Raise the Barber Stylist Bar

Easily Learn Your Barbershop Sanitation Rules

Aspiring to be a barber stylist?

Or simply want to make sure you’re on track in your career?

Give your clients the best shave and hairstyle while upholding cleanly standards like a well oiled machine! We recommend you review and be confident in the basic hygienic practices required by the government so you can do what you do best, cut and style like a pro. 

When you think about barber stylist safety, you might think about all the sharp edges you have to work with and hope you never accidentally go Sweeney Todd on a customer. Well, although the musical was thrilling and made for a great movie, the real threat to customers is not sharp edges but the bacteria, fungi, yeasts and viruses i.e. microorganisms that can transfer off of them. Chilling stuff. 

Is it daunting to think about state laws and inspections? Well, memorize the following info and double check your state’s regulations (if you’re in school, consult your teacher). Get ahead of the fear, get your station in order, and know exactly what’s going on from client to client on your busiest of days.

The Basics of Clean Safe Tools

Unfortunately, skin and hair are perfect places for microorganisms to grow. Why are we disgusted when we find a hair in our food? Because, the oily conditions of hair is a party for germs. Gross right? You can’t see them, but a person can get sick nonetheless, hurting your own business or the business you work with. Don’t make the wrong headlines.

Start with and memorize the following words and what they mean:

Sanitation, Disinfection, Sterilization

Sanitation, simply put, removes oil and dirt from brushes and other reusable objects like clips and combs. It is achieved by a chemical used in barbershops to kill germs and harmful contaminants. 

Disinfection is similar to sanitation, however, an antimicrobial agent is used, which kills germs and contaminants but not all living organisms. The word disinfection is most commonly used in your barber stylist career. Barber shops are required to have the right product OR an approved heat option to disinfect most of your reusable tools between clients. The goal is to remove as much fungi, bacteria, viruses and yeasts as possible. 

Sterilization is the cleanest you can get. It’s the process that removes and destroys all living organisms from an object. Heat and/or chemicals are used and this process is usually used on metal objects. Sterilized tools are then kept safe from open air and recontamination by storing them in a clean drawer or closed cabinet.

Common Barber Stylist Practices

It’s good to look at how established barber stylists are maintaining their daily, cleanly service to their cherished customers. Ask them, for example, what tools can you expect to be cleaning on the daily? Well, generally you can expect to disinfect and sanitize throughout your day, between every client. 

Basic toolkit that is disinfected and sanitized between customers:

  • Razors
  • Shears
  • Brushes and Combs
  • Clippers

Here’s one good way of disinfecting your clippers. (You can also use the approved products where you work instead of the ones recommended.)

A good tip:

Consider what one-time use products you would like to use.

Such products as disposable neck strips are not only convenient to change between customers, reasonably priced, but it also LOOKS great from the customer’s point of view. Imagine a customer seeing you wipe things down with disposable wipes or towels and then tying a fresh new neck strip on them. They feel appreciated that you took the time. Easy to do and easy to please. 

Use single-use razors whenever you can. A barbershop unwrapping a brand-new razor for every client shows spectacular service.

Ask your peers what tips and tricks they have to reduce time and stress while giving an enjoyable experience to their clients. Maybe there are some new online products that are convenient, affordable, look fancy and get the job done fast.

Be Aware of Government Rules

Don’t let rules scare you. Ultimately, keep in mind your station rules and your tool rules. As you know, there are certain standards to meet for both. Here are the highlights.

If you are running a shop, you will need to do a bit more research, find out your sanctioned guidelines and make sure every barber stylist on the floor knows how to handle your shop’s chemicals and heat equipment. All chemical solutions should be approved by the Environmental Protection Agency – EPA.

Learn more about the EPA here.

If you are a barber stylist, know where you work and become familiar with the disinfecting and sterilizing stations available to you. They should be well stocked and ready to go all day. First, read the handling directions behind every chemical container. Each of them are specific. Then, when cleaning a tool, follow the following:

  • Remove any debris you see on the object.
  • Use soap and water to thoroughly wash the object.
  • Dry the object with a new paper towel or clean towel 
  • Bathe the object in an approved disinfectant or sterilization solution 
  • Use gloves to remove the object or use tongs
  • Immediately store the object in a clean, dry area. If it is sterilized, store in a closed drawer or cabinet.

Heat sterilization will have very different and specific rules depending on what your shop has decided to use. However, keep in mind you can only apply the required high heat to full metal tools. Anything with plastic, for example, will melt and warp.

Click here for general, easy-to-read government rules on sanitation.
And click here for codes and regulations specific to Florida for your reference and further study.

For more information on professional regulations for the State of Florida, refer to www.myfloridalicense.com.

Work Smart. Work Clean.

Cleanliness won’t be daunting once you learn everything above and practice for a while. So take some time now and reduce stress for your future. A clean environment will give you peace of mind. Then, you can just focus on your client, your art, and enjoy being a barber stylist. 

Brush up your knowledge. Sanitize. Disinfect. Sterilize. 

Love what you do and flourish!

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