Your Guide to Clean, Safe Tools in the Beauty Industry
Maybe you’re the best-of-the-best in your industry when it comes to skills, talent, and creativity. Maybe everyone wants to work with you because of you’re as artistic and crafty as beauty professionals come.
Maybe you’re in serious demand.
But if you’re not providing a clean, safe, and sanitized establishment, you can bet that all of those other factors won’t matter a single bit – no one is going to want to work with you if you run a dirty, unsafe salon, shop, or company.
Sanitation is hugely important – not just because it’s what keeps you in business, but because as a beauty provider, you’re being trusted to take care of someone, offer them a service, and take away the stress of the process.
Not taking the necessary precautions or following the government or state sanctioned rules for sanitation can result in awful things like lawsuits, fines from the health department, and a blight on you reputation, but more than anything it could put someone’s health and serious risk.
It’s important to remember that you’re not just cleaning dirt away from brushes, combs, and styling tools, you’re disinfecting these tools to get rid of harmful bacteria, fungi, and microbes that could cause serious damage to your client’s health.
Taking sanitation seriously isn’t just considerate, it’s something you’re legally and morally obligated to do.
When it comes to keeping your tools clean and safe, there’s no messing around.
Sanitation Terms You Need to Know, to Understand How to Disinfect Better
For starters, let’s throw a few key words out here to make sure you understand why sanitation is such a big deal: microbes, bacteria, yeast, fungi, viruses.
All of these gross sounding words are, well, gross sounding, but they’re also just gross and yucky in general. These terms all refer to living creatures that are microscopic and exist everywhere and on all of us. They can make people sick, damage their immune system significantly, and in serious cases, even kill people.
When you’re disinfecting, sanitizing, and cleaning, it’s to get rid of these guys – not just because there’s some dirt on your tools.
Let’s talk about the process of disinfection now. When you disinfect a tool, you’re using an antibacterial substance to destroy those microbes and fungi we talked about earlier. Think things like hydrogen, peroxide, barbicide, bleach, alcohol, and more.
When you sterilize something, you’re both cleansing and disinfecting a product, so you’re using soap to remove oil, dirt and other yucky stuff, as well as approved heat treatments or chemical treatments to disinfect, too. Sterilization is the process for removing or destroying all living organisms and biological agents from an object, whereas sanitizing is like cleansing, will clean and remove oil and dirt from an object.
As an example, typically, metal instruments are sterilized with dry or steam heat. Other instruments that are reusable (like brushes, combs, clips, and more) are sanitized in a special solution that chemically kills off the germs and contaminants.
Industry Care Standards: Tips and Tricks
We understand that the industry care standards can seem overwhelming, but we promise if you take the time to learn them, they’re really pretty practical and involve just a little common sense.
We won’t list out all the industry care standards (we’ll link you to that later on), but we will include a few industry care standard tips and tricks we’ve mastered over time that can help immensely with sanitation.
Sanitize After Every Use
This one goes without saying, but you absolutely need to sanitize all of your tools after every client. For your combs, brushes, tweezers, clippers, and more, you need to wash them with soap and water, and then totally submerge the in a wet sanitizer for the approved time.
If you wore rubber gloves, a cape, a towel – anything that even potentially touched a client – you need to either dispose of or sanitize right away! Never use a tool on someone that hasn’t been properly sanitized. Store all of your sanitized tools in a dry, sanitary storage container.
Go for Gloves
This is not required by law (in most states, but it does vary), but it can be a helpful way to show your clients you care about sanitation. Check to see if your client has any latex allergies before use, but if you feel so inclined, use gloves while you work on your clients. They’ll probably appreciate the extra step toward sanitation and cleanliness, and they’re certainly take note of your efforts.
Try to Use Single-Use Items Where You Can
While it’s not possible to buy everything as a single use item (I mean, as nice as it would be to buy a new set of makeup brushes for every client, it’s just not feasible for anyone), there are some items that you can buy that are single use. This will help with sanitation, cleanliness, and safety. For example, if you can swing disposable towels, gloves, or neck strips, that might be a great addition to your sanitation checklist.
Government Sanctioned Rules You Need to Know
While we’re not going to list out every government sanctioned rule, it’s important to talk about the importance of following them.
You need to make sure that you’re always up-to-date on the federal governments requirements and regulation for health and sanitation in order to avoid fines, lawsuits, and damage to your reputation, but more importantly, to protect the clients you work with! Further, make sure you’re up-to-date on your state’s regulations as well – these are subject to change, and you need to make sure you’re always up to code!