In 2008, then 21 year old Chantelle Tarapaski, moved up to the Yukon from Vancouver, B.C. and decided to open her own hair studio. “I felt I needed a place that reflected my work and style, with more creature comforts,” said Tarapaski. “We work too many hours of our life to not be happy so I created a space that I wanted to be in and also my clients wanted to be in.”
Stepping into the studio, its simple aesthetics and friendly faces welcome you warmly. “Fahrenheit Hair is an upscale, boutique salon that was designed to feel like an artist loft,” Tarapaski said. “Its design is minimalist industrial with a classic and cozy twist. The décor consists of raw materials such as brick, stone, wood, for a simple and modern feel.”
Fahrenheit Hair originally offered only hair services, but have recently expanded into further beauty services that include body sugaring, massage, threading, organic skincare and lash extensions.
“The concept behind my salon has been an experience, a culture that is passionate about education and the beauty industry,” Tarapaski said. “Providing products and services that minimize our carbon footprint, while still top of the line and performance. To respect not only our health, but the also the planet’s.”
Fahrenheit Hair works within the Green Circle community, which is a business that collects waste to recycle and repurpose materials, including ones that most waste facilities will not accept. Green Circle collects waste often contaminated with bleach, hair color, and other chemicals. By joining the network of Green Circle Salons in 2017, Fahrenheit Hair can divert around 70 to 90 per cent of what is usually sent to the landfill in a sustainable way.
“To be honest, I wavered about becoming Green Circle for a month before I jumped aboard. I knew it meant a lot of extra time I would have to spend, and also that clients would have to bear the Green Fee we charge for services,”said Tarapaski. “I actually flew down to Vancouver to check out the facility, to make sure everything was legit.”Tarapaski and her clients have noticed the difference in going green. She was surprised and disgusted by how much waste accumulates, which would have normally been discarded to landfill instead of being recycled.
“The first month we became Green Circle, I saved everything that was being recycled and diverted so I could physically see what it looked like,” she said. “Given that a few of us had been on holidays that month, I was disgusted to see how much waste we had accumulated. Now that we have grown since then, we have even more.”
But she feels the extra effort and surcharge are worth it.
“I encourage every salon to join,” Tarapaski said. “I believe there are over 25 salons in Whitehorse, I have seen the difference mine has made and we are just a small team. How cool would it be to have every salon in town with Green Circle? We could ship together, more frequently, and drastically reduce our landfill contribution.”
However, Tarapaski admitted not everything can be 100 per cent green when trying to meet clients’ needs.
“We still use electricity, (we) are rinsing colour down the drain; we are working on this, and still using chemicals to some degree,” Tarapaski explained. “We have made the changes where we can. It requires extra time and effort, and regardless of the fee we collect it still costs us money. But, considering how much of a reduction in waste we’ve made, it’s worth it.”
Fahrenheit Hair has won an EcoHead tap from EcoHead North America, a company that produces eco-friendly salon showerheads, for their green initiative and they recognized the struggles in place for a business in a Northern community.
“Normally, Green Circle will pick up all of our recycling and deal with it, but living up here that wouldn’t be very logical or green since there is no Green Circle base,” Tarapaski explained. “We have to sort, and drop it off, which requires multiple trips a week, as well as house all the materials that need to be send down once every month or two.”
It’s hard work, but Tarapaski strongly believes in going green not only for the environment, but for the community.
“We have bins all throughout the salon for sorting the different materials,” said Tarapaski. “To be as careful as we can about the shipping process, we wait until we have a full skid of materials to send down which means I get to hang out in my office with our waste until the shipment leaves (once a month or 2) and the local recycling goes out a couple times a week.
“It builds up fast. We are also located upstairs, so it’s a pretty good workout. This sets us apart because by choosing us, you are reducing your own carbon footprint. We do the work for you.”
She is also a proponent of the “buy local” movement, which is demonstrated by offering Midnight Sun coffee to clients.
“I also believe in giving back to the community and to each other,” Tarapaski said. “Be it that we are training with one another, sharing skills, traveling to events together, or volunteering with student in Skills Canada Hair Club, and judging hair events. I am inspired by others who pursue their passion, and I want that around me, hair-related or not. It is infectious and essential to thrive in your career.”
Tarapaski strives to create a welcoming atmosphere at Fahrenheit Hair, where the stylists can provide quality service while being gentle on the environment.
“To sum it up, I wanted to create a space that allows us an uncrowded, personal experience with our customers, colleagues that inspire me to be better than I was yesterday, while making people feel good and with minimal environmental impact.”
Fahrenheit Hair is located at 2099 – 2nd Avenue. For more information call 668-2882 or find them on Facebook.