Salon Aponte: Celebrating 25 Years of Healthier Beauty: Eco-minded beauty leader
Feb 02, 2015 03:35PM
● By Natasha Michaels
Monroe’s Salon Aponte, celebrating 25 years in business this year, has been an eco-minded beauty leader in the area for more than a decade. The salon’s conversion to more organic and healthy products began 12 years ago as a direct result of owner Nancy Aponte’s personal experience. She remembers clearly the day she realized her occupation could be harming her healthier. “I was applying color and the ammonia went straight into my lungs,” she recalls. “I coughed and coughed. It was awful and I remember thinking, ‘there’s no way this can be good for me.’”
After working at the salon since 1980, Aponte bought it from the previous owner 10 years later. The changeover of the product line has been gradual in some respects—some clients who have been coming for 30 years still ask for perms to give their hair body—but the inventory of healthier products is continually growing. Aponte believes the evolution of the salon is allowing her to provide not only a valuable, healthier service for her clients, but also a healthier work environment for the younger stylists who work for her. She likes to mentor them about the benefits of clean products so they don’t suffer lung damage or other illness as a result of their profession.
“When I started looking into all this in the beginning, I realized it went much deeper than I realized,” Aponte says. “The toxins surrounding us are almost unavoidable. But there some things we can do something about. We’re not going to stop coloring our hair, doing our nails and wearing makeup, so the idea is to find new companies doing good things and bring those healthier products to the store. It’s fun for me and our clients.”
In part because of Aponte’s dedication to using a cleaner product line, she finds many of her newer clients are interested in the same thing. Whether they are in treatment for an illness, are pregnant or are just trying to live a healthier lifestyle, she says clients appreciate the salon’s attention to the details.
“Our products are cruelty-free and vegan as much as possible,” she explains. “And we research what goes into the products so we can serve the needs of even highly sensitive individuals. Plenty of things on the market will tout that they’re ammonia-free, but what they’ve replaced the ammonia with may be just as detrimental to your health. I do a lot of research before we take on a product, so I can tell people what we have and don’t have in the products we carry.”
Even with that level of product scrutiny, Aponte says there are instances when people have a reaction to a product, such as when a client reacted to a wheat protein contained in a hot oil treatment. It may not be possible to eliminate all toxins. Aponte is still determined to create and maintain a safe and fun place for her staff and clients to explore and play with beauty products such as Dr. Hauschka makeup – which the salon began carrying in the spring of 2014 – and a new line of Monroe-made body care products called Kosmatology. The salon also carries Juice Plus, which Aponte calls “a good, clean product that promotes health from the inside out.”
“What I want to do is provide safer alternatives for beauty and self care in a friendly and relaxing environment,” Aponte says.
To celebrate its anniversary, Salon Aponte will be scaling prices back to reflect what they were back in 1990 on the salon’s actual anniversary, February 13. On February 14, a health coach will be onsite serving healthy juice and snack samples and 25 cent oil treatments, prizes and more will be offered.
Natasha Michaels is a contributing writer to Natural Awakenings Fairfield County.