doesn’t make for good reading.
‘Water is expensive, it’s precious,’ says Kevin, who originally hails from Liverpool in England, a city where water is plentiful. ‘But we recently found a way to slash our water use and to grow without using more.’
The couple installed EcoHeads shower heads on to the salon’s three basins and immediately saw a drop in water use.
‘During October 2015 we had seven stylists and used 8,400 gallons of water in a month. For the same month this year, although we’ve increased the number of stylists to 11, our water usage is only 9,400 gallons. That’s a fall from 1,200 gallons per stylist to 855 gallons,’ says Kevin, who worked with Davines in California before moving to be with Angela in Santa Fe.
EcoHeads’ unique design means it delivers a high-pressure flow using less than 1.5 gallons a minute, reducing water use while speeding up the rinse process. Easy to fit, they use nearly 65% less expensively heated water than traditional shower heads.
For Salon Del Mar, EcoHeads also changed the substance of the water.
‘Water in New Mexico is very hard and mineral-rich because it runs off the mountains through rose quartz, but the filtration system on our EcoHeads removes those minerals and sediment. The shower head doesn’t just rinse off colour or product faster because of the pressure; it rinses off faster because the water is softer,’ says Angela.
The couple are now on a mission to persuade all their fellow Davines salons and others that water conservation should be a priority in every state, not just those besieged by drought or severe shortages. According to them, it should be in the DNA of every salon.