Clean Air and COVID-19: 5 Salon Solutions for Clean Indoor Air

How to Be a Clean Air Salon


As salon owners, there are certain measures you can take to ensure the air quality in your salon is as clean, safe and sanitized as possible, essentially a clean air salon. As we begin seeing clients during time of COVID-19, haistylists must ensure both their safety and the safety of their clients during appointments.

How can you take steps towards becoming a clean air salon?

Check out our top tips for becoming a clean air salon below!

Avoid products with high Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).


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Volatile Organic Compounds are gases produced by a variety of chemicals. Two of the best-known VOCs are formaldehyde and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, studies have found that levels of VOCs average at about 2 to 5 times higher indoors than outdoors. When consistently exposed to high levels of VOCs, they can cause adverse health effects in humans such as throat irritation, breathing issues, damage to the central nervous system and possible carcinogenic effects.

Any irritation will only cause more harm when paired with a viral infection. And especially when clients and stylists are sporting masks!

How To Avoid VOCs in Hair Salons

Minimizing your exposure to VOCs in the salon starts with your products and ends with your processes:

      • Avoid formaldehyde in your salon space by opting for formaldehyde-free hair smoothing treatments, and the summer months around the corner, you’re sure to be flooded with smoothing treatment service requests!
      • Benzene is a known human carcinogen and can be found in certain hair color brands. Opt for a benzene-free, low-tox professional hair color brand that were created with the health of the hair stylist and clients in mind. Hair color brands like Oway and Original & Mineral were specifically formulated to reduce the hair stylists’ compound exposure to harsh chemicals, while still performing to highest professional standard.
      • Toulene is a toxic compound commonly found in nail polishes. If your salon also offers mani and pedi services, opt for a less toxic nail care range like SpaRituals. SpaRituals’ nail laquers are free from Touline, Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, Ethyl Tosylamide, Xylene, MEHQ/HQ, MIT, Parabens, Animal Derived Ingredients or Gluten.

Use ammonia-free salon products.

Like VOCs, ammonia in salon products can also cause detrimental effects not just on the hair, but also on our health and environment, severely affecting air quality and clean air. This caustic substance emits a pungent, irritating odor and long-term exposure to the fumes can cause a host of health issues such as obesity, skin complications, allergies, and many more.

Once you remove salon products with high concentrations of VOCs and ammonia, you’ll be surprised at how easily you and clients can breathe and enjoy your time together in your clean air salon.

If your salon is looking for professional hair color and care lines to support your clean air salon initiative, check out Oway Organics and Original & Mineral.


Detoxify your salon with air-purifying plants.

Adding plants in the salon is the most eco-friendly and cost-effective way to purify the air. Plants clean air through photosynthesis, absorbing light, carbon dioxide and water to manufacture sugar. This chemical process creates oxygen as a byproduct.

Another pro of bringing air purifying plants indoors is that it will help increase ventilation, an important aspect shown to decrease the risk of contracting COVID-19.

According to research, house plants like Peace Lily and Weeping Fig are effective at removing VOCs from the air. Dracaena and spider plants are also known to be exceptionally good at eliminating harsh fumes in the air. Go here for a list of aesthetically pleasing plants that help eliminate common air pollutants.

Minimize leaks and spills for clean air.

As salon professionals who work with liquids, leaks and spills are common occurrences. But because salon products contain chemicals, compounds from these chemicals evaporate and remain in the air for a long time.

To prevent air pollution inside your business, make sure hair products are sealed tight and spills are cleaned quickly and handled properly. Do you have a spill kit in the salon? This kit can come in handy when things do spill, ensuring you can restore clean air as soon as possible.

Invest in an exhaust system and HVAC with multi-stage filtration system.

The best way to combat indoor air pollution and circulation of respiratory particles like COVID-19 is to have top-notch ventilation. HVACs with multi-stage filtration system contain layers of filters which include a pre-filter to remove large particles; then a HEPA (high efficiency particle arrestor) filter which extracts particles from the air equivalent to 1/100th the diameter of human hair; and finally an activated carbon filter which help trap respirable particles and gases.

Dealing with chemicals is part of our profession. But that does not mean there’s nothing we can do to lessen our toxin exposure. Thankfully, there are holistic salon brands like Oway and Original & Mineral that are working hard to eliminate harsh chemicals such as ammonia and formaldehyde in their products. Because of these brands, hair stylists can now create beautiful hair without having to inhale toxic fumes and work towards clean air for all clients and staff.


How are you keeping a clean air salon during COVID-19? Sound off in the comments!