Newswise — OTTAWA, Ontario, May 14, 2024 – Walking out of a hair salon can have customers feeling brand new, but the noisy environment may have negative effects at the cost of a new “do.” At Image Creators salon in Maryland, owner Silvia Campana along with her employees and customers noticed they had to work hard to understand each other’s words while in the salon, but they couldn’t put their finger on exactly why. In addition to difficulties understanding speech, Campana experienced increased ear pain and tinnitus after long-term exposure to high sound pressure levels while working at the salon. These challenges inspired some creative solutions.

Campana consulted with Donna Ellis at Lines by Nature LLC to enhance the acoustical landscape at the high-end beauty salon. Ellis experimented with noise reduction methods to contribute to the calming, luxurious environment desired by the clientele and employees. She will present her work Tuesday, May 14, at 3:00 p.m. EDT as part of a joint meeting of the Acoustical Society of America and the Canadian Acoustical Association, running May 13-17 at the Shaw Centre located in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

“Many noisy environments can be fixed in reasonably fast, cost-effective ways to provide social environments where our hearing is protected, where we can relax, and where we can have meaningful conversations with our friends, business colleagues, and family,” said Ellis.

Ellis collaborated with Campana to improve the salon’s acoustics and reduce the noise levels for the customers and staff. The main noise sources came from long reverberation times, high background noise from the HVAC system, hair dryers, and multiple people talking.

The pair found great success by installing acoustically absorptive materials throughout the salon. Reducing noise levels noticeably improved the ability to converse easily. In addition, receptionists were able to actually answer the phones at the counter and staff reported reduced ear pain.

“After the acoustics were retrofit the customers sensed a difference,” said Ellis. “When asked what changed, salon staff point up and it clicks. Customers often share their gratitude and surprise at the difference good acoustics make on their salon experience.”

The safety upgrades created for the salon are transferable to other noisy locations. With healthy noise levels being the focus, Ellis has data to show how noise reduction can be implemented within interior spaces.

“By balancing the listening environment, our findings can be applied to other salons, restaurants, stores, and conference centers to name a few,” said Ellis. “The solutions would support clear verbal communication in enclosed spaces and protect the occupational safety of the employees and customers.”

Ellis collected positive feedback from the occupants and emphasized the importance for communities and industries to support healthy human function as a whole.

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———————– MORE MEETING INFORMATION ———————–

Main meeting website: https://acousticalsociety.org/ottawa/ 
Technical program: https://eppro02.ativ.me/src/EventPilot/php/express/web/planner.php?id=ASASPRING24

ASA PRESS ROOM

In the coming weeks, ASA’s Press Room will be updated with newsworthy stories and the press conference schedule at https://acoustics.org/asa-press-room/.

LAY LANGUAGE PAPERS

ASA will also share dozens of lay language papers about topics covered at the conference. Lay language papers are summaries (300-500 words) of presentations written by scientists for a general audience. They will be accompanied by photos, audio, and video. Learn more at https://acoustics.org/lay-language-papers/.

PRESS REGISTRATION

ASA will grant free registration to credentialed and professional freelance journalists. If you are a reporter and would like to attend the hybrid / in-person meeting or virtual press conferences, contact AIP Media Services at [email protected]. For urgent requests, AIP staff can also help with setting up interviews and obtaining images, sound clips, or background information.

ABOUT THE ACOUSTICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA

The Acoustical Society of America is the premier international scientific society in acoustics devoted to the science and technology of sound. Its 7,000 members worldwide represent a broad spectrum of the study of acoustics. ASA publications include The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (the world’s leading journal on acoustics), JASA Express Letters, Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, Acoustics Today magazine, books, and standards on acoustics. The society also holds two major scientific meetings each year. See https://acousticalsociety.org/

ABOUT THE CANADIAN ACOUSTICAL ASSOCIATION/ASSOCIATION CANADIENNE D’ACOUSTIQUE

  • fosters communication among people working in all areas of acoustics in Canada
  • promotes the growth and practical application of knowledge in acoustics
  • encourages education, research, protection of the environment, and employment in acoustics
  • is an umbrella organization through which general issues in education, employment and research can be addressed at a national and multidisciplinary level

The CAA is a member society of the International Institute of Noise Control Engineering (I-INCE) and the International Commission for Acoustics (ICA) and is an affiliate society of the International Institute of Acoustics and Vibration (IIAV). Visit https://caa-aca.ca/

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