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Posted by Sarah Brown on 21 Nov '16

Why even a visit to the hairdressers can be stressful

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Am I getting old? I find change at the hairdressers quite disconcerting.

I could cope with a new supplier of hair colours, the trolleys that are large and difficult to move are slightly less good, and mean that there is less space for the critical part of the visit, the glossy magazines, but the towels!

First I thought it was because I was getting my hair coloured that I got the equivalent of a large dry wet wipe put round my shoulders, but then when I went to get my hair washed I got another one, rather than a warm fluffy towel.

As I lay with my neck against the cold basin I got to wondering about the environmental impact of this decision. My immediate reaction was that surely it has to be worse for the environment, more landfill and single use. But actually they are getting passed on for use with mechanics or used for cleaning up so they are getting more than one use. And previously ensuring clean towels has meant the washing machine and tumble dryer have been running all day.

I’d love views on which is more environmentally friendly. Please let me know and share with anyone who you think might be able to help.

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More broadly however it raises other issues across the Ethical Wheel of Success. Does it fit with the niche I thought the hairdresser had as up-market pampering? Does it also provide a reliably consistent service, it didn’t feel like it? And does it save money helping to ensure a sustainable profit? At 11p each this needs some calculating, I had three during my visit. It clearly is ‘innovative’ but I am not sure whether it can be defined as innovative growth – how will using towels that my stylist told me all her customers had complained about aid growth. And in terms of treating staff well, the change has not been welcomed because most worry that the customers are being upset.

At the end of my visit I was left in a quandary – was it just me getting old or is some innovation and change not an improvement? They claim it’s a trial I’ll wait to see what happens. And it just shows that the ethical wheel of success has relevance in any business. Decisions affect lots of areas and need considering in terms of all their impact.

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