With all of the buzz surround the health risks of working and being inside a nail salon, it has left many to wonder about the similar issues of the hair salon. Back pain and arthritis aren’t the only things your hairdresser will be complaining about, after years and years of working in an environment full of harsh chemicals, many hair stylists fall victim to serious health issues such as Alzheimers, and though not as serious- eczema. The number one tool used in a hair salon isn’t the blow dryer or curling iron, its the hands. The skin on the hands is very delicate, and the amount of exposure to water, heat, and chemicals over time really damages the skin. According to a focus group done in 2014 by the Black Women for Wellness campaign, hairdressers are more likely to develop dermatitis and eczema on their hands than those within any other occupation. One of the participants of the study even discussed how her friend is “20 years in the industry and doesn’t even have fingerprints anymore, she can’t go to the DMV and get printed.” Talk about a lot of shampooing!
In addition to the negative effects being a hairstylist can have on the skin, just think about all of the toxins they are inhaling daily from the keratin straightening treatments, relaxers/perms, bleach, etc. There are so many long term dibilitating issues that come from them being in contact with these chemicals regularly. Asthma, bronchitis, lung disease, bladder infections, miscarriages, birth defects, cancer, and more recently discovered Alzheimer’s.
Just think about it. Chemicals like Ammonia, formaldehyde, and bleach are things we stay away from in our kitchens to clean the counters, but we pay our hairstylists to use them in our hair. Maybe we shouldn’t just be concerned about the stylists, but ourselves as the client as well…just saying.
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