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Bacteria and Fungus That You Can Encounter In Your Hair Salon

Updated on March 19, 2010

Being Careful in Salons

 

Over the years I have worked in many salons as well as have been a beauty school instructor, and have been fortunate to have had managers and co-workers that really care about the welfare and safety of their clients, therefore, I have never worked in a salon where a client was infected with some kind of bacteria or fungus that was dangerous to them. However, I know that there are salons out there that are “not as clean”, as they should be and have been reported, not only by the Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists, but also by the Health Department, and believe me, if you own a salon, you do not want this to happen to you. Not only can your salon get closed down, but you could lose your license to work in a salon, to own a salon and you may get hit with a pretty nasty negligent suit as well, not to mention your reputation that you worked so hard to build and also knowing that someone was actually in danger in your salon. Those are some things that can really make you lose sleep over.  Therefore, saying that having a clean salon and maintaining a clean salon is really an understatement here because it is; “crucial” that the salon that you practice in, or own is clean and never causes any harm to any of your clients. Even if you don’t own a salon and just work in one, you could still be liable for being negligent and you do not want that on your conscious either.

Going to a salon should always be a pleasant experience and most of the time people do not realize the sanitary practices that are going on in there so my advice to anyone who visits a hair salon, or nail salon, is really keep your eyes open to what the operator is doing and just be aware of the cleanliness of the place that you are visiting.

In 2004,  the celebrity Paula Abdul from American Idol fame, went after a California Nail Salon for contracting a nasty nail fungus to her nail that caused her a lot of pain and suffering. It was caused by not sanitizing the implements used on her nails and when people get their nails done, it could be the last thing on their mind and they may not pay attention to it, and really it isn’t up to the client to make sure that the implements are clean.

Apparently the implements that were used on Paula were not sanitized and had bacteria or fungus on them, if Paula had a cut or a small scrape on her finger, an infection was inevitable, and that is exactly what happened.

Nasty bacteria!
Nasty bacteria!

If you get a manicure or a pedicure and the implements are not sanitized properly, a bacterium grows. The foot baths that are used on pedicures can gather hair, skin and bacteria at the bottom of the bath and it builds up which is a breeding ground for infection to toes, toenails and feet. If you shave your legs before a pedicure, and most women do, because they also get a massage along with their pedicure, and if they happen to have a cut from shaving, just a little bit of bacteria can cause an infection in the leg and it can be dangerous and painful, which can require medical attention. A person could contract Hepatitis A and B, a staphylococcus infection and there really isn’t any studies to prove that it can cause Hiv or Aids but anytime that blood is involved, you really never know and being safe than sorry is always best.

You don't want to bring this home.
You don't want to bring this home.

 

I know how hectic a busy day at a salon can be and sometimes things get overlooked or hairstylist will miss a step of cleaning to save time and this is where the danger lies.

Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask the hairstylist or manicurist if they are using clean implements. It is your health that is in jeopardy. When you are getting your hair done, glance at the brush that they pick up and make sure that you do not see any hair on it as hairbrushes are a breeding ground for lice and scalp conditions as well. Look over at the license, because every hair stylist should have their license in clear view, because their name and their license number are always supposed to be visible to the client. When I was a manager of a salon, I had to fire someone who hadn’t washed their brushes for days, gross huh? Can you imagine how many clients that they used those same brushes on? In beauty school they drilled that into our heads, Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize. So I always took that seriously and so should every good hairstylist and manicurist. I personally wouldn’t want to have a hairstylist that didn’t care about my well being and neither should you.

If you ever suspect a salon of not being up to par in cleanliness you can always talk to the manager about it, or call your local Health Department or even go to the Board of Barbers and Cosmetologist website in your state. It is easy to find and report them. There have been many salons that have been shut down because of this, and once an infected person has to go to the hospital for care it is so easy to track down where they got the infection.

Hopefully you have never had anything like this happen to you and with a little bit of awareness on your part, your visits to the hair and nail salons will always be safe and pleasant experiences.

 

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Comments

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  • ladyjane1 profile imageAUTHOR

    ladyjane1 

    8 years ago from Texas

    yellowstar thanks for stopping by and I know wat you mean about the cleanliness unfortunatey I see it all the time in salons and it really just boils down to laziness. Thanks for reading. Cheers.

  • yellowstar2000 profile image

    Candice Collins 

    8 years ago from WestCoast Florida

    thanks for a well written and informative hub! I've worked in salons before (as an LMT) and have noticed many times when some are not as 'sanitary' as others. it truly is a very important part of keeping the public safe!

