Below are five (5) things to do before allowing your barber to trim or shave your hair:
1. Make sure the tools are regularly sanitized.
You know that blue liquid that combs float in? That's called barbicide, and it's essential for disinfecting tools. It is the active ingredient of Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride is effective at killing bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Most importantly, make sure they are taking the instruments out of there to be used on you.
Some salons, spas, and barbershops may also have autoclaves, or machines that sterilize instruments using high pressure steam. Don't be shy about asking if the straight blades are autoclaved, or if they use an individual new blade each time — especially if you're getting a shave.
2. Check your skin before you go.
To minimize your risk of developing any infection, make sure to cancel your appointment if you have any open or raw skin, which can increase your risk of developing an infection. This can be anything from a scrape of your forehead to a cold sore.
3. Check your barber's skin too.
Make sure that your barber does not have any open cuts or wounds on the hands, which could spread infection.
4. Take notice of how well the shop is kept.
This may go without saying, but if the place looks dirty, it probably is unclean areas, hair clippings, rusty instruments, visible blood stains and stained towels are all red flags.
5. Check for licenses and with governmental agencies.
If you're really concerned, do a quick Google search in your area for how to get health information about your specific barber. Most barbers are required to have a license or permit to operate, and any investigative complaints or violations cited during inspections are most likely filed through these agencies. Depending on your state, licenses may or may not be visible at the shop.
Following the instructions above before letting a barber shave or trim your hair will help improve your health and wellbeing.
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