These days with Government policies so lenient on Hygiene rules even at Hospitals, there’s a good chance that your visit to a salon could land you with a nasty infection and not just a great personality.
Bacterial, fungal, yeast and viral infections (including issues like hepatitis C, staph infections and warts) can be transmitted via unwashed hands and unsanitary instruments (this can occur with overzealous manicuring — if, for example, too much of the cuticle is cut or pushed back too far).
- Don’t allow the technician to cut your skin with either a cuticle clipper or a Credo blade (used to remove callused skin, it’s illegal abroad, though not yet in India, and our traditional methods do have a tendency to be over zealous about the usage of the same).
- Instruments should be cleaned and disinfected between customers. The ideal method would be to use a Surgical Spirit which is commonly used during surgeries, and then autoclaving (heat sterilization). For chemical sterilization of the implements — from nail files to cuticle sticks — they should be immersed in the solution for at least 10 minutes between customers. THE WHITE DOOR, post Sterilization and autoclaving, ensures that the tools are then packed into individual sterilized Packs. Ask your technician what the salon’s practices are.
- In addition to cleaning their tools, technicians should also ensure their workstation is properly cleaned between clients. Dettol Spray should be used to wipe down the area to prevent spreading of germs and bacteria.
- Each customer should be given a fresh bowl of water to soak their nails in. Anti-fungal Tablets can be used for the soak as well as use of an anti-infection spray is advised post the cuticle works.
- Whirlpool foot tubs tend to trap dust, hair, skin and other bits of debris, creating an environment for bacteria to breed. Stick with easy to clean ceramic basins.Ask salon workers how the foot spas are maintained and how often they are cleaned (take note of their actions while they are working on clients to see if footbaths are disinfected with each customer). Microorganisms living in footbaths can enter through the skin and cause infection — don’t get a pedicure if you have cuts, bug bites, scratches or any such skin issues.
- Ideally, each customer should get a new buffer and file. If that’s not the case, bring your own implements.
- Don’t shave, wax or use hair removal creams within a day before getting a pedicure. Recently shaved legs can give germs an entry point. If you have open cuts or cracks on your hands or feet, reschedule your appointment until after they’ve healed.
- Before your manicure/pedicure begins, ask the technician if she’s washed her hands and used a hand sterilizer.
- If opting for Extensions, ensure proper hygiene practices are maintained by your technician. Also the appropriate Nail care, post care and regular hydrating Hot Almond Soaks are advised for the strengthening of your nails.
- Make sure the salon is licensed and the licenses are posted.
Problem: With the environmental issues and lifestyle, everyone has bacteria on their skin (including staph), as you and your body live in harmony with it. Transfer this to another person with an open sore, and it may not be such a harmonious relationship. The infection can be as simple as a little irritation around a hair follicle, or as severe as an infection that could lead to serious illness. In addition, you can pick up various fungal infections in hair salons like ringworm or Lice.
- Any used instruments (brushes, combs, scissors, razors) have to be sterilized between clients. If scissors are not properly sterilized and come into contact with bacteria, germs can grow and live on your scalp. The sterilization solution must be changed regularly and the container should not be overcrowded with combs and brushes.
- Make sure sinks are cleaned between clients and that a freshly cleaned towel is put under your neck.
- Look around to see if the facility is neat and clean. Salons that do not look clean in general — hair, nail clippings, dust or debris on the floor, tables — are sending a clear message that it’s time to find a new salon. Are the restrooms dirty? Do they lack liquid soap and clean towels?
- Some hair salons smell like chemical factories, with pungent fumes emanating from the salon that can make you sick. That’s a sign that the facility is poorly ventilated. Combine excessive heat (from all the hair dryers) with chemicals used in hair dyes, hair straightening, permanent waves and hairsprays and you can create fumes and inhale airborne particles that can worsen asthma, allergies and cause headaches.
- Make sure the salon washes their robes and towels after every use. Many do not. There is a lice issue which is common in salons, Lice can live on brushes, robes and towels. Now Disposable options are very easily available in the Market, and an ideal Salon would prefer the same over the washable ones.
- Experts suggest avoiding dirty electric razors (dermatologists note they commonly see ringworm when electric razors are used. Used more so on men, but with women too).
- Make sure the stylist doesn’t stick her fingers directly into styling jars or containers, which can breed bacteria and be transferred to your skin.
- It’s important to make sure your stylist doesn’t have any sores or cuts on his/her hands.