  • ladyjane1 profile imageAUTHOR

    ladyjane1 

    8 years ago from Texas

    Wow MFB sounds like you head and hair have been through the wringer. And yes one has to be careful in all salons because they may look good on the service but danger lurks everywhere. Thanks for reading. Cheers.

  • MFB III profile image

    MFB III 

    8 years ago from United States

    I have been cursed with leeches and ticks and all manner of bugs and spiders in my hair during my years in the service and in my explorations, but some of what you write about makes them seem minor. Superb alerts to any an all who cherish their scalp more then Custer did.LOL~!~~MFB III

  • ladyjane1 profile imageAUTHOR

    ladyjane1 

    8 years ago from Texas

    Nell good to see you and I am glad that you found something useful from my hub. I know sometimes people do not think about things and they just assume that people are going to do the right thing. Makes you think. Blessings.

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 

    8 years ago from England

    Hiya, that's what I like about reading other peoples hubs. They always give you info that you would not have even thought of! thanks for this, it never even dawned on me!! I am going for a facial on wednesday, and I am going to check everything they get near me!! ha ha . Nell

  • 50 Caliber profile image

    50 Caliber 

    8 years ago from Arizona

    Ah, good point on the tools and simple enough that my hard noggin would never have thunk it!

  • ladyjane1 profile imageAUTHOR

    ladyjane1 

    8 years ago from Texas

    breakfastpop you bring up a very good point that I should have mentioned in the hub that sometimes people do bring their own tools and they feel much better about it. Nice idea thank you.

  • breakfastpop profile image

    breakfastpop 

    8 years ago

    I have always worried about this problem. I give myself pedicures, but I do get manicures in a salon. I always bring my own tools.

  • ladyjane1 profile imageAUTHOR

    ladyjane1 

    8 years ago from Texas

    drbj thanks for reading, always nice to see you.

    @msorensson thanks for reading. You are quite welcome, and manicures and pedicures can be wonderful but people just have to be careful. Thanks again.

  • ladyjane1 profile imageAUTHOR

    ladyjane1 

    8 years ago from Texas

    Hello Caliber thanks for reading and I am sorry to hear about your diabetes. I can see why you are concerned with getting a pedicure your hesitations are very valid. If you are a diabetic that is prone to problems with your feet such as cuts that take a long time to heal then I would reconsider going to a salon. Now I am far from being a doctor but the best advice I can give you if you decide to go to a salon is to really check it out first, ask what type of solution they clean with. It is supposed to be a hospital grade cleaning formula and ask what type of implements they use. A salon that is very clean will be more than happy to brag how clean they are. If they are hesitant about it then I would walk out. Also it is better to let them know up front that you are diabetic so that they do not use certain instruments on your feet. Other than that it is up to you. Some diabetics choose to go to a podiatrist and I am sure that is costly but you have a lot to lose if you are not careful. I hoped this helped a little. Thanks for reading.

  • ladyjane1 profile imageAUTHOR

    ladyjane1 

    8 years ago from Texas

    Pamela hello thanks for reading and I am glad that the salon you go to looks clean more times than not they are following procedures but it is good to be aware. Thanks again.

  • msorensson profile image

    msorensson 

    8 years ago

    This is a great informative hub, Ladyjane. Thank you.

    Yes, this is the reason I never have my nails done at the Salon. I do them myself. The hair, I go just to have it trimmed no more.

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 

    8 years ago from south Florida

    Excellent information, ladyjane.

    And what a sad story, 50 Caliber. I know that can happen because a relative of mine died at the age of 92. Not from heart disease but an infected toenail! It caused a raging infection that ended his life.

  • 50 Caliber profile image

    50 Caliber 

    8 years ago from Arizona

    ladyjane1, here is a thought to take seriously in addition to your fine hub. Folks with diabetes are subject to wounds to the feet being slow to heal and readily infected often resulting in toe, foot, lower leg amputations. I know this woman who lost her foot to an infected big toe, not from a salon, she did it at home. She told me it was from using a metal file to scrape the cuticle(right word?) the skin at the base of the toe nail. She said it got infected with yellow puss and she kept putting hydrogen peroxide on it then triple antibiotic creme and a bandage then after fooling with it 2 or 3 months it got so painful she broke down and went to the Doctor and had gangrene up into her foot and treating it failed. Not Good. I'm diabetic and she scared me enough to use a good soak in a mix of water and some soap I get from the drug store and use only soft wooden sticks with a edge formed in them and throw them out.

    Do you know of a better way? I've been considering going and having this done once a month and you just talked me out of that. My podiatrist will do it because of my diabetes but $185.00 is out of my reach financially. Great hub and topic. Thanks, Dusty

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    I never thought about that happening to me. The place I go always looks clean but your hub really will make me take a double look at things. Thanks for sharing this information. Great hub.

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