What PPE is needed in beauty salons or hairdressers?

Barber performing a haircut on a client in PPE by Logan Weaver

Close contact services throughout the UK such as hairdressers, beauty and nail salons, tanning studios. This can also be applied to those who provide mobile close contact services either from their homes or by going to other homes. Close contact services are when you have to be within the 2-metre boundary with appropriate PPE in order to carry out your service. In order to do that there are further mitigating actions which can be undertaken such as frequency of handwashing, keeping service time as short as possible, screens to separate clients from each other, working from the back or side of the client, and using a consistent pairing system where pairs of workers always get the same hours.

Since the 28th of September, businesses are facing stricter legal measures to ensure their business is COVID-19 secure including:

  • Employers must not knowingly require someone who is self-isolating to come to work
  • Businesses must ensure people are wearing face coverings when required
  • Employers must not prevent their staff from wearing face coverings when they are required.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) protects the staff and the clients against the risk of COVID19. As it is unlikely to maintain social distancing whilst in the above-mentioned workplaces, it is important to wear items of PPE. Staff work in close proximity to their clients for an extended period of time, referring to the majority of the working day irrespective of the number of clients seen during this day.

Firstly a Type II face mask must be worn, these are not PPE but will reduce transmission to others when used correctly. This is as they stop the spread of saliva and respiratory secretions exhaled by the people wearing it, helping to stop the spread of the virus. This does not protect the person wearing it but protects those around them.

Clear Visors are needed which cover the face completely, coverings the forehead and extending below the chin, and wrapping around both sides. It provides a barrier between the staff member and the client from respiratory droplets which can be caused by coughing, sneezing or speaking. There are disposable / one-time use or reusable visors available, a reusable visor must be cleaned and disinfected between each client. An alternative to visors would be goggles, which can be worn accompanying a Type II face mask. They must be close fitting with no obvious openings or vents that would allow any droplets to enter the eyes.

Face Coverings for Clients: It is equally important that clients wear face coverings whilst on your premises. It can be as simple as a homemade mask or bandana but must cover the mouth and nose.

Be mindful that the wearing of a face covering may inhibit communication with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound.

Zoe Brightmore
About the author

Zoe Brightmore

Zoe is a volunteer of PPE4People. A recent BSc neuroscience graduate with experience in scientific writing and two new kittens.