A visit to our favourite hair or beauty salon is something that we all look forward to, whether for a regular appointment or to primp and preen for a special occasion.
But as well as making us look and feel fantastic, we take for granted that our hairdresser, nail technician or beauty therapist will adhere to the highest standards of health, safety and hygiene. That not only means maintaining their own personal hygiene, but also doing their part to keep their salon safe and hygienically clean, so clients leave with nothing more than a healthy glow.
From fake tanning and haircuts to manicures and massages, hair stylists and beauty therapists of all types have a considerably ‘hands-on’ approach to their jobs. Which means that the potential for skin-to-skin cross-contamination, as well as infection from contaminated equipment or surfaces is high – unless of course, effective health, hygiene and cleanliness practices in hair and beauty salons are in place and followed by all staff.
Where are the health and safety risks in hairdressing and beauty salons?
From chemicals used within treatments, to bacteria from the skin or substances such as nail filings, skin particles and hair clippings, the potential risks to health and safety in hair and beauty salons are numerous. Areas that employees should be particularly aware of include:
- Skin-to-skin contact: Hairdressers and therapists should wash and dry their hands thoroughly before and after each client or treatment. Where possible, disposable gloves should be worn, which can also help to reduce the risk of contact dermatitis during wet working, such as hairdressing. Any obvious cuts or abrasions on the skin should be covered.
- Tools and equipment: To prevent-cross contamination, clean tools and equipment should be used for every client, from fresh towels to hygienic scissors or sterile spatulas. An appropriate cleaning product should be used to clean and disinfect your equipment – such as surgical spirit with a minimum concentration of 70% alcohol, an autoclave, or a liquid or spray disinfectant used as directed.
- Work surfaces: Viruses and common bacteria can live on surfaces for over 24 hours. Regular cleaning and disinfecting of salon surfaces, including couch beds and workstations, minimises the risk of infection. You can also use towels and disposable paper coverings to help contain any substances or prevent skin-to-skin contact with surfaces.
- Product containers: Fingers must never be used to dispense products from jars or pots, as this can cause bacteria to form and cross-contamination to take place. Instead a sterile spatula or tool must be used to dispense only the amount required for the treatment.
- Floors: Floors must be regularly swept throughout the day and thoroughly vacuumed and mopped with a commercial floor cleaner at closing. To prevent the spread of infection (such as verrucae or athlete’s foot), at no time should clients be permitted to walk barefoot in the premises, except in showers, saunas and steam rooms, or when laying on the couch or laying/ standing in the sunbed.
Health and safety legislation for the beauty industries
All service providers in the beauty sector are legally required to follow the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in Great Britain. Under the Act, there are many individual regulations that, depending on the particular industry, may need to be followed to ensure providence of safe and hygienic working environments, and the welfare of both salon staff and clientele.
Health and safety legislation that is relevant to the beauty sector includes (but is not limited to):
- Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 – covering risk assessments and the implementation of any necessary measures, as well as competent individuals and any necessary training
- Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 – covering a broad range of basic issues including workplace ventilation, lighting, workstations and seating
- Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 – requiring employers to provide the appropriate protective clothing, protective footwear and other equipment for the job in hand
- The Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations 1989 – requiring employers to display a poster informing employees of important health and safety information
- Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002 – requires employers to assess the risks presented by hazardous substances according to their corresponding chemical safety data sheets, and take the precautions necessary to reduce them.
It is the responsibility of the employer to be aware of the legislation that is relevant to their industry and local authority, and ensure that it is followed, with all necessary paperwork recorded where required.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Cleaning and Supplies Schedule Template for Hair and Beauty Salons
Whatever services you offer in your hair or beauty salon, it is crucial that you maintain a regular and thorough cleaning routine. Daily cleaning before closing, as well as weekly cleaning tasks to tackle the areas that are less prone to contamination, ensure that your salon is always looking its best so that you can proudly welcome your customers, who will feel relaxed and at ease, and looking forward to coming back.
We’ve put together a hair and beauty salon cleaning schedule template to help you tick off the tasks that need to be completed on a daily and weekly basis. You can download this for FREE below, to print and display as needed. What’s more, it also includes a cleaning product supply checklist to help you keep your cleaning cupboards fully stocked. Your salon will be looking and feeling as wonderful as your clients do!
You can also click here to download the above as a pdf.
How does your hair or beauty salon approach cleaning and hygiene? Please leave us a comment below and let us know how you are tackling it or Tweet us your photos of your salon using our downloadable template @BunzlCleaning.
Be sure to take a look at our other FREE downloadable templates too!