Five tips on how to tackle infections from Barber shop
Below are some tips on staying safe while at the barber’s shop according to Zeichner. He is a dermatologist at the Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, United States:
Tell your barber to sanitize their tools
Did you know the blue liquid that some barbers dip combs in? It is called barbicide and it is essential for disinfecting tools. It is a disinfectant solution used by barbers and cosmetologists for sanitizing grooming tools such as combs and hair-cutting shears.
According to Zeichner, the active ingredient in barbicide is called alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, which is an effective element for killing bacteria, fungi and viruses.
He advised that one should encourage the barber to dip all instruments in the solution before being used on one.
He said, “Some salons, spas, and barbershop 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.”
Check your skin before visiting barbershop
Zeichner advised that before going to the barbershop for a haircut, one must always check one’s skin. If you have open cuts or wounds on your skin, cancel your appointment. The issue is you are at risk of developing an infection if the barber uses an infected tool on those particular spots on your skin.
Check your barber’s skin
Apparently, it is not only you who should not have open cuts or wounds when visiting the barbershop. Your barber is also not allowed to work on you if they have open cuts or wounds.
Zeichner said, “If your barber too has any open cuts or wounds on their skin, especially their hands, they could spread infections to you.”
Check the shop’s cleanliness
This may go without saying. But if the barbershop is unkempt, it probably is and there is no crime in you telling a barber why you cannot patronize them.
Zeichner said, “Unclean areas, hair clippings, rusty instruments, visible blood stains and stained towels are all red flags.”
A Lagos-based dermatologist, Ms Bose Ojo, also warned against getting too familiar with a particular barber, especially if they are not paying attention to cleanliness.
She said, “Sometimes, some people do not want to offend a barber who they have been used to, even when they see all the red flags. It should not be so. I think your safety should be of utmost concern.
“If you want to help your barber, tell them they need to pay attention to cleanliness and get newer instruments if the ones they are using is old and rusty.”
Visit barbershop with large spaces
The Infectious Disease Epidemiology Section of the Office of Public Health, Louisiana, US, recommended visiting barbershop where there are large spaces between separating chairs.
The organization said in an article titled, “Infection control at barbershops,” that large spaces could help prevent the spread of infections quickly.
It noted, “Particularly to prevent droplet transmission, it is useful to have workstations well-spaced out. Large droplets travel no further than three feet. Separating chairs would help reduce the transmission from one customer to another.”
Also advising barbers, the organization stated, “When using hairdryers, avoid pointing the flow of hair towards you or another customer to avoid the spread of airborne infections.”