Safety at the salon
There’s some pretty hair-raising stuff going on where we get our haircuts, manicures, pedicures, body waxes, and more. Check out these seven quick ways to size up your salon.
“The salon’s license should be displayed by the front desk, and each aesthetician’s license should be posted at her station,” says James Jacobs, a supervising inspector with the California Bureau of Barbering and Cosmetology. “In a recent San Francisco sweep, we found license violations in 19 of the 20 shops we inspected.” A current license means workers have been trained in their craft and have received appropriate health-and-safety training.
Furry friends (not) welcome
“They’re cutebut animals can cause unsanitary conditions in a salon,” Jacobs says.
"The bathroom can give you a good indication of the priority a salon places on cleanliness," says Zoe Draelos, MD, editor of the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. "If they’re out of paper towels or soap, it’s a red flag." More hints: the sinks are scummy and the floor is covered with hair or hair clippings.
Tools of the trade
Warning sign: Tools are sticking out of disinfecting liquid. “Scissors, clippers, combs, and brushes should be totally submerged,” Jacobs says. “Any part that’s sticking out is still dirty.”
"We all have bacteria—sometimes staph—on our hands," says Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, MD, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine. "Hand-washing can cut down on germ transmission between clients."
Photo: Istockphoto (all)
Towels and robes can carry germs, especially if they’re damp, Dr. Sekula-Gibbs explains. They should be laundered and used just once.
It smells funny. Salons should be well-ventilated so chemical odors can escape and fresh air can circulate," Dr. Sekula-Gibbs says. Strong fumes can give you a headache.