Women in sustainability: Toni Marie Ovenden, Love Hair

06 March 2020

With the challenges our world is facing, we as individuals have become increasingly conscious of how our living and purchasing habits may have implications on our planet. Sustainability has certainly been on the rise in Hong Kong, and much of this growth can be attributed to the entrepreneurs and enterprises striving for an environmentally viable future.

In celebration of Women’s Day (and over the next three days), we’re highlighting three female movers and shakers who share our passion for protecting our planet, and are reshaping Hong Kong’s mindset on sustainable living through their conscious businesses. We’re kickstarting our Women’s Day weekend with Toni Marie Ovenden, who sought out to create an eco-salon in Hong Kong.

With over 17 years of experience, Toni is indeed well-versed in the hair industry, and her thirst for knowledge drives her to continue researching and experimenting with top trends and techniques. Her true passion lies on the salon floor with her clients, working with them to express her individuality and creativeness while satisfying their needs. This, coupled with her commitment to sustainability, is what gave way to Love Hair – Toni’s boutique salon that is run with an environmentally conscious approach.

Toni Marie Ovenden

What inspired you to create an environmentally conscious salon here in Hong Kong? Why is sustainability important to you?

For me there was no other option. I think in the world we live in today it is the only way forward. We need to try and reduce waste and recycle everything we can, whilst choosing to support brands that are in line with our own ethos.

Could you tell us a little bit more about the natural products at Love Hair? How does sustainability come into play into processes like hair colouring?

We use less chemicals as we want to have the balance of products that are eco-focused, with a dedication to funding charitable causes focused on human and environmental issues. Our products are made from 100% recycled ocean waste plastics, are cruelty free to animals, and contain natural organic ingredients that are sustainably sourced.

We also want our products to perform the job and deliver results we need. The hair colour we use at Love Hair is ammonia and PPD free, and is also a honey-based product with natural ingredients to nourish and moisturise the hair whilst colouring.

Toni's Love Hair salon is located in Central, Hong Kong

Are there any new developments or innovations within the sustainable salon space?

We use eco shower heads (that use 65% less water), reusable gloves, eco-cleaning products across the salon, as well as ecological toilet paper. Our wine is sourced from sustainable farms, we filter all of our water and we use a soda stream to produce sparkling water. We offer hair clippings to any keen gardeners out there, and we recycle any waste that we produce (paper, metal in colour tubes and foils, glass and plastics).

We’ve also incorporated sustainability into the design of the salon, with eco-wood flooring and reclaimed wood furniture (from TREE!). We worked with a carpenter to upcycle some pallets and wine boxes to create our bespoke colour bar and recycling boxes.

Salons often use a cotton bud when performing a skin test on new colour clients. I’ve recently discovered is a reusable cotton bud that can be washed in between uses. It’s a small find but one that will reduce one aspect of our daily waste.

What are some tips you can offer for those wanting to practice an eco-conscious hair care routine (after leaving your salon)?

We try to encourage our clients to purchase litre shampoo and conditioners, as these last around five to six months. They also enable you to decanter into your retail size for when you are travelling.

Clients can also bring their containers back to the salon so that we can help recycle them responsibly, and in turn enjoy a discount on their next purchase. We also offer refills for a range of our styling products.

We love Toni has created a sustainable salon that proves you can give your tresses – and our planet – plenty of love!