Meet Up with Modern Barbers Recent Cover Star
When we heard that Damien Diablo had opened a Zero waste hair salon right out of the container, MB contacted US to interview him for number 29. Here’s a taste of the feature …
Zero waste. Forget the notions of hemp-wearing hippies or lifestyle bloggers making their own tea bags, Damien Diablo, owner of 1981 barbershop in Truro, Cornwall, has the task of changing the perception of eco-life. He wants to show the industry that there is an extremely cool (and simple) way to be green. As a former hard-core drummer, he is not an ecological warrior princess, but he makes sure that every aspect of his hair salon is in line with the environment.
However, when MB asked Damien how he knew he was the first zero-waste hairdresser, HIS response was a refreshing honesty. “When I was dealing with the set-up, I thought there must be someone else doing it,” he explains. “Although there were hair salons with environmentally friendly paints and products, there were no special zero-waste hair salons that I could find. But if someone comes out of the wood after seeing this interview saying there is zero waste too – it would be unbelievable. In my opinion, the more we are, the better it is!”
“Just because I don’t wear birkenstock and tie dye, I can still be put off by the environment”
Damien strives to be an ambassador of ecological awareness and change the face of zero waste in the barber industry for the better. “I want to use my shop as an example of a positive change,” he confirms. “The biggest misconception is that you have to look for a way to live a sustainable lifestyle,” says Damien. “That’s what I notice the most when I tell the customers that I’m vegan. Just because I don’t wear a birkenstock and tie dye doesn’t mean I don’t care about the environment!”And now that recent times has stimulated the massive use of PPE, the question of plastic and its environmental impact has never been more relevant. But let’s go back a little to explain how Damien got into the industry…
How Damien got into the industry
Playing in bands, Damien has always seen how hair and music go hand in hand. This contributed to the image of their group and their barber talents were incredibly helpful on the road.
“On tour, I always cut the hair of my bandmates. I had two bags at festivals – one from the money I received from the goods, and the other from the haircut, ” he says. “When I started, I was able to invite guests to different cities and villages and at the same time earn money and make tours.”
He after moved to Rugby, Warwickshire, and worked at Mister Robinson’s, where the ethos family worked
first ‘ was a welcome mantra for Damien and his companion. However, they eventually moved to Cornwall when baby number two was on the way. They wanted a lifestyle change and the opportunity to give their children the idyllic and rural childhood they had when they were growing up.
Fast forward a couple of years and, in the midst of the recent times, a local appeared during the lockdown on a rental status in the town of Truro in Cornwall. “I just thought I had to go,” explains Damien. “But it stayed three weeks before we were allowed to reopen on July 4th. So my father-in-law and I have prepared everything for the opening in three weeks. So Barbershop was born in 1981
The “5 R” of the “zero waste
To get to the point, the zero waste movement focuses on the five R’s–i.e. reject, reduce, reuse, recycle and rot. Pretty explicit, right? Well, kind of.
“If I don’t know where it comes from, I don’t usually use it,” explains Damien. But even if you follow “the 5 R’s,” there are still a few things to keep in mind. Such as products containing microplastics and nanoplastics. Damien calls them “invisible plastics”, because people know very well what the packaging of their products consists of. But microplastics, as the name implies, can be invisible to the naked eye. And if you can not see the plastic particles, then, of course, it is more difficult to name them. This is especially important if you wash ghent hair in your store – since microplastics flow into the sewers and into the oceans. They can transport organic micropollutants such as nonylphenols (an endocrine disruptor), as well as secondary toxins that can potentially be transferred to animal tissues.
So how can you tell what is green and what is not? Over time, brands know that “eco” is a big selling point on their label, so they are more inclined to label their products as such. However, pay attention to green washing [where brands overestimate the amount of their environmentally friendly products]. Words like “natural” do not mean much in terms of the environmental friendliness of a product or not, so it’s worth going deeper.
Regarding the things you can do in the hair salon that you may not have thought of, Damien has a few decent tips.
“We use an Eco Heads shower head for backwashing. It filters the water to make it softer, which
this means that you need less foam, ” he adds. “It uses 65% less water than a standard shower head, but the pressure is still impressive.”in 1981, a renewable energy company called Bulb uses. They get their electricity from solar, wind and hydropower sources and their gas is 100% CO2-neutral and a large part of it comes from food or agricultural waste. And the best part? In many matters, it is not more expensive than non-renewable energy companies. Damien also collects hair that falls to the floor and sends it to the clean Wave program. They make it benefits for the hair, which are used to absorb oil spills.