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Hair dressing establishment guidelines

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  • Contact surfaces must have a smooth non absorbent finish.
  • Work area must be well lit.
  • Setting must be equipped with at least one sink for hand washing which is conveniently located near work area but at least one metre away from clean or sterile supplies. Sinks must be continuously supplied with potable hot and cold running water, dispensable liquid soap and single-use hand towels in a dispenser.
  • If there is only one sink available on the premises, it may be used for both hand washing and cleaning of equipment/instruments providing it satisfies specific requirements.
  • All equipment/instruments must be of durable construction, in good repair and in clean and sanitary condition.
  • All blood and body fluid exposure and client records are to be kept for five years; at least one year on-site.
  • Immunization with Hepatitis B vaccine is strongly recommended for all personal service workers.

Operational Requirements and Infection Prevention and Control Guidelines

  • Service is to be provided in a manner that reduces the risk of transmission of microorganisms to the client and the personal service worker.
  • Service is to be provided in a manner that prevents disease transmission.
  • Routine Practices are to be used with all clients during service delivery and include:
    • Hand hygiene.
    •  Clean, non-sterile gloves for:
      • Contact with blood or body fluids.
      • When handling visibly soiled items.
      • When the personal service worker has non-intact skin and,
      • Other situations as appropriate.
    • Face protection and gowns when appropriate.
  • Hands must be washed for at least 15 seconds with soap and warm running water:
    • Before and after each client treatment.
    • Immediately before and after applying and removing gloves and,
    • When otherwise appropriate.
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers (containing 60-90% alcohol) may be used if hands are not visibly soiled.
  • All equipment/instruments that cannot be easily and thoroughly cleaned will be considered as single-use disposable.
  • Manual cleaning involves the use of a detergent and water solution and scrubbing (the use of friction) to remove soil.
  • All product labels for disinfectants must have a drug identification number (DIN), with the exception of hypochlorite.
  • Clean items must be stored separately from dirty items to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Contact surfaces that cannot be easily or adequately cleaned and disinfected between use must be covered with single-use disposable covers and the cover is to be discarded after each use.
  • Manufacturer’s instructions are to be followed for dilution,use, reuse and contact time of disinfectants.

Additional Requirements:

  • When a reuseable protective cover is used around a client’s neck, a sanitary strip or clean towel must be used to keep the protective cover from coming into direct contact with the client’s neck. The neck strip or towel must be discarded or laundered after each use.
  • If a non-critical item, such as scissors or clippers, nicks the skin, it must be processed as a semi-critical item before it can be reused. Low-level disinfectant solutions cannot be used to disinfect semi-critical items. An intermediate to high level disinfectant is required to process semi-critical items. *
  • Any blades used for shaving skin, must be single-use and discarded in an approved sharps container immediately after use.
    • The handle and cradle of the razor, which holds the blade in place, must be cleaned and disinfected as a semi-critical item after each use. * It is recommended to use razors that allow for easy cleaning of the cradle.
  • A straight razor with a fixed blade (all in one piece, so the blade is reuseable and not disposable) is not recommended, as cleaning sharps is hazardous to the PSW. If using a straight razor, it must be cleaned and sterilized between uses.
    • Only autoclaves, dry heat sterilizers, chemical autoclaves are approved methods of sterilization; sterilization is to be maintained until point of use.
    • Physical and chemical monitoring are to be used during each sterilization load.
    • Biological monitoring (spore testing) is to be done biweekly (every other week).
    • The Personal Service owner/operator must contact their local health unit for every sterilizer failure immediately upon notification from the laboratory.
    • All sharps that are intended for use to penetrate the skin and/or mucous membranes must be provided as sterile, single-use disposable items; an approved sharps container is to be used for used disposable sharps immediately after each single use.
    • Sharps containers must be discarded in accordance with biomedical waste regulation.
  • Styptic pencils cannot be used to stop bleeding on clients. Powder or liquid forms are acceptable provided that if direct contact with the skin is required that it be applied by use of a disposable applicator.
  • Razors used for cutting hair must have a proper guard in place to prevent the blade from coming in contact with the skin. Razors are to be disposed of in an approved sharps container.
    • The handle and cradle of razors used for cutting hair require no processing and the blade can be reused, if only used for cutting hair.
  • “Crochet hooks” used for cap highlights are considered semi-critical items as they may scratch the scalp, and must be processed accordingly after each use. *
  • All items must be cleaned and dried (with a clean towel) before they can be placed in a disinfectant solution. Placing a soiled item in a disinfectant solution contaminates the entire solution and therefore contaminates all items placed in it.
  • Clean items must be stored separately to prevent cross contamination with soiled items or surfaces. Never store clean items and dirty items together.
  • Any needles used for hair weaves and extensions that contact the client or operator must be discarded in an approved sharps container immediately after contact.


* Refer to pages 46-48 inclusive, in the Best Practices document for proper cleaning and disinfection procedures.


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