Hair stylist Luisa Valdes shows off the shampoo products used and sold at the Lunatic Fringe salon in Altamonte Springs.
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS – It may be a sign of just how sophisticated the hair salon business has gotten, but at Lunatic Fringe, it’s all about being green.
And in this case, green means something very specific: keeping your hair long after it’s fallen onto the salon floor.
“We’re as green as we can be,” said Luisa Valdes, a hair stylist at the salon at Uptown Altamonte. “We recycle everything, including the hair.”
The hair?
“We put it in a separate recycling bin, and send it to A Matter of Trust,” she said, a reference to the renewable resources organization that uses hair to treat oil spills.
“They turn it into mats that are used to soak up oil spills,” Valdes said. “When you get your hair cut, it naturally absorbs the oils in your scalp, so we collect that hair and mail it out to them. We’ve been doing it for two years here.”
Which means that anyone who gets their hair cut at Lunatic Fringe could be contributing to cleaning up the environment sometime in the future.
Then again, Lunatic Fringe has also been treating the oils in people’s hair for two years now, with products like the Tea Tree Special shampoo.
“It’s really good for most men,” Valdes said. “It’s good for a strong cleanse.”
Lunatic Fringe opened in March 2009, just as the nation was struggling to cope with a steep recession. But the salon at 293 E. Altamonte Drive celebrated its two-year anniversary today, inviting people to drop by and join the celebration by sampling mimosas, champagne, hors d’oeuvres, and, of course, taking advantage of special deals that include free style upgrades and complimentary clear shine treatment.
“Our anniversary is actually on March 27, but we’re celebrating it today,” said Jennifer Flores, the salon’s manager. “We’re also giving out complimentary top coat treatments, which is basically a semi-permanent, a hydration agent. It makes your hair shiny and soft.”
There are several reasons why Lunatic Fringe may have survived the rough economy in the past two years, when consumers were retrenching and shifting from spending to saving. One may be the fact that the entire industry has matured and changed in recent years, Valdes said.
“Hair styling before was just going in and getting a haircut and color,” she said. “Now it’s really a science.”
It includes taking each customer and analyzing their scalp, then figuring out the best drying methods for their hair, she said.
“It’s going to be different for each person,” Valdes said. “Hair styling has come a long way. It’s more respected now.”
Flores agreed, saying “Hair dressing is not like it used to be. It’s kind of like being an artist. You are very creative, and depending on how passionate you are, you can do so many things with hair today.”
Another reason Lunatic Fringe has been able to survive and thrive, Valdes said, is their customer service – the very reason why they decided to mark their anniversary with a birthday bash.
“We wanted to treat our guests to a little something special today,” she said. “We do freestyle upgrades, and today we’re offering it for free. We’re also offering a free top coat shine gloss for the hair.”
That’s part of what attracts people to their salon, she added – the quality of the people working there.
“The first thing that stands out the most is the teamwork,” she said. “We really stand out for that. Our priority is our team.”
Flores said when the average customer walks in the door, “They really want color and a great experience, so we cater to them. We constantly ask them if they want something else, and we treat them well.”
It also helps, she said, that they’re located in the popular Uptown Altamonte Mall, which has held up well throughout the recession.
“We’re easy to find, being right in the mall, and I feel we’ve grown with it,” she said.
To learn more about Lunatic Fringe, call 407-862-4247 or log on to

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