Summary: The owner of a beauty salon collaborated with an acoustics expert to implement noise reduction techniques that significantly improved communication for staff and customers.


  1. The salon’s noisy environment caused communication difficulties and health issues like ear pain and tinnitus for the staff.
  2. The acoustics expert Donna Ellis installed absorptive materials and other noise reduction methods, transforming the salon’s atmosphere.
  3. The improvements led to easier conversations, reduced ear pain, and a better overall experience for both customers and staff.

At Image Creators beauty salon in Maryland, owner Silvia Campana and her staff were having communication and hearing issues due to the salon’s noisy environment.

Seeking a solution, Capmpan, who had experienced increased ear pain and tinnitus after long-term exposure to high sound pressure levels while working at the salon, turned to acoustics expert Donna Ellis of Lines by Nature LLC. She helped implement noise reduction techniques at the salon that transformed its atmosphere. 

Addressing a Noisy Environment

Ellis experimented with noise reduction methods to contribute to the calming, luxurious environment desired by the clientele and employees. 

“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.

Noise Reduction Methods

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,” says 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.”

Further reading: Research Suggests a Correlation Between Traffic-Related Noise and Risk of Tinnitus

Improving Interior Sounds

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,” says 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.

Featured image: Seeking to create a calming, luxurious environment, salon owner Silvia Campana consulted with Donna Ellis at Lines by Nature LLC to enhance its acoustical landscape. Photo: Virginia V. Ellis