Student Profile: Jen Vanderleij, Owner, Clover Earthkind Hair Salon

When did you start practising Bikram Yoga, and why?

I was doing other types of yoga before, but not really getting into the pattern of things. Then the lovely Lisa Pelzer convinced me that I should try Bikram Yoga. I’ve been doing it for a few months now and definitely still need to get into a proper schedule with it, but I totally love it. Although the salon keeps me really busy, I still manage to make room for Bikram Yoga in my life.

What are some of the benefits you’ve noticed so far?

As someone who works in the beauty industry I’ve been really impressed with the way my skin looks and feels after spending 90 sweaty minutes in the hot room. The body, not so much; then again, I haven’t been practising that long. I’m hoping that those changes will come in time; I’m sure that I’ll start to notice more improvements and benefits as I continue to progress in my practice.

Can you tell us more about Clover Earthkind Hair Salon?

Happily! We’re celebrating our three-year anniversary as Vancouver’s first environmentally friendly hair salon, so we’re really excited about that. We work with some of the best stylists and loveliest people in the city and, along with our amazing clients, we consider ourselves a real little family. We offer cuts, colour and styling for men and women, makeup application, lash and brow services, lots of great products … and, of course, we’re very environment focused; from construction to our daily operations, we try to be as “green” as we can possibly be.

Why did you decide to be a “green” salon? What does that entail?

Well, I’ve been a colour technician for the past 10 years, working in various salons. I couldn’t help but notice the amount of waste that was being generated in the salon industry: product waste, water waste, not to mention the chemicals that we were putting down the drain. So I started a small recycling program at one of the places I worked at. I also started researching products that were better for the environment and healthier for my clients – especially those with allergies to ammonia or PPD (p-phenylenediamine) – without comprising quality or effect. It took a lot of trial and error to find what worked and what didn’t, but I was and continue to be pleasantly surprised at all the great, natural salon products there are out there. Now we’re at the point where we know what really works in terms of all-natural and chemically diminished colours and hair-care products. You really don’t need to put harsh chemicals all over your hair and skin to achieve fantastic results.

Do the products you use or services you offer have any other environmental/health benefits?

Absolutely! None of the products used in our salon are tested on animals. That’s just good ethics. Plus, our recycling program goes above and beyond to add highlighting foils, colour tubes, composting and more – something no other salon in Vancouver claims to do. We’ve installed allergy-free flooring, energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances, low-VOC paints, biodegradable cleaners … not to mention a commitment to continuously become more environmentally efficient. We even serve clients fresh cups of organic, fair-trade coffee! These are just a few of the things that set us apart from the rest. We will always be looking for ways to improve our business, environmentally and otherwise.

What are the biggest benefits of going green when it comes to beauty?

Wow, the benefits are huge when it comes to your impact on the environment. But in terms of esthetics alone, vegetable-based semi-permanent colours take a bit longer to process – about 15 to 20 minutes – but they leave little or no cuticle damage, no fumes, lots of shine and really pretty colour! There are also ammonia-free, organic, vegetable-based permanents with very low PPD or high-end permanents with no PPD that provide great grey coverage, longer-lasting colour, amazing shine … and they won’t irritate people who have allergies. Our ammonia-free products are great because they have no strong scent, there are lots of colours to choose from and they leave your hair shinier and in better conditioner than ever before. Basically, whatever your needs are, come on in for a complimentary consultation and we’ll be able to answer all of your questions and concerns and recommend what we think will work best for you.

To book a complimentary consultation at Clover Earthkind Hair Salon, call 604-602-0606.

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