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clientsafety1The Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia makes sure Cosmetology establishments and Cosmetologists follow proper steps to reduce the risk of infection to clients during services. The Association educates best practice requirements, responds to client complaints and governs licence compliance.

Client Tip: All Cosmetology establishments and Cosmetologists must be licensed to legally practice Cosmetology in Nova Scotia. Licences must be renewed annually and on display at all times. You may request to see a Cosmetologist's current licence at any time prior and / or during the service(s).

Cosmetology Infection Control
Cosmetologists serve many clients everyday and some clients carry infections that they bring into the Cosmetology environment. Germs that cause infections can be spread when an infected client's skin, blood or body fluid comes into contact with a Cosmetologist's hands, tools, implements or work surfaces used during a service.

If a Cosmetologist's hands are not properly washed, and if implements, tools of the trade and work surfaces are not properly cleaned and disinfected between each client, the Cosmetologist can spread germs to another client by having direct contact with the infected client’s skin and/or touching the infected client’s open cut / wound.

Although Cosmetologists work hard to make sure clients enjoy a safe service, the following infections can be transmitted when proper cleaning and disinfecting methods are not taken:
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV
  • Skin and nail fungus
  • Parasites
Your skin is the first line of defense against infection. To decrease risk, you should avoid getting Cosmetology services when the skin is broken (cuts, tears, open wounds), irritated (rashes, dry / chapped / cracked) or infected.

Cleaning and Disinfectingclientsafety2
Cosmetologists use many different tools and implements, some of these are single use, which means they cannot be disinfected and must be used on one client only and thrown away. Other tools and implements are reusable but must be cleaned and disinfected between each client.

For tools, implements and work surfaces to be properly cleaned and disinfected, they must first be cleaned with water and detergent to remove dirt and debris. Next, they must be treated with a chemical solution called a disinfectant to kill germs that cause infection. Different tools, implements and work surfaces need to be treated with different levels of disinfectant. For example, tools, implements and work surfaces that come in contact with blood or body fluids must be treated with a high level of disinfectant or be sterilized.

Client Tip: Look around and don’t be afraid to ask questions before, during or after a Cosmetology service. If you are uncomfortable with what you see or hear, don't be afraid to refuse the service.

SAFETY CHECKLIST
Make sure the following safety practices are being performed during your Cosmetology service(s).

Client Tip: For single use items, (example: nail file, razor blade, et cetera) don't be afraid to ask for new ones before your service or to ask if and how these items are cleaned and disinfected.
  • Hairdressing Services
    • Capes and gowns are clean
    • New neck strips or clean towels are used on each client
    • The following items are single use items for use on one client only:
      • Foil strips
      • Straight razor blades (must be thrown away immediately after use)
    • The following items are cleaned and disinfected between each client:
      • Combs and brushes
      • Electric razors and clippers
      • Crochet hooks
    Waxing Services
    • The Cosmetologist washes their hands before and after the service
    • The Cosmetologist uses gloves during the service
    • Applicators are never dipped back into the original pot of wax once they have touched the client's skin - "no double dipping"
    • Never dip your feet into parafin wax pot - parafin wax must be applied with a spatula
    • The following are single use items for use on one client only:
      • Cotton pads to apply cream or lotion
      • Roll on wax
      • Cloth wax strips
    • The following items are cleaned and disinfected between each client:
      • Tweezers
    Client Tip: Contact with blood and body fluid is common during waxing services. This is why it is so important that the service provider wears gloves. The temperature of heated wax is not hot enough to kill bacteria from the skin - this is why the same applicator that touches the client's skin should never be dipped back into the original pot of wax.
    Manicure, Pedicure and Artificial Nail Services
    • The Cosmetologist and the client washes their hands before and after the service
    • The client's nails are checked for signs of nail mold/fungus (if found, the service is refused)
    • The following are single use items for use on one client only:
      • Emery boards
      • Wooden cuticle pushers
      • Nail buffers
      • Foam toe separators
      • Paper slippers
      • Sanding bands for dremel
      • Pedicure razor blades
    • The following items are cleaned and disinfected between each client:
      • Nail clippers
      • Nippers
      • Metal nail and drill bits
      • Foot paddles
      • Acrylic/gel nail brushes
      • Glass and diamond files
      • Finger bowls
      • Foot baths/basins
    Facial Services
    • The Cosmetologist washes their hands before and after the service
    • The Cosmetologist uses gloves during the service when there is a chance that the skin might be broken (for example during pimple or blackhead extraction)
    • The following are single use items for use on one client only:
      • Wooden applicators
      • Face pads
      • Water in the facial steamer
      • Sponges
      • Needles and lancets for extractions
    • The following items are cleaned and disinfected between each client:
      • Bowls
      • Brushes
      • Tweezers
      • Spatulas
      • Extraction tools
    Client Tip: Needles and lancets used for extractions must be in sterile packaging and may be opened in front of the client. They must be thrown away immediately after use. Contact with blood and body fluid is common during facial services. This is why it is so important that your spa worker wears gloves when necessary.

    Contact the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia’s Inspections Officer or Exectuive Director should you require further information.

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