Effects of lack of disinfection in hairdressing and beauty salons


The work of hairdressers, stylists, cosmetologists and beauticians is associated with a specific risk (cuts, mycosis, staphylocococcus, hepatitis, burns, damage to the nail plate) and, consequently, the threat of financial liability. The responsibility for the proper performance of the treatment results from the Article 471 KC, this is a civil liability. Infection can affect both the person who undergoes the treatment and the employee of the beauty salon. Correct application of disinfection can significantly prevent this.

How to get infected?

In beauty parlours, infection can occur through the use of improperly disinfected or unsterile hairdressing and cosmetic products (e. g. (scissors or pliers). The beautician performs treatments, during which the continuity of the skin may be affected, i. e. cut. Therefore, beauty salons should be treated in the same way as treatment rooms and strict hygiene rules should apply. However, according to sanitary data, some beauty parlours not only do not carry out the necessary sterilization of instruments, but also lack or are out of date disinfectants.

What can you get infected with in a hairdressing salon?

According to the data of the sanitary facility, hairdressers can be infected with dermatophytosis (caused by e. g. by yeasts), petroleum-forming bacteria (e. g. staphylocococcus aureus, streptococcus), dandruff, lice, viruses (e. g. influenza) and the most dangerous blood-borne hepatitis B, C and HIV.


Infection with lice in the hair is caused indirectly – by using brushes, tools, etc. The head louse is dead beyond human’s head for more than 48 hours. It is worth knowing that lice carry numerous diseases, e. g. the relapsing fever or typhoid fever.


According to the sanitary inspection, in a hairdressing salon you can become infected with dry dandruff, which manifests itself in white, dry flakes of dandruff on the skin, or greasy dandruff. It is a disorder consisting of itching and sticking to the skin of yellow lumps of dandruff. Usually, inflammation of the scalp also occurs with oily dandruff. Dandruff is most often contracted indirectly, by sharing combs, hair brushes and headgear. The fungus Malassezia Furfur can also become infected in the solarium, because sunbeds are not always well disinfected.


If hairdressing tools are not properly disinfected, fungal spores can be transferred from one customer to another. Fungus is usually caused by dermatophytes. The skin affected by them gradually changes its appearance. There are large, single hairless outbreaks – they are usually broken at an even height, just above the skin. Sometimes these bald spots are red, which indicates inflammation. The fungus is very contagious!

Streptococcal infections

The most common streptococcal infections include erysipelas – an acute inflammation of the skin and subcutaneous tissue accompanied by high temperature and rapid course. The typical image of the erysipelas is swelling, acute inflammation of the skin and subcutaneous tissue, and a clearly delineated erythema from healthy skin. The skin is taut and shiny. As a result of the accumulation of exudate fluid, the epidermis becomes detached and shallow blisters are formed, which tend to crack, causing difficult to heal ulcers.

HIV virus

The risk of HIV infection in a beautician increases e. g. during permanent makeup, during which a special device introduces the dye under the skin with a thin needle, piercing the ears with a special gun or piercing, during which the beautician pierces the skin with a needle. 75 percent of HIV infections in Poland may originate in dental and cosmetic practices and tattoo parlours, where tools are not sterilized – experts from the National AIDS Centre say.

Hepatitis C

Dirty pliers, scissors, needles or the tip of an ear piercing gun are also habitats for the HCV virus (hepatitis C). It can be most easily transferred to our body when removing cuticles or putting on gel nails.

The following rules must be strictly followed:

  • Before and after all services the employee must wash his hands with soap, then rub the disinfectant for at least 30 seconds.
  • After use, cosmetic and hairdressing tools must always be properly disinfected.
  • After use, cosmetic and hairdressing tools must always be properly disinfected. After disinfection, the instruments should be washed in water with detergent, rinsed thoroughly under running water, dried and sterilized in steam autoclaves during internal and external sterilization processes.
  • Disinfection should be carried out using disinfectants with the permission of the Minister of Health for trade in a biocidal product.
  • Containers used to disinfect reusable equipment should stand empty near the treatment site. Disinfectants (their fumes) are not indifferent to the health of the employee and the customer. Only after the treatment is complete, the equipment has to be filled with disinfectant, sealed, labelled, dated and disinfected at a time specified by the manufacturer. The condition for effective disinfection is complete immersion of the objects in the solution.
  • Customers with visible unprotected cuts should be handled with special care (in disposable gloves).
  • Any cuts, scratches or cracks in the skin must be treated with a dressing patch before work can begin. Employees of hairdressing and cosmetic companies should remember to take care of their own hands (especially nails) as they can cause scratches and cuts.

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