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Natural beauty
Local salon goes completely green
8-25 Aveda
Hair Doctors owner Robin Mathews (left) and an Aveda representative from Milwaukee consult about a guests hair coloring.

These days, many people are seeking natural alternatives with regards to their food, the emissions from their vehicles, and the source of their home’s energy use. Some are also concerned about the grooming products they use for their hair and body.

One such person is Robin Mathews, owner of The Hair Doctors in Richland Center.

Mathews says she has wanted for a long time to offer natural products in her salon and recently committed to exclusively offering the Aveda (pronounced uh-VAY-duh) line.

Her decision necessitated revamping the salon and going through an intensive training program, along with the other stylists at The Hair Doctors.

Mathews says, “Stress is huge in the world. I’m at a point in my life where I want a calm environment. I’m concerned for our guests’ and my employees’ health.”

She says she is attracted to the philosophy behind Aveda’s products, which was vocalized by company representative Kathy Smith during a recent visit to Richland Center.

Smith says, “Aveda is recognized for a soil to bottle environmental standard  –  from the sources to packaging. We’re a plant-based company with a hair, skin, cosmetics and body lifestyle product line. We’re selective who we partner with.”

Smith says the company’s green philosophy is apparent in its manufacturing process. She states, “Aveda is the first beauty company manufacturing with 100 per cent certified wind power. Our funding of new wind energy sources generates enough wind energy to offset 100 per cent of the electricity used by our primary manufacturing, distribution and headquarters facility in Blaine, Minn. We can all have an impact on the energy we consume and help lower our carbon footprint.”

She says the philosophy is carried over to their packaging, which uses recycled plastics (such as soda and water bottles) as much as possible as well as recycled paper products for shipping containers.

Additionally, Aveda is active in philanthropic causes, donating millions of dollars over the years to causes such as breast cancer awareness and providing funds for indigenous and environmental causes, as outlined in the company’s publication “30 Years: Living the Aveda Mission.”

The publication states that Aveda travels the world to acquire ingredients, which include 90 per cent of their essential oils and 89 per cent of their raw herbal ingredients. The text states, “We partner directly with suppliers around the world to help them convert their farms to organic. This increases the worldwide supply  –  helping protect water and earth from pesticides and chemicals.”

Mathews says that her salon now provides all its customary services with Aveda products. These include haircuts, color, permanents, hair treatments, waxing, facials, body treatments (herbology, manipulated oils, wraps), spa manicures and pedicures, and special hand treatments.

The salon’s manager is Gretchen Falk, the assistant manager is Melinda Kratcha, and additional stylists are Kim Augelli and Jessica Waddell. “We’re looking to hire two or three more,” Mathews says.

Mathews’ investment in lighting changes and new shelving, as well as other general updating, have helped create what she calls a store within a salon. “Some customers had been driving to Madison to get Aveda products,” she says. “I feel blessed and honored that a large company is willing to come into a rural area.”