Glasshouse Salon is a fully organic and sustainably-minded hair salon in Hackney, East London. Here at Erbology, we love to support local businesses who share our values, so we were delighted to sit down with founder Olivia Crighton to discuss all things related to organic haircare.January 14, 2021 10:53 am
Name: Olivia Crighton
From: New Zealand Based in: London
Occupation: Founder of Glasshouse Salon
Passion and principles
“My passion for organic beauty really stems from a desire to look after myself and my body. I became unwell around 10 years ago and was suffering from a lot of allergies. So, I had to make some significant lifestyle changes and rethink my entire diet. This then extended to what I was putting on my skin and hair.
I was already a hairstylist by this point, but my journey toward using more natural and organic haircare products had started. I also try to be conscientious when it comes to environmental and ethical issues. This reflects in my approach to beauty too.
I am the founder and creative director at East London’s Glasshouse Salon, and a mother to my three year old daughter Sadie. I grew up in New Zealand and moved to London over 10 years ago where I worked in the hairdressing industry before launching Glasshouse in 2013.
We believe in caring for the hair condition and operating with consideration for the environment at the same time. This forms the basis of our philosophy and it influences everything we do in the salon.”
“It’s hard to pinpoint a ‘popular’ treatment. However, the majority of our clients are coming to us for our approach to hair condition and therefore their hair usually requires a little TLC. This is what our powerful reconstructive treatments are for.
We do a wet stretch test on each of our clients to determine what’s going on with their hair condition and prescribe our organic haircare treatments accordingly. This could be to give the hair strength with our quinoa protein based products or to soften the hair with our moisturising treatments that contain organic extracts of sweet almond, jojoba and sunflower oil.
I’d always recommend to anyone interested in what we do to come in, sit down and have a complimentary consultation with one of our stylists. We can put a plan together based on your individual needs and what you’re after.
Tailoring our services to you is what we do best and ultimately brings us the best possible results.”
“I would always recommend looking at the hair and beauty products you use and researching more sustainable alternatives. For me, this means everything from the ingredients in the formula to whether the packaging is recyclable or not.
I also think a lot of us are guilty of having a lot of unused products lying around in our bathroom cabinets. We spend a reported average of £544 a year on beauty products that get thrown away. This has a huge impact on the environment.
In terms of the products we use, they are what I believe to be the most natural, organic, ethical and sustainable options around. Most importantly, we’ve chosen them as they offer the best possible results.
We do often get approached by brands. However, we do a lot of research, trialling and testing as a team. I love all of the brands we stock, but I do have some favourites. Guy Morgan is East London based and makes incredible natural skincare products by hand. We were the first store to take him on many years ago. It’s been a pleasure to see him do well and continue to push the boundaries of skincare.
We’ve recently expanded into sustainable and organic menstrual products which has proved to be a really positive step too. Yoni, OrganiCup and Dame are all leading the way on this. We only work with brands who are making a conscious effort to support the environment in the best way that they can. It brings me great pleasure to be able to use Glasshouse as a platform to do this.
We launched our Glasshouse Hair, Hand & Body Wash last year as a direct response to this – it’s a multi-purpose wash that’s designed to minimise product consumption and waste. We packaged it in an extra large bottle with a reusable pump so it lasts longer and is more economical as well. I think it’s so important we streamline our consumption wherever possible, and beauty is an area that’s often overlooked.”
"We’re continuing to move towards a society that is less defined by gender,"
“Our work tends to be less trend-lead and more client-lead. We want our clients to receive work that is timeless and quality, and to feel like they are receiving an individualised service that isn’t dictated by popular trends.
That being said, after being in the industry for over 15 years now there is always running themes. At the moment, styles are lending themselves towards more natural ‘worn in’ colours and styles that don’t have high up keep such as soft root smudged foils and balayage. Colours that looks like the sun has done the work for you.”
“We have and will always treat men’s cuts with the same consideration and precision that we approach women’s hair. We find men’s hair often requires a greater level of skill and the same appointment length. So, the decision to introduce gender neutral pricing was ultimately motivated by this. I also believe it reflects the direction of the industry as a whole and, more importantly, is fair and equal for either gender.
We’re continuing to move towards a society that is less defined by gender. So, although it may seem like a bold decision now, I do believe this is the way everything is heading. I’ve always wanted Glasshouse to maintain ahead of the curve and a gender neutral price list is just one of many ways we are doing this.”
“We have some plans in the pipeline that we hope to announce soon. In the meantime, we are constantly implementing new ways to reduce our impact and run the salon in a more sustainable and contentious way.
We are in the process of introducing reduced-waste services to our clients. Individuals will be able to choose to have their hair washed with solid shampoo and conditioner bars. We also have new colouring foils that are reusable, recyclable and degradable. We’re trying to minimise our environmental output as best we can whilst also offering our clients original services that are unique to us.”
Visit Glasshouse Salon at Netil House, 1 Westgate St, London E8 3RL, UK. +44 (0) 20 3095 9783
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Photographs by Jessica Maccormick.
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