Western Kansas sees first green salon open in downtown Hays

C. Jayden Smith
Hays Daily News
Amber Isley, left, and Maddie Tanger recently Emerald Image Salon in Hays. The salon is the first green-certified salon in western Kansas.
The interior of Emerald Image Salon in Hays.

Emerald Image Salon, located at 335 E. Eighth St. in downtown Hays, is doing what no other salon in western Kansas has done so far. 

Owners Amber Isley and Maddie Tanger opened Emerald Image on May 20 and became the first to operate a Green Certified Salon in the area. 

To date, the salon has seen success and growth.

“It’s been really good, really steady, since we opened up,” Isley said. “I think we’ve gotten a really good response from the community; a lot of people are excited about having a green salon in town and were excited to try it out.”

The Certified Sustainable business partnered with Green Circle Salons, an international organization that has worked to reduce the amount of waste the beauty industry produces since 2009. Green Circle Salons empowers businesses such as Emerald Image to recover, recycle, and repurpose up to 95 percent of waste.

Isley, Tanger and the other staff make a point to educate their customers about their business and that the typical salon experience does not change at all.

“We try to explain the process to everybody, on how everything works and what all we can reuse and recycle and everything like that,” Tanger said. “I think everybody’s been open and receptive.”

They send salon waste, including all of the aluminum foil they use, highlights, color treatment, nail files and other single-use items to Green Circle to be properly processed. Additionally, all the colors they overmix are reused to make petroleum and hair waste is composted.

Their dream of opening a green salon began five years ago, as Isley and Tanger worked together over that period.

“One of my biggest points has always been just trying to be an eco-friendly salon,” Isley said. “As soon as I found out that that was even an option, that was always the intention.”

She added that they just want to do their part to help the environment and reduce the waste coming from the beauty industry.

“It’s like (having) a good, healthy conscience as well,” Tanger said. “You know that you’re not throwing this away and it’s going to go in a landfill and sit there forever, and it’s not going to go the ocean and hurt (that) environment, it’s actually going to go and be reused and something’s going to come of it.”

While the two are still looking to get their business established and running smoothly, they are looking to work with local vendors and sell those products within Emerald Image.

Once everything is settled, Isley and Tanger will speak to the students at the Hays Academy of Hair Design about taking green practices with them once they leave the school.

Isley added that they encourage seniors to come to Emerald Image for roller sets or perms, of which the roller sets are $26.

For more information, call 785-259-7503 or visit www.emeraldimagesalon.com.