A Beautician's hands can make or break their day

With a job that involves so much hand contact and potential overexposure to chemicals that can (and do) harm your skin, it’s really important to protect they take steps to protect their hands properly.

Beauticians are licensed professionals who work to improve a client's personal appearance through external methods, including hair, nail and skin care. Some work in specialty areas such as personal styling and makeup application.

And employment for hairstylists, hairdressers and cosmetologists is expected to increase at a rate that is faster than average for all professions over the next few years.

Beauticians may cut, colour and style hair to enhance a client's appearance. Some beauticians, such as aestheticians, provide skin care, nail care and hair removal treatments. Beauticians may specialize in certain areas, such as makeup application, nail art, colour analysis or personal styling services.

Individuals who work in hair salons may spend a long day on their feet, with continuous exposure to cosmetic chemicals such as hair colour, permanent solution etc.

Workers in the Hair and Beauty industry can be exposed to a wide range of products containing Hazardous Chemicals, including:

  • bleaches/powder lighteners
  • brow and lash tints
  • chemical peels
  • disinfectants and cleaning products
  • hair colouring products
  • hair styling products
  • nail products/acrylic and gel powders
  • skin care products
  • permanent wave solutions
  • peroxides
  • shampoos
  • smoothing systems
  • straightening systems
  • wax solvents

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


Health Effects From Exposure To Hazardous Chemicals

Health Condition



(inflammation of the skin)

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


(a respiratory disease, which narrows the air passages and results in breathing difficulties)

Chemicals used in the Hair and Beauty industry may aggravate pre-existing asthma or cause occupational asthma.


Workers in the Hair and Beauty industry may be exposed to chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer. There is limited and inconsistent data to support this. So the precautionary approach is to limit exposure.


Hazardous chemicals 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 chemical causing health effects depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Toxicity of the substance
  • Amount of chemical that workers are exposed to
  • Length of exposure
  • Frequency of exposure
  • Route of entry into the body, e.g. skin absorption, inhalation or ingestion.


Hairdressing Specific Control Measures

Many products used in hairdressing salons are classed as Hazardous Chemicals.  However some products, such as shampoos, are not classified as ‘hazardous’ but may still cause adverse health effects such as dermatitis.

The following is a summarised list of specific control measures:

NatraPower Hand Shield is a beautician’s friend, and many have commented on the wonderful improvement Hand Shield has made the difference in their careers by eliminating ongoing, chronic hand and skin issues.

Lasting for 4-6 hours, Hand Shield can be reapplied as necessary to extend its effective usefulness over the whole day.

And clean-up is a breeze because the stains and dyes that are normally soaked into the skin and under the nails, comes off with ordinary soap and water! Brilliant!