By Dr. Rachna Pande
The wish to look beautiful is a very basic human instinct. Both men and women adopt various measures for enhancing their physical beauty since centuries. Keeping the hair in different styles, using different colours for hair is one of the prominent measures taken for looking good.
Hair saloons or boutiques for hair dressing help in fulfilling this desire. Here hair are cut, colored and weaved into different designs, depending on wish of the person and his personality, as to what would soothe her/him. They are doing very good business in all parts of the world because of the desire of people to have beautiful, well set hair.
Barring few exceptions, most of the people visit hair saloons or hair care clinics regularly. It is also a relaxing and pleasurable activity. But there are certain health hazards also associated with a hair salon.
First and foremost is the risk of cross infection between customers, if the tools used are not cleaned hygienically. Contaminated blades, razors and scissors if used from one person to another, carry the risk of causing bacterial infections like staphylococcal, streptococcal, fungal infections and even viral infections like Hepatitis B , C and even HIV/AIDS. The same risk exists if the hands and or gloves used by the hair dresser are not cleaned adequately after finishing job on one customer.
A complete hairdo requires some time, specially for women. If the room for dressing hair does not have adequate cross ventilation, risks for acquiring infections like flu, pneumonia, e.t.c., increases both for the hair dresser and clients.
Variety of strong chemicals are used for setting the hair in different designs. The customer on whom these chemicals are used can suffer from localized allergic reaction like urticaria, dermatitis, e.t.c. Attacks of asthma, allergic cold or cough can be precipitated by use of these chemicals. Repeated exposure to these chemicals can result in damage to lungs, stomach, peripheral nerves, causing breathlessness, burning sensation in stomach, abnormal sensations in limbs, e.t.c. Long term use can lead to toxicity of various body parts. Cancers can occur due to repeated exposure to various chemicals.
The hair dresser is more at risk of hazards due to exposure to chemicals, as compared to the customer, because she is exposed to these chemicals for a longer duration.
These chemicals damage the hair as well. Strong chemical solvents used to set hair make the hair brittle. Previously naturally soft hair may become hard in texture. Falling of hair is precipitated or aggravated after using various kinds of gels and sprays o hair Hair dyes and colors can cause premature graying of hair.
All this is not to discourage people from going to hair salons. Simply what is needed is for them to be more vigilant regarding hazards associated with hair care salon .
The hair dresser should always use clean sterilized tools for a hair cut or hair dressing for every client. Preferably she should use gloves to prevent any contamination and cross infection both by infection or chemicals. Individuals having boils or fungal infection over their scalp should avoid going for a haircut till cured, as they carry risk of passing infection to others. The existing infection on their scalp may also be aggravated.
If one notices any itching, rashes or any problem after a hair do, there is possibility of allergic reaction to any one or more of the substances used. That procedure should be avoided in future. Otherwise future exposures can cause fatal allergic reaction. Similarly alteration in the hair texture should also alert one to the possibility that the chemical/chemicals present in the hair care product being used are causing harm.
Just by being careful one can have beautiful and smart hair styles without any trouble.
Dr. Rachna Pande
Specialist internal medicine
- SOURCE: OoReporters
The expressions in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of ooreporters.com.
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