March 19, 2024 5 min read

In the busy world of beauty therapy, being hygienic isn't just a duty — it's a part of being a responsible professional. As a trusted, experienced beauty therapist, it's important to prioritise salon hygiene to safeguard both your clients and your business. But how can you keep your salon clean and infection-free? What are the rules and how can you implement them?

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explain why salon hygiene is important and the repercussions of not following hygiene guidelines. We’ll also delve into NSW Government’s regulations to ensure your salon not only meets but exceeds the standards. So read on to discover everything you need to know about salon hygiene.

Why is salon hygiene important?

Keeping your salon hygienic is crucial to prevent the spreading of germs like fungi, viruses, parasites and bacteria. Without regular sanitising, your salon can also become home to other serious diseases and infections like hepatitis C and B or Staphylococcal, Streptococcal and Pseudomonas.

In 2017, Kaity Hull visited a salon in Melbourne for eyelash extensions. Due to their unhygienic practices and unsterilised equipment, Hull contracted Staphylococcus aureus, leaving her face covered in rashes and boils. Health inspectors were quick to shut down the salon until they were confident that “infection control procedures (were) in place.”

There's often a gap between the recommended cleaning guidelines and what is actually carried out, with some bacteria surviving even after multiple rounds of strong disinfectants. According to a recent study, wiping down surfaces with 70% alcohol is the most effective way of sterilising your salon, providing up to 80% reduction in contamination. But be cautious of using this on your therapy bed — bed manufacturers advise against using alcohol as a disinfectant. The strong agent can reduce the life of the vinyl by making it more brittle and susceptible to cracking.

Unfortunately, many therapy beds aren’t sanitised regularly or properly. Keep your therapy bed as hygienic as possible by using a single-use protection barrier (or bed cover) — such as our FaceShield and BodyShield — and wiping down the therapy bed in between each client. Using physical barriers like ours gives your clients a clear sign that the bed is sanitary — especially if there are any stains from previous treatments, like chemicals or oils. This will help your clients feel more comfortable and reassured about the cleanliness of your salon.

Even towels, especially warm, absorbent and often damp towels, can allow germs to survive longer — despite regular washing. So understanding the proper protocols and procedures is critical to keep your clients safe from illness. Learn how to properly treat and clean towels in our blog, The Trouble With Treating Towels.


What happens if I don’t follow the hygiene guidelines?

Failure to adhere to the government’s salon hygiene regulations can have serious consequences for your salon. NSW Government can impose several penalties, such as improvement notices, prohibition orders and fines ranging from $110 to $2,200.

Unfortunately, salon owners who are hit with a prohibition order will need to pay a reinspection fee of $255 per hour with a minimum charge of 30 minutes. It also requires the salon to display a copy of the order near the entrance where clients can see it, potentially tarnishing the business' reputation. Understanding and implementing NSW Government’s hygiene guidelines is crucial in order to avoid such pitfalls.


What are NSW Government's guidelines for salon hygiene?

NSW Health has created various guidelines, policies and fact sheets to help you understand and follow their salon hygiene protocols. We’ve distilled everything you need to know into an easy-to-understand guide.

    • Difficult-to-clean equipment should be single-use. Be eco-friendly and opt for single-use products that are 100% recyclable — like our FaceShield and BodyShield.

    • Clean towels or linen, washed in detergent and hot water, must be used for each client.

    • Sterile single-use razors are recommended when shaving clients.

    Personal hygiene for staff
    • Beauticians must wear clean gowns or aprons and single-use gloves during any procedures where the skin is penetrated.

    • Hairdressers and barbers should wear clean gowns or aprons and single-use gloves during procedures.

    • Cuts or wounds should be covered with sealed waterproof bandages.

    • Hands should be washed before and after attending to a client, a procedure or exposure to bodily substances, as well as after any environmental contact, such as touching a table or a computer.

    Inside the salon
    • The salon's interior should be kept clean, with treatment areas cleaned between clients.

    • Documented steps for cleaning and looking after equipment must be displayed within the salon. All staff need to understand and be trained to follow these steps.

    • Waste must be tightly bagged and disposed of daily and properly. Clinical waste (meaning any waste with blood or bodily fluids) must be disposed of in a clinical waste bin and then collected by a licensed waste collector.

    • Any sterile parts of equipment should not be touched with bare hands.

    • Liquids, creams, inks and pigments should be decanted into single-use containers.

    Salon construction
    • The design and construction of the salon must meet Local Government (General) Regulation 2021. This guarantees that the salon is constructed in a way that it can be easily cleaned. Don’t forget to contact your local council to ensure the salon adheres to all local guidelines.  

    • Surfaces should be easily cleanable, with non-slip flooring and adequate lighting.

    • Storage facilities should provide hygienic equipment storage and a separate sink for cleaning.

    • All salons must have a hand wash basin with warm running water, liquid soap and a single-use towel or an automatic hand dryer.

    As a beauty therapist or salon owner, following NSW Government's salon hygiene guidelines is non-negotiable. Not only does it protect your clients and your business from infections, but it also creates trust and credibility with your customers. With Purifas you can offer your clients a safe, clean environment without sacrificing comfort. Prioritise hygiene, elevate your salon's reputation and provide customers with an experience they'll cherish. Browse our range of hygiene solutions and elevate your salon today.

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