The International Salon and Spa Expo (ISSE), held this past weekend in Long Beach, California, was the place to be to get the latest on cut, color, trend, nails, business, skin care and more. Particularly interesting were the new appliances launched at the show. Salon Tech’s Vice President Robert Kim was swarmed by stylists looking for information. Kim is a former IBM product development manager and a strong advocate that the salon appliance designers should make products that are effective, efficient and environmentally friendly. When asked why he believes the salon industry has not kept up in design advances the same way as the automotive and computer industries, Kim says simply that it really has been “A lack of knowledge and information, as well as demand.”
Kim is looking to advance his tool line in an effort to create that demand. “Did you know that just one 1875 watt blow dryer equals the energy output of three freezers? Not only does that have a huge environmental impact, but that can be extremely expensive to the salon owner…especially when multiple appliances are running simultaneously throughout the day. Efficient appliances will reduce the salon’s electric bill significantly.”
Noise level is also an issue. According to Kim, the din coming from unregulated dryers can sometimes equal machine room noise that requires protection gear. At this point there is no industry standard or testing method, but Kim suggests the noise level should not exceed 65 DB.
Professional grade blow dryer, according to Kim, should never cost less than $100 and should have a certification to ensure safety. “It should be efficient and have certain qualities including: for styling- a hot dryer with efficient wattage and low air speed; for drying- high temperature and high air volume; and for wrist pain- twister or light weight.” Kim realizes all of this cannot be created in one appliance and advises that each stylist should own multiple dryers to accommodate each of the different needs, including the smart technology dryer such as a Twister or BLDC dryer.
Most importantly, adds Kim, “Salon professionals should look for dryers that work for stylists, not against them.”