If you think getting your hair done is expensive, imagine if you had $500 added to the experience.

An Italian town has introduced a rule to save water, banning hairdressers and barbers from double shampooing and rinsing hair — or they risk getting hit with a 500 euro ($522) fine — amid Italy’s worst drought in 70 years.

Mayor Carlo Gubellini of Castenaso, which has a population of around 16,000 residents, said shampooing and rinsing hair twice uses approximately 5.2 gallons of water and wastes hundreds of gallons a day.

The rule, expected to last until Sept. 30, orders “the hairdressers and barbers” of Castenaso to “only have to wash the customers’ heads once, in addition to rinsing.”

Gubellini told Italian newspaper Quotidiano Nazionale that the town’s 10 hair salons responded positively to the news, agreeing to the new rules.

The move could save hundreds of gallons of water a day.
The move could save hundreds of gallons of water a day.
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“We did two maths. An open tap delivers an average of 13 liters [3.4 gallons] of water per minute,” he told the publication. “With the classic two rinses, at least 20 liters [5.2 gallons] are left. In the situation we are in, it’s unthinkable.”

Gubellini said the rules are to raise awareness and to help change Italians’ attitudes “in a very difficult moment, with a water crisis [they’ve] never seen before.”

The fines range from anywhere between 25 euros [$26.12] and 500 euros [$522.31], depending on the severity of the water waste.

The drought is due to a combination of the worst drought in recent years and temperatures reaching 104 degrees Fahrenheit at the end of June, according to the ANBI irrigation body. Rain has been so scarce that even the Po, Italy’s longest river, has dried up in certain parts and caused Lake Garda’s water levels to gradually decline.

Earlier in the week, the mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, ordered the city’s fountains be turned off due to the drought.


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