We spoke to Chris & Sons who have revealed the hairdryers with the lowest decibel rating, therefore making them the quietest and most suitable for those who live with Autism. Andrew Vassiliou, Director of Chris & Sons told us: “Many people with autism may struggle with loud noise due to sensory processing differences. Sensory processing refers to the way our nervous system receives and interprets sensory information from the environment, including sounds, sights, smells, and textures. For some individuals with autism, their sensory processing differences can cause them to be more sensitive to certain types of sensory input, including loud noises.”
“The decibel (dB) level of a hairdryer can vary depending on the make and model. On average, a typical hairdryer produces a noise level of around 80-90 dB when measured at a distance of 1 meter,” says Andrew. “However, there are hairdryers that are designed to be quieter than others. The quietest hairdryers available in the market can produce noise levels as low as 60 dB when measured at the same distance. These hairdryers are typically designed with advanced noise reduction technologies such as insulation, sound-dampening materials, and brushless motors that reduce the amount of noise produced during operation.” Data gathered by Chris & Sons revealed the following hairdryers suitable for those with autism:
- Chignon Smart Leafless Hair Dryer - 65 dB
- MDLondon Blow Hair Dryer - 76 dB
- Bio:Ionic Smart X High Efficiency Dryer - 77.2 dB
- Hershesons Great Hairdryer - 78 dB
- The Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer - 79 dB
- Harry Josh Pro Dryer 2000 - 79 dB
For many individuals with autism they may be sensitive to loud noises, including that produced by hairdryers. "The sound of a hair dryer can be overwhelming and uncomfortable for some people with autism, causing anxiety, stress, and sensory overload," explains Andrew. To address this issue, there are several strategies that can be used to reduce the impact of loud hair dryers for individuals with autism. One option is to use noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs to help block out the sound.
Another option is to use a quieter hair dryer, such as one with a low decibel rating. Additionally, using the hair dryer in a small, enclosed space like a bathroom can help reduce the impact of the noise. "It's important to note that not all individuals with autism will be sensitive to loud noises, and not all will be affected by hair dryers in the same way. As with any sensory issue, it's important to take an individualised approach and work with the individual to find strategies that work best for them,” he advises. Sensory processing differences can make it uncomfortable or overwhelming for individuals with autism to have their hair touched, brushed, or styled, explains Anderew, adding: "The sensations of the hair salon environment, such as the sound of hair dryers or the smell of hair products, can also be overwhelming."
Those with autism may struggle with communication and social interactions, which can make it difficult to express their preferences or communicate any discomfort they may be experiencing during the hair styling process. To address these challenges, it can be helpful to prepare the individual with autism for the hair salon experience in advance, providing social stories or visual aids that explain what to expect during the appointment. "It may also be helpful to provide sensory accommodations such as noise-cancelling headphones or a weighted blanket to help the individual feel more comfortable and regulated. Hair stylists and salon staff can also be trained to provide accommodations and support to individuals with autism, such as using a gentler touch or offering breaks during the appointment if needed. By taking these steps, individuals with autism can have a more positive and comfortable hair salon experience,” he says.
Are you promoting neurodiversity in your salon? Find out how this can attract apprentices to your salon here.