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April 10, 2018

ENOUGH studio: haircare with a conscience

After experiencing the damaging effects of haircare industry's chemicals firsthand, hairstylist Lisa Nguyen set out to build a more sustainable and environmentally friendly salon alternative.

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  • Story: Sharmonie Cockayne

It’s startling to think how chemically-driven the hair industry is. Though we’re often made aware of the damaging effects bleaching can have on the health of our hair, there is less conversation around how the way we style our hair could be damaging the world around us.


ENOUGH studio,

298-300 Unley Road, Hyde Park.

Open Tuesday – Friday 10am until 6pm, and Saturday 9am until 5pm.

This was the inspirations behind Hyde Park salon, ENOUGH studio – a recently opened eco-ethical hair salon established with the intent to minimise chemical usage, waste and unsustainable practices.

Hairstylist, Lisa Nguyen, opened the studio after years of suffering painful chemical irritations and dermatitis on her hands.

“I realised there was a huge problem in the industry – I didn’t feel comfortable using products that contained ingredients that were toxic and harmful to both the customer and hairstylist,” she says.

“It took a toll on my health, and I came close to leaving the industry after some terrible reactions to the products I had to use in the salon.”

Lisa found alternatives to chemical-laden haircare products, and quickly the idea of opening her own salon came to fruition.

“There are alternatives to the chemicals and toxins used to achieve the look or style someone is after – and we don’t have to sacrifice the health of our hair, bodies, the health of the people who work with these products everyday, and, of course, the environment,” she says.

ENOUGH studio uses reduced-chemical, sustainability-focused products OWAY and Mr. Smith, the latter – an Australian-made product.

Eco-ethical means making conscious decisions that respect and contribute to preserving the environment for future generations to come – Lisa Nguyen

Lisa is the Director of ENOUGH.

But, Lisa says the concept behind ENOUGH is bigger than the products; it’s about promoting sustainable lifestyle choices, like reducing waste and giving back to the community, too.

“The hairdressing industry is known as huge consumer of water, energy and environment full of chemicals and excess waste,” she says.

“We partnered with Sustainable Salons Australia through a sustainability program. They come and collect up to 95 per cent of salon waste, which gets organised for recycling and repurposing. They send proceeds back to the community to feed the hungry and create opportunities for people with disabilities by providing work.

“For us, looking after the environment, which supports us and our business, is hugely important, and we want to involve our customers in the process of contribution too.”

“We hope it gives clients a sense of confidence knowing that their visit goes beyond supporting a small business owner – their support goes back into the community and reduces the impact the industry has on the environment,” says Lisa.

Filled to the brim with ethical take-homes.

And, more than that, Lisa hopes the salon can be a space for education and wellness.

“We want to go beyond the boundaries of an eco-ethical salon by facilitating workshops and creating a space our clients come back to; to learn and experience what body, mind and planet health looks and feels like.”

The intention filters through the very design of the studio, which has an upstairs area for yoga practice. It even influences the magazines and books in-salon, and the drinks they serve.

“We want to build a community that is informed and empowered with knowledge and tools to incorporate what they’ve learned and experienced beyond the salon environment and their homes,” Lisa says.

As a society, we’re becoming increasingly educated about the health of the environment and how our lifestyle choices are affecting it – whether it be recycling our bottles, using a keep-cups, or bleaching our hair.

Lisa hopes that ENOUGH can be a part of that education process, with a message that encourages reducing our carbon footprint and making sustainability a part of the every-day routine.

“It’s pretty exciting that this can now extend outside of the home or workplace and into a salon environment,” she says.

“You have a choice to support eco-ethical salons now,” Lisa says, “but, in time, I hope it becomes the norm, as opposed to one of few.”

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