Whatever the type of business, the law states that every workplace must be a fully hygienic environment. This is extremely important in an establishment such as a hair or beauty salon that sees so many different people passing through every day. On top of heavy footfall, working in a salon environment also means that you are exposed to many different clients and performing treatments everywhere from their hair and scalp, to their fingernails and toenails, to their most intimate areas.
With all of this in mind, as a salon owner, it is imperative that excellent salon hygiene and good housekeeping within your business is at the forefront of your mind, not only for your staff but also for your visitors and clients to ensure that your business continues to run effectively and nobody’s health is put at risk.
Why is it so important to maintain standards of hygiene in a beauty salon?
Maintaining high standards of hygiene in your salon is vital to prevent the risks of cross contamination. Whether it’s from yourself, other clients or dirty tools, fungi, viruses, parasites and bacteria can easily spread if you don’t do your bit to put a stop to them.
Tools such as combs, scissors, tweezers are prime candidates for cross contamination – plus, clients would probably feel a little grossed out if they knew you’d used the same scissors on all clients without cleaning them! Germs can easily spread between clients this way, and can cause infections that will make them very unlikely to come back to you.
The best thing to do is make hygiene a priority in the day-to-day running of your salon. You could have a salon hygiene checklist to remind the whole team of best practices and give training on the best ways to keep the salon clean.
Safe and hygienic working practices in a salon…Who is responsible for maintaining a hygienic salon?
It is the responsibility of everyone working within your salon business to practice basic hygiene at the very least. Ensure that all hygienic responsibilities, such as sterilising combs or keeping the floor clean after a client has had a haircut, or their nails filed have been delegated to your stylists, therapists or salon support staff. We recommend creating a daily duties checklist to assign tasks and to keep a record of when each job has been carried out and by whom. This includes all areas, from the salon floor, to the toilet, the kitchen, the reception area and everywhere in between. This will ensure that nothing can be forgotten whilst keeping your salon running efficiently.
Keeping salon furniture clean…
It goes without saying that your salon premises should be kept clean and hygienic at all times. Treatment areas with a high volume of daily use, such as beauty couches and chairs, should be thoroughly cleaned between each client and/or a new covering placed over the surface.
Most salon chairs are made from PVC or vinyl, making them easy to wipe down and clean with disinfectant. However, it is important to make sure you use the right cleaning products. It is worth noting that any disinfectant containing alcohol should be avoided as it is likely that it will react with the PVC or vinyl, making it brittle and eventually causing it to crack. Once you get a broken surface on any material, it is extremely difficult to disinfect it properly, resulting in an area where bacteria can harvest and multiply.
Avoiding cross-contamination of equipment…
It is really important that any equipment is thoroughly cleaned between usage, and it is imperative that this procedure is not shortcutted. Tools that come into contact with multiple clients such as combs, brushes, rollers, clippers and nail tools should be repeatedly cleaned between usage and be kept in a clean and dry condition when they are not required.
If a client comes in who clearly has a bacterial or fungal infection, or even a wound on the area you are treating, it’s often best to err on the side of caution and not treat them. Not only will they increase cross contamination risks, but you could also make the condition worse. However, be careful to not offend or embarrass the client – ask them if they can get advice from a doctor first, as you wouldn’t like to cause them further harm.
We always recommend following the advice on the label of your chosen cleaning solution for any special requirements, though disinfectant and hot water is also effective in keeping tools sterile. Towels and other linen should also be washed regularly as stained, used towels not only look unsightly but could also harbour germs if left lying around damp.
Keeping the salon floor clean…
With a heavy flow of footfall, the floor of your salon is a hive of activity and therefore needs to remain clean at all times. If fly away nail extensions have gone awol, or a buildup of hair has accumulated around your cutting area, for example, this needs to be cleared away quickly, not only to avoid accidents such as slips and trips but to also avoid bacteria spreading from location to location. At the end of each day, ensure that you undertake a thorough floor clean, ready for the next day!
The importance of personal hygiene in a salon…
It is important that all salon staff understand the importance of personal hygiene when working in a hair or beauty salon. Firstly, it’s important to maintain a professional image that ensures your client is confident in visiting you.
Secondly, poor personal hygiene can lead to the spread of bacteria – things like dirty nails and unwashed hands and clothes can harbours germs, which could potentially transfer to clients.
For some treatments, disposable gloves might be preferable to hand washing alone when it comes to very sensitive areas and treatments, such as eyelash application and dermaplaning.
It goes without saying that it is your duty to ensure that your staff keep themselves clean when undertaking treatments from client to client. Simple practices such as ensuring hands are clean and uniforms are free of any nail shavings or hair are all basic things to help your salon stay hygienic.
Keeping on top of salon hygiene isn’t tasking and is a serious practice to ensure that your salon complies with the necessary regulations. It also ensures that your business not only looks more appealing but builds trust with your clients as a salon that pays attention to detail.
Salon hygiene products checklist…
Do you have everything you need in your salon to maintain safe and hygienic working practices? Check you have the following, and see our full salon hygiene range for more…
- Disinfectant for tools
- Disinfectant jar
- Disposable gloves
- Hand soap and sanitiser
- Clean towels and paper towels
- Antibacterial surface cleaner
- Beauty couch roll or clean covers
Other posts in the Salon Management series: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT OPENING YOUR OWN SALON | HOW TO BUILD LOYALTY WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS