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Hairdressing

Dermatitis in Hairdressers

An awareness raising HWMG newsletter on dermatitis in hairdressing is available to download by following this link: Issue 17: 'Lets Cut Out Dermatitis'

At some stage in their career about a third of hairdressers in Britain will experience dermatitis in some form or other. Dermatitis occurs most frequently amongst trainee hairdressers because they undertake most of the 'wet work' (an explanation of this term follows). For some hairdressers the severity of their dermatitis forces them to leave their employment and may have a severe impact on their personal life. A personal story of how dermatitis affected the life of one hairdresser can be viewed (or downloaded).

The first sign of skin damage often appears when young trainees spend most of their time washing client's hair without wearing gloves. They may wash the hair of 35-40 clients per day and spend several hours with their hands immersed in water. Wet work especially immersion in warm soapy water for long periods, removes the natural oils leading to drying and cracking of the skin. This represents a risk for the further development of dermatitis,

Additional risks to health in hairdressing include repetitive strain injury (RSI) and musculo-skeletal disorders (MSDs) and the risk of breathing in chemicals in spray hair products which can be a risk for respiratory sensitisation (e.g., asthma).

Relevant hazards

Risks to health

Reducing risks to health

Selecting appropriate gloves

Preventing dermatitis

What if you think you have dermatitis?

For further information please contact: healthyworkmatters@hsl.gsi.gov.uk or tel: 01298 218416.

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