Penticton hair salon going a cut above to give back

Penticton’s most environmentally conscious hair salon has just opened its doors and is already giving back to the community.

David Greenwood

David Greenwood

Penticton’s most environmentally conscious hair salon has just opened its doors and is already giving back to the community.

The first Monday of every month, starting July 4, Ascend Salon will welcome people with budgetary constraints from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for hair cuts and services, with clients leaving what they can for payment. All of those donations will go directly to the Youth Esteem Strategy (YES) Project.

“As stylists, we have an amazing opportunity to influence our community and I think that we tend to downplay our importance,” said Ascend owner David Greenwood. “We have the ability to really connect with people, to talk about real issues and recognize a serious need within our community. I felt like so many of us are taking our voice for granted. Stylists have the ability to be a voice and influence in our community in a positive way. I thought it was about time to start doing that.”

One of the goals of the YES Project is to build a youth resource centre in Penticton.

“Penticton is in urgent need of a youth centre, for a safe place for youth to get support and resources. We are very appreciative of the support The YES Project has received thus far from the community and local businesses. The YES Project needs the support of the community to help make our goals of building a youth centre a reality,” said project co-ordinator Amberlee Erdmann.

Besides giving back to the community through fundraising, Ascend has also chosen recycled materials for many of the fixtures and selecting LED lights and an on-demand hot water system to cut energy use to be environmentally conscious. Ascend Salon is also enrolled in the Green Circle program. That allows Greenwood to recycle up to 98 per cent of the waste that usually leaves a salon, including colour, foils, metal tubes and even hair itself, which can be used to help soak up oil spills in the environment.

Two of Ascend’s product lines are also in keeping with the theme: Neuma is made of reusable, plant-based ingredients, while Kevin Murphy is certified cruelty-free by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The salon also carries Redken, a top company for which he also works as a certified artist.

Looking out for the environment is important for Greenwood, a father of three, who went into business for himself after 15 years managing another salon in Penticton.

“Having their own salon is something every stylist always has in the back of their mind,” he said.

But what finally brought it to the forefront, Greenwood explained, was the availability of a location in the new Yorkton Plaza at 3450 Skaha Lake Rd. and a gentle nudge from a friend.

“We came to the conclusion I should at least look into the idea,” said Greenwood, who’s glad he did.

“It was like destiny, because everything has fallen into place every step of the way.”

To book an appointment, call 250-487-2222. You can also find Ascend Salon on Facebook. Those who wish to donate to The YES Project can do so any time at Ascend Salon.