Health hazards associated with hairdressing/cosmetology profession
Beauty salons are everywhere because women want to look good. In these saloons are young boys and girls struggling to earn a living. Many of them are oblivious of the dangers associated with the trade they ply.
The hazards associated with hairdressing and cosmetology are due to instruments /equipment , dyes, shampoos, hair sprays, hair conditioners and hair colouring chemicals used in the cause of their work.
When you remember that as a hairdresser or cosmetologist you have to dress the hair of several people in one day, about six days a week then you will realize he danger you are exposed to.
Most hair dressers and cosmetologists are women but men are also in the profession.
We shall now address some of the health hazards faced by hair dressers and cosmetologists.
Hairdressers are prone to inhale chemicals from hair sprays and powder particles. The barber can react to these two items by difficult breathing, shortness of breath. The aerosols and powder particles can settle in the tiny ends of the Hairdressers’ breathing tubes in the lungs leading to what is called chronic obstructive lung disease; which could diminish the amount of oxygen that leaves the lungs into the rest of the body.
2. Contact skin rash
Hairdressers can react to scissors, hair dyes, shampoos, hair sprays etc; the reaction shows itself in the form of skin rash; a condition called Contact Dermatitis. This is worse in people with history of allergies prior to becoming Hairdressers. In the case of scissor, the barber may be reacting to the nickel plating on the scissors. Hairdressers may also develop skin rash to rubber gloves, in which they can use PVC gloves.
3. Lung diseases
The lung problems associated with the Hairdressers include asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease as mentioned earlier, shortness of breath, running nostrils and cancer of the lungs and respiratory tract (larynx, trachea, bronchi and bronchioles)
Studies have shown that there is a slight risk increase among Hairdressers for some cancers than the general population; the cancers include lung/respiratory tract cancer, cancer of the blabber (more in males), breast, digestive organs and genitals (uterus, ovaries). However the difference in risk is most pronounced in the case of cancer of the bladder and multiple myeloma (a form of bone cancer).
The increased risk is due to skin absorption of the chemicals used by Hairdressers to dye and dress hair. Use of hand gloves can reduce the risk. The chemicals can also enter the body of the barber when he uses his mouth to hold combs, pins or clips while working.
5. Eye injuries/Blindness
Chemicals used in the beauty salon can reach the eyes through vapour, splashing, or unwashed fingers. Such accidents can cause serious eye injuries and blindness in some cases
6. Reproductive problems
Hairdressers have a slightly higher risk of cancer of the genitals (uterus, ovaries) due to dyes used than the general population. This can affect the reproductive ability.
The women are also are more prone to complications of pregnancy such as miscarriage, small babies, high blood pressure and swollen feet
In the course of their work hairdressers and cosmetologists can sustain some cuts on the skin, such small injuries may heal easily or develop into sores. They should be given appropriate attention.
8. Communicable diseases
In this age of HIV, Lassa fever, Ebola fever, open wounds are most undesirable. Hair dressers with open wounds can contract the diseases just mentioned if the client has any of them but not yet ill.