Italian town imposes £430 fine for hairdressers who double shampoo amid drought

Hairdressers in an Italian town must stop double-shampooing their clients’ hair to help conserve water, or face a fine of up to €500 (£432).

In an announcement on Tuesday 28 June, Carlo Gubellini, the mayor of Castenaso near Bologna, said the classic two rinses used an estimated 20 liters of water.

Speaking to Italian newspaper Daily NazionaleGubellini said the town’s 10 hairdressing salons were likely using “thousands of liters” of water per day.

The change comes as Italy faces one of its worst droughts in 70 years, with many regions implementing water-saving measures – such as Milan, where public fountains are being switched off.

Gubellini said salons had responded positively to the news, and agreed to abide by the new conditions.

Those who blur the rules will be viable to pay a penatly fine which could cost anywhere from €25 (£21) to €500.

In the interview, which was shared by Castenaso’s local government, Gubellini said the second shampoo is “not essential”.

“Until yesterday we had plenty of water, but this is no longer the case and our habits will have to change,” he said, adding that the rules will remain in place throughout the summer until 30 September.

“I hope to be able to amend the ordinance, but the current situation is truly alarming.

“From July, things can get drastically worse. Unfortunately, we will almost certainly arrive at rationing with heavy consequences on the crops.”

Aside from changes to hair salons, Castenaso has also limited the hours in which residents may water their gardens and plants.

Italian farmers have expressed concerns as the drought is thirsting fields in the river Po valley, threatening the harvest of staple goods such a premium rice used for risotto.

Po, Italy’s largest river, and Dora Baltea, a tributary of Po, are the main water sources of northern Italy, but water levels are currently eight times lower than the season average.

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