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Water Conservation in Oklahoma City & How the Beauty Industry Can Help

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

Water conservation may not always be the first thing on everyone's mind, but it affects us all. Access to clean and safe water is essential for human life, necessary for everything from sustaining life and growing food to personal hygiene, public health, and healthcare. In Oklahoma, there is a growing need for water conservation, primarily due to its vulnerability to drought, which can lead to water scarcity, especially affecting agriculture, industry, and municipal water supply. This, in turn, contributes to rapidly decreasing groundwater levels.

The increasing population is also placing higher demands on surface water, leading to competition for limited water resources and the potential for conflicts over water allocation.

Adding to the challenge, Oklahoma is a high-risk area for wildfires, which can damage ecosystems and further threaten water quality and supply.

So, what can be done, and why can beauty industry professionals play a significant role in addressing this issue?

eco friendly beauty salons
Sustainable Salon Oklahoma City

First, let's consider some numbers:

In the Oklahoma City Metro area alone, there are approximately 264 salons. Generally, each salon has at least one shampoo bowl. For the sake of this discussion, let's assume each salon has one shampoo bowl.

When we shampoo a client, each shampoo service typically takes between 7-10 minutes. An average shampoo basin shower head flows at a rate of 2.5 gallons per minute, resulting in an average water usage of 17.5-25 gallons per shampoo service. If each salon had one shampoo basin and served just one client a day, the collective water usage in salons would amount to 4,620 - 6,600 gallons every 7-10 minutes.

Why do these numbers matter? Because there is a solution, and salons can significantly contribute to water conservation with one small change: low-flow, high-pressure showerheads, such as Eco Heads.

Eco Heads have a flow rate of 1.45 gallons per minute, and they provide higher water pressure. This not only reduces water usage but also shortens the time water is running. Furthermore, it saves on the electricity and gas required to heat the water, ensuring clients don't experience a chilly shampoo.

This relatively simple $135 investment for salons could potentially save a minimum of 1,980 - 2,672 gallons every 7-10 minutes a single shampoo bowl is in use. Considering the numerous shampoo basins in the Oklahoma City metro area (which doesn't even include barbershops or educational facilities), the potential water savings are substantial.

Even if we assume every salon only has two shampoo bowls, implementing water conservation measures would result in saving a minimum of 4,000 - 6,000 gallons of water every 7-10 minutes in the OKC metro area. While this might not seem like a significant amount, it's worth noting that in one month, salons collectively use the same amount of water that the entire population of Oklahoma City uses daily in their homes for personal use. If all salons adopted water conservation practices, in just one five-day work week, Oklahoma City would save 2.4 million gallons of water.

Now, imagine the water usage of a large salon with multiple shampoo bowls, numerous stylists, and many clients throughout the day. The potential for water conservation impact is substantial. And let's not even get started on the environmental implications of reducing the chemicals from salon treatments going down the drain.

By making simple changes in the beauty industry, we can be instrumental in conserving water, reducing water waste, and contributing to a more sustainable future for Oklahoma and beyond.

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