What is Your Salon Doing to Keep You (and their staff) Safe During Your Service?



The hair salon is a place of beauty; a place to escape, to unwind, to become the superstar who lives inside you but doesn’t always make it to the surface on a daily basis.  You can sip coffee or tea (or maybe even a cocktail, depending on your salon).  You can forget about work, kids, and other responsibilities and just relax.  You can read magazines, whether you choose the fashion mag to inspire your next shopping trip, a travel review to get vacation idea, or the guilty pleasure of a tabloid. And when you emerge, not only are you refreshed, but your locks are brighter/richer, smoother/bouncier, shorter/longer, straighter/wavier and altogether fabulous!

But what does it take to get there?  In most cases, chemical services are used to transform your hair into this more glamorous version of itself.  Color, bleach, perms and other products have come a long way since your Mom had her hair yanked through a highlighting cap or permed into poodle-dom (hopefully not both).  Still, these services involve fumes that aren’t good for you, or your stylist.  We hear a lot on this topic with regard to Brazilian Blowout and keratin treatments, which actually prescribe the use of source capture ventilation in their Safety Data Sheets, but the truth is that salon air filtration is important for many reasons, and is often neglected.

Aerovex Systems President Jeff Cardarella holds a degree in Occupational Safety, and has spent his life advancing the cause of clean air in the workplace.  His research efforts have included consultations with hundreds of cosmetologists, an aerospace design engineer with experience in air purification, and a leading source capture ventilation manufacturing expert.  Most recently, Jeff has partnered with Dr. Karim Zahedi, PhD, to introduce “Healthy Air’” technology, developed by Dr. Zahedi at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  The heart of the Healthy Air™ systems is based on eHEPA™ technology, which incorporates an energized field with a traditional HEPA filter.  Healthy Air™ technology is being introduced by Aerovex Systems in its new generation salon source capture ventilation systems for both hair & nail salon applications.

“Joining forces with Healthy Air™ technologies, we have created the most powerful and advanced Chemical Source Capture System designed for salon chemical fume extraction,” says Cardarella.  “Healthy Air™ technology eliminates formaldehyde fumes in keratin hair smoothing treatments, as well as vapors, dusts and mists found in the full range of salon chemical services.”

eHEPA vs. HEPA: Know the Difference: http://www.healthyair.net/Pages/EHepaVsHepa.aspx

Aerovex Systems' Source Capture Units for hair salons (left) and nail salons (right)

The new SCS with Healthy Air™ technology also boasts new features. Unlike other developing technologies, this new system is actually lower in price than its predecessor.  At $1395, the SCS is worth every penny to protect clients and staff from the risks associated with the service we provide.

With regard to keratin treatments specifically, it is very important you see a stylist who is well-trained and -educated in this area.  (Click here for tips on choosing a stylist.) Says Cardarella in a press release for the Professional Keratin Smoothing Council (PKSC), of which Aerovex is a founding member, “Keratin hair smoothing products can create irritating levels of formaldehyde during performance of smoothing services. It is important for stylists to understand and follow all manufacturers’ instructions for safe use and proper handling [of these products].”

The PKSC goes on to say, “Clients should seek out salons that are equipped to provide keratin smoothing services in an appropriately ventilated environment that will eliminate the potential for sensory irritation to occur.”  Aerovex Systems and PKSC emblems show a salon is equipped!

There are three zones that need to be protected: the immediate breathing zone, the work station, and the overall salon/building air.  Aerovex Systems has been working for 20 years to cleanse the air and protect clients and workers in hair and nail salons.  I will focus on the hair salon system, since that is my profession, but you can learn more about what Aerovex does for nail salons, here.  Aerovex has a comprehensive plan to protect clients and salon staff at all three points:

 

Breathing Zone Aerovex Systems’ source capture system (SCS) is placed right above the salon chair and hovers 6-12” above the client’s head.  It vacuums in fumes as they are produced, and runs them through a triple-filtration system to remove harmful fumes from the immediate breathing zone of the client and the stylist.

Work Station Aerovex Systems’ room air purifier is set up between stations to catch any stray fumes to prevent them from wandering into neighboring work stations or other areas of the salon.

Salon/Building Air Air conditioning is the only current form of ventilation for many salons.  But what does it really do?  Aside from cooling the air, it circulates it after running it through a simple filter.  Aerovex provides Dust Plus HVAC filters, in a variety of sizes to help reinforce the AC system’s efficacy in the case of salon chemical fumes.

This may seem overwhelming to you, as the client.  What can you do?  Talk to your stylist and let him or her know your concerns.  Ask what measures are in place to protect you, and them.  Your stylist or salon owner may not even know about this technology.  Tell them!  Send them this blog post :)

I’ve been using the Aerovex Systems’ hair salon package since 2009 and many of my clients have come to me after leaving salons where they have had Brazilian Blowouts or keratin treatments done without proper ventilation.  Over-application of product, improper execution of the treatment, using too much heat during the blowdry portion (new research shows that this is the step that releases the most formladehyde!) and failing to filter and ventilate the salon environment…these are all common missteps than can lead to clients experiencing discomfort, burning of the eyes and throat, and other symptoms.  Remember that the stylist is experiencing this on a far more frequent basis; he or she will be grateful to learn how easy it is to protect themselves and you.

To make it even easier, Aerovex offers split payments with no interest, and they are offering a special $100 discount to readers of A Mom in Red High Heels!

Contributed by:

Jordana Lorraine
Santa Monica, CA
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  1. [...] debate continues; although air testing has shown most products to be safely within guidelines, and filtration options have become widely available to salons to help control fumes, many concerned clients, stylists and [...]

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