Beat the Heat—On a Budget!
Depending on where you are in the world, you may be thinking that it’s so, so hot right now. And we’re right there with you. But as enticing as the AC (and a bucket of ice cream) might seem right now, it’s not always the healthiest choice, and sometimes you just don’t have the money to spare on a ghastly utility bill. So how do you keep your salon cool and pleasant when the sun keeps threatening to burn the place down?
Here are some time-tested tricks for beating the heat on a budget…
Know your directions
The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and—if you live above the Tropic of Cancer—it passes through the southern part of your sky during the summer. If you know which sides of your salon building are getting the most sun throughout the day, you’ll know which doors and windows to address with some of the other tips in this list! The key is to be efficient, and efficiency means focusing your energy and resources where it counts.
Keep an eye on the time
You should also focus your energy and resources when it counts. Noon and afternoon are typically the hottest times of the day, so heat-preventing techniques and activities should be concentrated during these hours. Alternatively, evening and nighttime are the coolest times of day, and cool air should be drawn inward during these times.
Shield the windows
So how do you prevent the heat from getting into your salon? Curtains, blinds, awnings, tinted glass, you name it—whatever will reduce the amount of sunlight pouring in through your windows. Again, take extra care to equip your east, west, and south-facing windows (if you live in the northern hemisphere) with these accessories to achieve the maximum effect.
Reflect the light
If you can’t reduce the sunlight, reflect it away from your salon space. A light-colored exterior or metallic facade elements should help with this, not to mention the many mirrors you likely already have in your salon. For those willing and able to make a non-AC-related investment, a one-way mirror in place of regular windows would also do the trick.
Add some green
Introducing some foliage outside and inside your salon space can do wonders for your air quality and temperature. For example, planting some trees around your sun-facing doors and windows can offer shade, thereby limiting the amount of light and heat that comes in through those openings; planting a rooftop garden can act as insulation during summer and winter; and keeping an aloe vera plant, ficus, or fern indoors can help to reduce indoor temperature while purifying the air of pollution and allergens.
Employ a fan
Fans are a good, old-fashioned way of simulating an outdoor breeze without having to leave your salon. Plus, if you’re strategic about their placement, they can even simulate an actual AC by changing the overall indoor temperature of your room. Place a fan in the coolest part of your salon—say, by your ice tray, or near the floor—to blow cool air towards you, or utilize a ceiling fan to pull the cool air upwards through the space.
Create an air path
Good ventilation is always important, so bring in the actual breeze by opening windows on opposite sides of your salon (as in a cross-draft, or cross ventilation), opening windows on multiple floors of your salon (if you have a multi-story salon), cleaning your vents, and positioning your fans by open windows so that they expel hot air and suck cool air into your space.
Take advantage of height
Hot air rises, so if you have multiple stories, tall ceilings, or skylights in your salon space, make the most of them. If not, place your outside-facing fans higher than your indoor-facing ones so that they push out the hot air floating at the top of your room.
Use a dehumidifier
The only thing worse than a too-high temperature is a too-high temperature on a humid day. Correct the problem in your salon by using a dehumidifier. These guys are also great for ridding your indoor air of dust and allergens.
Have plenty of water
A nice cold glass of water is perfect for cooling down, but it’s also vital for replenishing your body’s fluids after a long day of sweating. Keep a lot of water on hand—perhaps in the waiting area of your salon—and distribute it to your clients as needed. Also, make ample use of your spray bottle; a cool, refreshing mist is like magic on a summer day.
Try some essential oils
Essential oils are good at hydrating hair and hair extensions, and they can also have a cooling effect! Try some peppermint, spearmint, or eucalyptus oils, either directly on the skin or diffused into the air. You’ll also benefit from the beautifully relaxing aroma, which can freshen up even the stuffiest of rooms.
Refrigerate your smocks
This tip isn’t exactly time-tested, but it could make hot days more bearable for your clients. Throw your protective gowns or smocks into the fridge before an appointment so your clients can benefit from the pleasant chill. You could even add a dusting of talcum powder to reduce moisture and keep the fabric cool throughout the day.
Try these tips in your salon and spare your wallet the excesses of summer air conditioning! Best part is, it’ll help the planet, too.
Got questions? Leave them in the comments below and we’ll get back to you ASAP!