Salon Aponte: Celebrating 30 Years of Healthier BeautyFeb 03, 2020 10:28PM ● By Erica Mills
It is truly a feat worth celebrating when an enterprise hits a major milestone such as decades in business. Monroe’s Salon Aponte has now done just that, marking 30 years in business in February of this year. Led by salon owner Nancy Aponte, Salon Aponte has long been an eco-minded beauty leader in the region. The salon’s conversion to more organic and healthy products began as a direct result of owner Nancy Aponte’s personal experience. She remembers the day she realized her occupation could be harming her health. “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 went on to buy it in 1990 and never looked back. Her overhaul of the product line was gradual in some respects, starting with the refilling of containers and using low VOC sprays. Over the years, the inventory of healthier products being offered is continually growing, recently expanding to even include organic, pharmaceutical grade CBD products. Aponte says the evolution of the salon has allowed her to provide not only a valuable, healthier service for her clients, but also a healthier work environment for the stylists who work there.
“When I started looking into all this in the beginning, I realized it went much deeper than I first thought,” she explains. “The toxins surrounding us are almost unavoidable. But they're 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.”
The salon now carries safer hair color options, allowing stylists and clients to be creative and still have great results with all forms of coloring, highlighting and grey coverage. This is a big deal since the salon specializes in all types of bayalage highlighting. While she recognizes 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 and wellness products. That includes products such as Beautycounter skin care and makeup, a Santa Monica, California company known for producing high quality products without the use of more than 1,500 harmful or questionable ingredients. “What I always strive to do is provide safer alternatives for beauty and self-care in a friendly and relaxing environment,” Aponte says.
To that end, Aponte has joined forces with RPM (Relief, Protection, Moisture), a line of organic, pharmaceutical-grade CBD oil products including a thickening shampoo and revitalizing spray that provides the nutrients needed for thicker, fuller hair. Other RPM products are available, ranging from muscle and joint relief cream, treatment and thickening shampoos and conditioners, body lotion, shower gel, lip balm and soon-to-be-released gummies for relieving anxiety and pain while supporting immune function. The gummies are also available with an optional melatonin addition, says Aponte.
New eco-initiatives underway this year include evaluating ways to recycle hair color and hairspray containers as well as the foils used during various coloring procedures and the cut hair itself. Always concerned about the overall health of the community, Salon Aponte sponsored a Cut-athon for Save the Sound two years ago, raising funds for efforts to clean up the Long Island Sound and partners with Kevin Murphy (KM), an enterprise that partners with 4Ocean. All KM containers are now made with ocean waste plastic; they are currently the only brand doing this, but Aponte hopes they are just the first.
This month, to celebrate its anniversary, Salon Aponte will offer complimentary hair masques, along with color services or buy one, get one 50 percent off product specials. Aponte looks forward to the years ahead and will continue to search out and team up with like-minded companies offering safer alternatives for all.
Salon Aponte is located at 838 Main St, Tollgate Plaza, Monroe. Salon hours are Tuesday and Friday from 9am to 5pm; Wednesday and Thursday from 9am to 8pm and Saturday from 8am to 4pm. For more information or to make an appointment, call 203-261-2838 or visit SalonAponte.com and use the online booking.
Nicole Miale is Publisher and Executive Editor of Natural Awakenings Fairfield County. Connect at [email protected].