Earth Month Focus: Marco Santini of ION Studio

It's April, which is Earth Month, and more and more people are looking for eco-friendly alternatives in beauty. New York's sustainably-designed and wind-powered ION Studio proves that green doesn't necessarily equate to granola - the space is as chic and modern as it is eco-aware.

Owner and star stylist Marco Santini was gracious enough to answer a few questions on the Studio, going green and of course, HAIR! Read on for the full scoop below.

What was the inspiration for ION?
We wanted to apply the passion and responsibility that we possess for our clients and their appearance and well being, and apply it on a larger scale. We hold the same attention to detail and passion towards the earth as a whole, and the environment as we do towards each individual strand of our client's hair. The philosophy "there is beauty in everything that we do" drives our studio atmosphere, where the highest level of artistry is applied to cut and color. The philosophy also fuels an extreme passion towards eco-advocacy. We hope to beautify our clients, the earth around us, and help to spread eco-advocacy through the ION studio, our product choice and methods.

Has being "green" always been important to you, personally and/or professionally?
Most definitely. I grew up in Florence, Italy where recycling, sustainability, and living off the earth have been custom to my entire life from childhood to present. Coming to the States and the idea that you can "have more and get rid of more" somewhat threw me for a loop. People were not so much taking care of what they have, but rather consuming more and more and creating more and more waste as a by product. While I believe in the wonderful relationship between product and consumer, and the amazing technology and products we create, we simply need to fine tune our use and methods, and with small, minute changes can make a huge impact on the world around us.

ION carries some amazing hair products.  What are some of your favorite products?

The entire Davines line is great for two reasons: it’s amazing hair care, and extremely eco-friendly. They are constantly working to minimize their carbon footprint and use all natural ingredients wherever possible. Even their packaging is composed of food grade plastic, which a client can wash and reuse. Their work towards eco-advocacy goes on and on, and naturally, the line was a perfect ally for ION's mission and philosophy. Some stand-out products: Momo Shampoo and Conditioner, Defining Volume Mousse, and Dede Leave in Conditioner.

Is there a can't miss product or treatment that you'd recommend to anyone?
An in salon only treatment, REST by Davines. It works to put protein and structure back into weakened and damaged hair over a period of about twenty minutes while relaxing at the sink. Comprised of rice protein and wheat protein, it conditions the hair and adds body, while nourishing and polishing. Followed with a rich conditioner and a blow dry, the REST treatment has become extremely popular at ION, and has a near cult like following.

What's the biggest hair mistake that women make?  Is there an easy fix?
Color, texture, length, body, are all complaints and clients always "want what they can't have". Experiment with your natural, baby born texture and color. Work with your stylist to come up with a color plan to bring you back to natural, or a cut that is more flattering for your natural texture. Let your curls go wild! Let pin straight hair lie flat. It would be an interesting experiment on "working with what you have" and will bring health and shine back to over processed coifs. The beauty in our industry is the ability and the technology to transform, but try to go back to who you really are and see what lies underneath!

Special thanks to Marco Santini for the exclusive Q&A above. For more information about ION Studio, visit