Emma Ernst, owner of the new Simply Natural Salon & Spa, 229 E. Main St., shows off her new salon. She says the shop specializes in natural products. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Emma Ernst, owner of the new Simply Natural Salon & Spa, 229 E. Main St., shows off her new salon. She says the shop specializes in natural products. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
A new beauty salon and spa in downtown Madison plans to bring a new and different choice in hair-care products to customers.

Emma Ernst, owner of Simply Natural Salon and Spa, said she had a vision when she opened her own salon. She wanted a downtown location, a salon that didn't look like the others and chemical-free hair products that have become popular in recent years.

Ernst, 23, isn't new to the profession. She's worked at area salons downtown and on the hilltop for the past few years, she said, and she knew she liked the atmosphere and energy of downtown best.

"You feel like part of the community downtown," she said. "There's no comparison."

She also likes the mixture of the old and new that makes up the interior of her full-service salon and spa, which opened last month. After finding the location on Main Street, Ernst worked to match new furnishings with the historic elements of the building.

Ernst also wanted to offer new hair care products that weren't available at other salons in the area.

"There's so many people driving out of town to get products," she said.

Ernst talked with a sales representative about products that don't contain chemicals. The sales representative directed her toward a line called Surface hair products.

The Surface line is made with certified organic botanicals, and are sulfate-free, gluten-free and paraben-free. Parabens, which can be found in other hair products, have been identified in nearly 99 percent of breast cancer patients, Ernst said.

"It messes with our hormones," she said of the chemicals.

The products are also cruelty-free and vegan, which means the line doesn't test on animals and not contain animal ingredients or animal-produced ingredients.

The chemical-free shampoos, conditioners and cremes have become sought-after items in recent years.

"They can't keep it in stock on the West Coast," Ernst said of the product.

The salon plans to use only the Surface products - and have the products available for purchase - beginning next week. So far, the salon has been using samples of the products and received several great reviews.

"We're pretty happy with it," she said.

Amber Roberts, Nan Warren, Jessie Oaf and Ernst also offer facials, body waxing, individual eyelash extensions and manicures at the full-service salon and spa.