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Safe Hair Salons

Working with hair salon owners and workers to prevent or reduce exposure to these chemicals while at work.

Hair stylists face increased risks to their health because they are exposed to salon products much more than most people. This exposure makes stylists more likely to:

  • Report skin rashes
  • Experience decreased lung function
  • Develop asthma 
  • Develop depression 
  • Have miscarriages, babies with low birth weight, or babies with birth defects
  • Develop certain cancers such as breast, lung, larynx bladder and multiple myeloma 
  • Die of neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease

Hair Salons Safety Tips

Here are some things you can take to stay safe:

  1. Avoid products containing formaldehyde. Check product labels for formaldehyde or formalin, oxomethane, oxymethylene, methylene glycol and other names.
  2. Limit use of products like relaxers, perms, and texturizers. Use non-chemical styling methods like heat, or increase the amount of time between chemical treatments. 
  3. Use chemical styling products according to product directions. Wear protective clothing such as gloves, aprons and eye protection. Use products in a well ventilated space. 
  4. Recognize that products labeled “organic” or “natural” can still contain ingredients that pose a health risk.
  5. Read the product’s material safety data sheet or safety data sheet. These are public documents that all companies are required to provide
  6. Use reputable sources to learn about product chemicals. 
  7. Ask product manufacturers to remove harmful chemicals.
  8. Advocate with the FDA to improve regulatory review of cosmetics and beauty products.
  9. Visit a Green & Clean salon. These are salons that exceed the health and safety standard. 
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