A hairdresser's hands are his/her most important "tool" and hairdressers should therefore take proper precautions to protect their hands from the water and chemicals which are used in their job. These can cause a serious skin irritation called dermatitis.
Dermatitis is a skin condition where the skin becomes irritated. Signs of dermatitis are dryness, redness, cracking, blistering and itching.
The website for the British government, Health and Safety Executive gives the following information about dermatitis:
- Up to 70% of hairdressers suffer some form of skin damage
- Dermatitis is caused by contact with chemicals present in hairdressing products and prolonged contact with water
- Dermatitis causes personal suffering
- Dermatitis is unsightly and unpleasant
- Dermatitis is bad for your career as well as your skin
- You can prevent it - look after your hands by wearing non-latex gloves, drying hands thoroughly and using moisturisers regularly; also take regular ‘glove breaks’, don’t spend all day washing hair, vary duties (e.g.: cut hair instead) and change gloves between clients.
Poster - Protecting Your Hands
Look at the poster: Protecting Your Hands. In pairs explain to your partner which areas of the hands are often overlooked when cleansing or applying hand cream.
Other Hazards in the Salon
In pairs make a list of other hazards in a hairdressing salon. Then compare your lists with others in the class.
Make Your Own Safety Poster
Make a safety poster for workers in a hairdressing salon showing the most important safety rules.
Make a Safety Video
Use the information in the text and your own experience and make a safety video demonstrating safety in a hairdressing salon.