Parlour visits are a wholesome experience. At least that’s how they are meant to be. You go there to spend your lazy hours and pamper yourself. It’s the time when you leave all worries and tensions outside and immerse yourself in the sensations. It’s not the time to fret over a dirty napkin or an unwashed razor. You go there to feel good. That’s how you should feel even when you step out. You shouldn’t feel worried about what you take back home with you other than a relaxed experience.
Parlours are public spaces. A lot of body cleansing happens here, and there is a high chance for dangerous germs and infections to spread.
Acquaint yourself with the essentials of a good beauty parlour. It will enable you to make an informed decision about the right parlour to visit. “Failure to use well-sterilised and clean instruments and towels during procedures such as manicure and pedicure can lead to warts, fungal and bacterial infections. Creams, wax jar and combs should be stored properly and never be shared between individuals,” says Dr Vandana Gupta, dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon from New Delhi.
Dr Madhuri Jesudanam, dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon from Hyderabad says, “Insist on the use of sterilised or disposable items in all parlour procedures. Lack of proper knowledge about hygiene among beauticians and lack of cleanliness can lead to a variety of bacterial, fungal and viral infections depending on the procedures done. While hair-related procedures can cause fungal infection of scalp, folliculitis, the spread of lice, manicure and pedicure can result in bacterial and fungal nail infection.” Visit salons where proper hygienic conditions prevail and resort to procedures after knowing their probable side-effects rather than blindly following the beauticians’ advice as some of them can cause permanent damage like scarring.
Select with care
Dr Monica Mittal, skin specialist from Chandigarh believes, “Whether you choose a parlour based on someone’s recommendation or it’s a well-known brand name, keep your eye on the techniques being used and whether or not the highest levels of cleanliness are being met. Faulty techniques used by semi-trained parlour staff can often lead to skin injuries and conditions such as tinea a [fungal skin infection].”
- Is the parlour well-lit with clean floors and well-maintained sitting areas?
- Do they use sterilisers, disposable bed sheets and napkins?
- Does the staff provide clean gowns, fresh towels and wipes to customers or do they reuse towels?
- Do they use sterilised and clean manicure and pedicure sets, bowls and containers?
- Do all product containers have labels on them and are they stored properly with closed lids?
- Are the combs clean or do they have hair in them?
- Did the beautician inquire about any allergies or perform an allergy test prior to giving you a facial or using a skin care product?
- Is the beautician willing to answer questions about the quality and brands of products being used?
- Do they have a cleaning staff that is paying attention to continuous and simultaneous cleaning up or is hair, tissue etc strewn all over the floors?
- Is the staff using disposable waxing strips or are they still practicing the old and unhygienic technique of using cloth?
- Is the parlour staff picking up things from the floor and using it without sterilising them?
- Is the attendant using parts of the thread wet with her saliva while threading. This can lead to serious infections, so watch out!
- What kind of astringent is used after threading? Does it smell funny or is it of good quality?
- Is the staff well-trained and professional or do all of them seem like novices?
- Are the attendants wearing clean uniforms, disposable gloves and are they well groomed with trimmedclean nails?
It doesn’t matter how often you go to a parlour—once a week, once a month, or once every few months. You still stand the chance of catching infection by visiting a parlour that is not hygienic, uses substandard products and faulty techniques.
Here are some common dangers associated with visiting an unhygienic and ill-equipped parlour:
- Substandard and poor quality products such as astringents, creams, face packs and peels, wax, shampoos and bleaches can lead to rashes, burning sensations, skin allergies and blocking of pores.
- Shared use of combs, scissors, towels, wipes, nail cutters and other equipments can lead to infections.
- Incorrect technique used during waxing to pull out the strip as well as during hair massages can lead to severe rashes and skin infections such as Folliculitis [a condition when hair follicles are damaged by friction from clothing].
- Applying very hot wax on the skin can burn the skin and lead to skin eruptions.
- Facial packs used without checking their strength can cause skin rashes, inflammation, pimples and peeling of sensitive skin.
- Using very strong shampoos can cause hair fall.
- Straightening, perming or hair colouring can lead to allergic reactions.
- Poor quality hair dye with unspecified ingredients can aggravate allergies.
So the next time you find yourself pressed for time and rushing to the nearest parlour you can spot, think about the dangers you may be subjecting yourself to. If you are still confused about selecting the most appropriate parlour for your regular needs, try out a parlour’s most basic service before engaging them for a major beauty treatment, haircut or skin treatment. This should help you to see just how professional they are in terms of maintaining hygiene and delivering quality services.