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Disposable protection for the hairdressing and beauty industry


Workers in the hairdressing, nail and beauty industry may be exposed to a wide range of products containing hazardous substances, including:

  • hair dyes
  • bleaches
  • permanent wave solutions
  • shampoos
  • hair styling agents
  • nail and skin care products
  • straighteners
  • brow and lash tints
  • chemical peels
  • peroxides
  • wax solvents
  • disinfectants and cleaning products

Exposure to some of these chemicals can increase the risk of various health problems. Some of these are explained in the table below.

Some health effects from exposure to hazardous substances


Dermatitis is a general term meaning inflammation of the skin. There are two types of dermatitis:

  1. Irritant contact dermatitis results from contact with irritant substances, such as water and detergents in shampoo.
  2. Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when a person develops an allergic response to a chemical.

Asthma is a respiratory disease, which narrows the air passages and results in breathing difficulties. Chemicals used in the hairdressing, nail and beauty industry may aggravate pre-existing asthma or cause occupational asthma.


Workers in the hairdressing, nail and beauty industry may be exposed to chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer. There is limited and inconsistent data to support this.

Hazardous substances can enter the body through the skin, by inhalation or by swallowing. Acute health effects, such as eye and throat irritation, may occur almost immediately. Chronic health effects, such as allergic contact dermatitis, take some time to develop.

The likelihood of a hazardous substance causing health effects depends on a number of factors, including:

  • the toxicity of the substance
  • the amount of substance that workers are exposed to
  • the length of exposure
  • the frequency of exposure
  • the route of entry into the body, e.g. skin absorption, inhalation or ingestion

You can determine whether a product is a hazardous substance by reading its label and material safety data sheet (MSDS). If you are unsure contact your supplier.

Control measures

  • Replace a substance with an alternative product that contains a less hazardous substance. Health information found in an MSDS may assist in the selection of a less hazardous substance.
  • Replace pressurised aerosol containers, with pump sprays, e.g. pressurised wrap catalyst, hairsprays.
  • Make sure there is good ventilation so that exposure to airborne contaminants can be prevented or minimised, e.g. local exhaust ventilation.
  • Protect against eye splash by installing splash shields in areas where chemicals are mixed.
Administrative controls
  • Make sure MSDSs are available for all chemicals used in the salon.
  • Make sure workers are provided with suitable information, training and supervision on the safe use of chemicals and personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Store chemicals away from energy sources, such as fuse boxes, naked flames, heat and intense light sources.
  • Store flammable chemicals in a cool place in a securely locked fireproof cabinet.
  • Make sure chemicals are out of reach for children.
  • Make sure procedures are in place for the clean up of spills using a suitable absorbent material. Refer to the MSDS.
  • Clean up chemical spills promptly.
  • Make sure that spilled chemicals and equipment used for chemical clean up are disposed of appropriately. Contact the Environmental Protection Agency for further advice.
  • Purchase chemicals in ready-to-use packages rather than transferring from large containers.
  • Do not eat, drink or smoke in areas that contain chemicals.
  • Wash hands with a pH neutral soap or barrier cream before eating, drinking or smoking.
Personal protective equipment
  • Provide gloves, glasses, aprons and respiratory protection as required by your hazardous substances risk assessment. Guidance can be found in the MSDS.
  • Provide workers with training on the fit, maintenance and use of personal protective equipment.
  • Make sure workers apply barrier creams on exposed skin areas if bothered by skin irritation.
  • Make sure workers cover broken skin with a waterproof dressing.
  • Make sure workers wear eye protection and covered shoes to protect against chemical splashes.
  • Other control measures apply specifically to each industry.

"Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, Last Updated 24 September 2010"

Pro-Val stock a wide variety of latex, vinyl and nitrile gloves that will protect your hands from hazardous substances that you can come into contact with when working in the hairdressing and beauty industries. Pro-Val also have general purpose disposable face masks that are ideal for use in beauty salons and by nail technicians.

The Pro-Val latex glove range include the Securitex HR glove. This glove is a high risk examination glove that is three times thicker than standard latex gloves, with extra long cuffs and a textured surface providing good grip.

Our standard Securitex latex gloves are available in both powdered and powder free variants. The gloves are comfortable and flexible, providing protection and dexterity for the user. The gloves are ambidextrous design and have a beaded cuff for extra strength while donning.

For those people that suffer from a latex allergy our Stretch PF vinyl gloves are an ideal alternative to latex gloves. The Stretch PF is a new generation, ultra soft resin vinyl examination glove, it looks and fits likes latex.

Another alternative to latex gloves is the Pro-Val NiteSafe, a 100% nitrile glove that is powder free and latex free. The Nite Safe is a strong glove that is extra stretchy and has a textured surface for good grip. It also has a beaded cuff for extra strength when donning.

All of the Pro-Val gloves mentioned are packaged in handy tissue box style for easy dispensing of gloves. Use the Pro-Val glove dispensers for an efficient way of dispensing gloves quickly and cleanly, keeping hygiene at a premium.


The Pro-Val disposable face masks are available with ties or ear loops. The face masks are fibreglass and latex free, with excellent breathability and an adjustable nose bar for secure fit. These face masks are suitable for use by nail technicians or in beauty salons.