Sioux Falls, SD
Choosing where to get your hair cut may be as simple as which business is closest to your home.
But that's not all that should go into your decision-making process. Salon hygiene should be considered before making any appointment. It can help prevent the spread of infections or disease.
When Stacey Ratkiewicz walks into a salon, she quickly notices whether cleanliness is being taken seriously.
"You walk in and immediately you can tell if it's a clean well taken care of salon. From whether there's hair all over the floor, you can even tell if people dust or even wipe down the mirrors," Ratkiewicz said.
The South Dakota Cosmetology Commission says unless a client is being worked on, the stations should not have any hair or nails, dirty towels or dust left behind. And the same goes for the tools at the station, specifically making sure no hair has been left behind in the tools that were used on a previous client.
But as Ratkiewicz recalls a previous experience that doesn't always happen.
"She had a hairbrush laying on the counter and... there was a ton of hair in it. Which, I guess, if that's at your home and that's your own hair brush it probably doesn't bother you. But you know that it's not all your own hair so that freaked me out a little bit," Ratkiewicz said.
Alexa Keller has been a cosmetologist at Rainn Salon and Spa for five years. She says your salon and your stylist should display up-to-date licenses. They need to be renewed yearly.
Between each client, Keller says many changes happen beginning with a new cape, and a clean towel or neck strip.
"We get a new brush every time. We have to clean our shears with barbicide between each client. We put our combs in barbicide when we're done with each client," Keller said.
Barbicide is a disinfectant used in salons to keep a wide variety of products clean ranging from haircut tools to pedicure tools. On days when Keller has back to back clients, she is stocked with extra tools.
"We have a cabinet full of capes; we grab a new one and towels each time. Throw the old ones in the laundry, and grab clean combs and clean our shears and sweep up," Keller said.
In addition to cosmetologists keeping their stations clean, a cleaning crew visits Rainn each week for a deep clean. And for all South Dakota salons, the state board makes unannounced visits to make sure the entire salon is sanitized.
If you're concerned about the hygiene of your salon, you can access the list of failed salon inspections here
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