After a weekend at the Aveda Congress, SALON TODAY went on a tour of the Aveda Headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota to see where the magic happens! From the products to the facility, Aveda is all about being as environmentally conscious as possible and keeping safety a main priority.
Surrounded by native vegetation, the Aveda Headquarters owns their own wildlife preserve, with miles of pathways for employees and visitors. Outside of the building, Aveda invests in ecological landscaping and an employee garden, where the vegetables are offered in Café Organica (the facility’s cafeteria)—they even have an Aveda Garden Daycare facility. After learning a little bit about the outside of the building, it was time to venture inside, where we visited a number of laboratories for hair color, formulation research, cosmetics, investigative research, analytical quality assurance, aroma development and more.
In each of the labs, especially the hair color and formulation research labs, the scientists at Aveda conduct “half head” studies on either volunteers or hair swatches. None of Aveda’s products are tested on animals. Once a test is complete, the scientists will then look at the technical parameters and results based on either side of the head or on the swatches.
Hair swatches were also an interesting topic on the tour—Aveda tests their products on different levels of hair colors, and some samples even have a percentage of gray hair. On average products go through two years of testing and formulation before production.
The Aroma Development Center was probably my favorite part of the tour, we learned that Aveda uses natural oils from all over the world (espeically India). We were not allowed to bring cell phones on the tour for one primary reason—because we were going to enter a HIGHLY flammable room with hundreds of concentrated bottles of oils. Upon entering this room, the aroma was the first thing I noticed—hints of Lavender, Sandalwood, Rose, Orange…all meshed together into one powerful fragrance.
In the corner of the room was a smaller machine, only about 10 feet long where all of Aveda’s oils are bottled and hand-capped by employees. After pointing out the machine, our tour guide picked up a liter-sized jug of oil and said, “This Bulgarian Rose Oil I have in my hand contains approximately 1 million flowers of the plant, it’s super concentrated and it costs around $11,000.” I was astonished—$11,000 for a liter-sized jug of oil? That’s a lot of money!