Sustainability is a priority for most business owners, yet the focus seems to be on the effect waste, energy and products have on the environment. Co-owners of Salon Audace and Blow Dry Bar, Christopher Saint John and Nathan Creger, strongly believe in the sustainability of their staff. Their mission is to create a healthy salon environment for them to ensure balance, happiness and longevity.
“Sustainability is not just about the environment, it’s about your body too,” explains Saint John, who meticulously thought out every inch of the salon design for optimal workflow and efficiency to help prolong the careers of his staff. “It started with lighting and hanging blow-dryers, and then literally every aspect of our salon was upgraded to offer a healthy experience for both our stylists and guests.”
A Green Circle Salon for seven years now, Saint John offers tips on how to make a sustainable salon environment for stylists.
1. Lighting. Strive for 100% LED and focus on three things:
- Lumens = Brightness
- Kelvin = Color Temperature (blue vs yellow, cool vs warm or 6500k-2300k).
- Color Rendering Index (CRI) = Accuracy on a 0-100% scale.
Strive for 90 percent accuracy, a perfect daylight balance and no shadows.
2. Hanging Blow Dryers. In our opinion, the Freestylist Support System is the best system on the market. It makes blow-dryers (and blow-drying) ergonomic and weightless, so stylists do not strain their neck, back and shoulders. There’s no bending down to set the dryer on a counter and no finger manipulation to work controls. It’s all done automatically when the dryer is pulled up or down from the aerial support. Stylists like the health benefits and clients love the aesthetic!
3. Minimize Bending Over. Shampoo bowls are set at a higher height, so stylists do not have to bend over as low when shampooing, which reduces neck and back strain, as well as fatigue.
4. Efficient Workflow Design. Workstations and cabinetry are designed for optimal workflow—the number of steps needed to execute services were calculated and minimized to help conserve energy and promote optimal efficiency.
5. Air Filtration System. A special air conditioning system circulates air and filters out allergens such as dust, dirt, chemicals and hair, allowing staff to breathe cleaner air which improves mood levels.
“We initiated a $2.00 eco charge to help pay for the recycling services and upgrades and our guests are happy to pay it. The fact that we are into sustainability has helped us attract like-minded stylists and consumers looking to do their part and support green-minded initiatives,” says Saint John. The salon is 98 percent sustainable—only the vinyl gloves and bathroom waste are not recycled.
"Creating a better work environment for our staff ensures that they are always bright and sunny in the salon, and our guests reap the benefits,” adds Saint John.