LIVONIA, Mich. (FOX 2) - At Hair Mechanix in Livonia, stylists and their clients are masked up. Signs are everywhere and so is the hand sanitizer.
But there's an added safety precaution they're pretty proud of - an extra layer of air filtration for the salon to cut down on the risk of COVID-19 thanks to Airotrust.
"One of our big concerns was our stylists being safe and comfortable coming back and having that revenue come in and the customers feeling safe coming back in here," says manager Kaitlyn Griffin. She says they heard about this new product called Airotrust from a client who was manufacturing them for his own company.
"If I take this filter, it's a dual-layer filter and I put it inside of this housing from Airotrust. It simply lines up with the grid and magnetically sticks on," says Matt Carr, the President of Storch Products in Livonia, as he shows us how it works.
The company makes magnets for the automotive, aerospace and defense industries. When COVID-19 hit and the automakers shut down Storch was hit hard too and laid off most of its employees.
"How this started was real simple. We were tasked with bringing back 22 of 27 people that were laid off," Carr says - and workers wanted to know what precautions were in place so they could come back to work.
"We've got one large role when you run a facility like Storch Magnetics. We've got to make sure that people are safe," Carr says.
So they came up with this housing for a top-of-the-line filter that simply snaps into place with, yes, you guessed it - magnets.
"It allows you to really put one of these systems on like a cold air ventilation inlet, which is going to offer secondary protection right at the inlet source," Carr says. "If masks have proven to be efficient - a mask for your building can be nothing but a benefit to you."
Carr says this product isn't just about safety and filtering the air, it's also about employees and customers seeing it in action and giving them peace of mind.
Griffin says it's worked at their salon, where there can be all kinds of stuff in the air.
"We deal with a lot of hair particles and hair color, fumes and cleaning products and things like that and it really has helped the majority of that as well," she says.
Most importantly, she says it makes everyone a little more comfortable coming to work.
"We were closed for almost three months," she says. "It's great to be back and feeling safe being here."
"If this Airotrust product, this new brand that we've developed, helps our customers and really everyone in Michigan and the U.S. get back to work so we can all get back to normalcy - safely - then we've been successful," Carr says.
For more information, visit airotrust.com.