But at PureSalon, employees and customers alike value health as much as glamour. This eco-friendly salon uses only natural, plant-based products rather than typical hairsprays and nail polishes.
Owner Debra Staufen (pictured left) said the company started when its founders decided to create a clean-air workplace.
“Because they’re working everyday in an environment with lots of chemicals that are associated with cancer, they put themselves at a higher risk for getting sick,” Staufen said. “But people walk in here and there are no smells, fumes or burning at all.”
PureSalon has a location in Midtown and another in Scottsdale, where it offers haircuts and color treatments, manicures and pedicures, skin care, and waxing. Everything from the paint on the walls to the hair dyes are 100 percent “green.”
“We call ourselves a healthy alternative in the salon business because we use natural products with all the toxic chemicals removed,” Staufen added.
She also said that unlike chain salons, all PureSalon workers use the same products to eliminate the risk of releasing potentially hazardous fumes into the air.
“All of the people who work here believe in the same concepts and live the same kind of lifestyles,” Staufen said. “They use these products because they are highly aware of their health.”
Hairstylist Brittany Miller (pictured right) said she worked in salons for five years before starting at PureSalon. In that short time, Miller said she could tell the environment was weighing on her health.
“You would open some bleach, and it was just overwhelming how the fumes would come at you—you can actually feel it,” Miller said. “If you’re offered something healthy that can basically do the same thing, why not take that option?”
Miller added that she finds it “mind-blowing” how the bleach used at PureSalon smells like vanilla.
Like other PureSalon workers, Miller said she believes in marketing herself to show the importance of health rather than just beauty.
“If we can use simplified products, we can help prevent these sicknesses to live healthier lives,” Miller said. “To me, simple is best, and it’s more about well-being than looks.”
For one Phoenix local, the salon’s simplicity helps her maintain a green lifestyle.
“The all-natural products were the most appealing to me,” said Maren Showkeir, a PureSalon customer (pictured above). “I’m a granola-head, I drive a Prius, and I buy my food at the farmers market, so it was a gift that this salon is green and right across the street for me.”
Showkeir added that the salon’s friendly, peaceful atmosphere makes the experience even more positive.
“I like the vibe and how it’s intimate rather than filled with people, noisy or stressful,” Showkeir said. “It’s calming and more personal than other salons, which keeps me coming back.”