Our salon has recently been redesigned to reflect our philosophy on health and the environment. Traditionally, Japanese culture has been very concerned with the environment and our relationship to it. These are values that we have grown up with and share. Even though the idea of respect for the environment and being sustainable have become common words these days, we have been living with these concepts since we were born. Personally, we are also very concerned with the effects of the products that we use on our clients hair. For years we have constantly searched for healthy and naturally-made materials that could be used on our clients hair that do not create any damage. At the beginning it was very hard, but recently we have been able to find more varieties of products, though it is still difficult.
When we decided to renovate the salon, we worked with LOHAS Design & Consulting to help realize our goals, as she shared many of the same ideas as us and has been involved in designing sustainable projects for many years. Below we have outlined the different elements that have been introduced into the salon.
From the beginning we decided to create a more open and relaxed feeling in our salon. We also wanted to incorporate the views of Burrard Bay into the space and at the same time create a bright and healthy environment for us and our clients. We tried to reuse as much of the original materials as was possible. We last renovated the salon over 20 years ago, so some items has to be removed.
The paint that we used throughout the salon contains very high quality refined resins and raw materials to avoid the residual chemical compounds which offgas and cause problems for people with allergies or sensitivities. Their products have earned the industry’s highest environmental and indoor air quality certifications, and they satisfy LEED standards.
To separate the hair washing area from the rest of the salon we used an opaque panel that would create a focal point in the salon without creating any areas that felt closed in. The partition is made from ecoresin and engineered to incorporate 40% post-industrial reclaimed material content resin. It is extremely durable – 40 times the impact strength of glass – and it is non-toxic. it is GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified and is code compliant (ie. Self-extinguishing flammability). It is a product which received the 2006 Green Building Award.
A continuous countertop at the styling stations is manufactured from the raw stalks of sorghum, an edible grass grown around the world. After harvesting the grain for food, the stalks are compressed, washed, and woven into sheets. These sheets are then stacked and heat-pressed with a formaldehyde-free adhesive to create blocks.
The washing counter finishing uses the flax plant as a source for the primary raw material. Moreover, this product is known to prevent any growth of harmful micro-organisms, making breathing easier for people with asthmatic allergies and other respiratory disorders.
Bamboo flooring runs throughout our entire salon. Not only can the floor withstand a lot of use, the floor was floated over the existing tile floor and relieves pressure on the knees for those who stand a lot.
Washi is a beautiful organic material that is an integral part of the Japanese culture. This particular product consists of Hemp, Kozo Bark (Paper Mulberry) and Mitsumata (Oriental Paper Bush). The texture of traditional washi paper has been kept but has been adapted to be strong enough for wall coverings.
The styling chairs have been kept and completely reupholstered.
Low voltage and compact fluorescent lighting was used through out the salon.
The garden created in the entrance will be redesigned throughout the year to reflect the change in the seasons and for other important occasions. Most of the wood and stones that are used in the present display where found on the shore of Burrard Bay and reflect the location of the salon. Bamboo poles were used on the wall behind the garden display.