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Operator Services

If you are a customer go to hairdressing & barbering for customers

Hairdressing & Barbering

printable fact sheet for operators

What is the health risk? 

Instruments and equipment used for hairdressing and barbering may become contaminated with blood that carries blood-borne diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C or other infectious agents such as bacteria or fungi.

You do not have to see blood or body fluids on instruments for an infection to occur.
Clean and disinfect or sterilize instruments between clients.
Both the worker and the client can develop or spread an infection during service.

  • Thoroughly wash hands before and after each client using liquid soap and warm water and use disposable paper towel.
  • Discard disposable blades immediately after use into a labeled sharps container. Never overfill, empty or touch the contents of a sharps container.
  • Do not discard sharps into the municipal garbage. Sharps containers must be picked up by a licensed biomedical waste hauler.
  • Get vaccinated.  Hepatitis B vaccination is strongly recommended.
  • Clean and disinfect head rests, worktables and chairs daily (at a minimum) using a low level disinfectant, such as 1 tsp of bleach with 10 cups of water and given 10 minutes of contact time.
  • Used towels, sheets and linen must be laundered after each client and stored in a clean drawer or container with a lid to prevent contamination.
  • Clean and disinfect all combs in a low level disinfectant (i.e., Barbicide ®). Do not store combs in disinfectant.
  • Remove excess hair from scissors and clean with soap and water. If scissors nick the skin they must be cleaned then disinfected with an intermediate to high level disinfectant.
  • All razor blades must be single use and disposed of between each client.  If the razor handle is not disposable, it must be cleaned and disinfected with an intermediate level disinfectant at a minimum, such as 70% alcohol and given 10 minutes of contact time, between each client.
  • Clippers must be thoroughly cleaned (ensure all visible hair, oils and chemical products are removed from the clippers) then disinfected with an intermediate level disinfectant.  An acceptable disinfectant for hair clippers should clearly state on the label that it is effective in destroying Mycobacteria or Tuberculosis. 
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions regarding the proper use of chemicals and the contact time required for the disinfectant to be effective (most disinfectants require a minimum 10 minute contact time).
  • Ensure towels are fresh for each customer and laundered appropriately.
  • Keep accidental blood exposure records for five years and on-site for one year.

Adapted from and used by permission of the Durham Region Health Department and Toronto Public Health



Operator Services

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Revised: Friday May 06 2011

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