Information key to avoiding risks

While beauty salons need to comply with rules, consumer awareness is no less crucial to avert any disaster

About 100 cases of health and safety breaches have been found in barber shops and beauty salons in the Fujairah coastal town of Dibba. Sammy Dallal / The National
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Beauty salons and barber shops are practising some very worrying procedures that could pose serious risks to their customers' health. About 100 cases of health and safety breaches have been found in barber shops and beauty salons in the Fujairah coastal town of Dibba alone.

Breaches include the misuse of grooming tools and the validity of licences. Hairdressers in the area admitted that sometimes, during busy periods, they did not have the time to sanitise their tools in the required manner. This may not seem to be such a big deal, but cleanliness is paramount in this trade. This explains why some hygiene-conscious people insist on taking their own tools when they visit the barber.

It is concerning that, despite repeated warnings and regular inspections, so many of these businesses continue to flout the rules. There are many health risks associated with the beauty industry, and especially so with some pseudo-medical procedures that beauticians now carry out. This newspaper has reported about the use of henna that contains dangerous chemicals, face creams that cause eye irritations, Botox treatments that have gone wrong, and the reuse of razors, risking the spread of infections from one client to another.

As a general rule, salons are liable for patrons’ injuries when those injuries occur due to negligence. But not all injuries are caused by negligence. For example, if you are allergic to certain otherwise-safe chemicals and you fail to inform the practitioner, then they cannot be held responsible.

There are laws to safeguard consumer rights and interests. While those laws must be enforced, greater awareness on the part of consumers can prevent many misfortunes. It’s important to know about the substances that are used in salons and whether hairdressers and beauticians are qualified and properly registered. This knowledge will help protect all customers and make the entire beauty industry healthier.