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This week is Allergy Awareness Week, which got us thinking about the risks of allergic reactions in beauty salons – and what salon owners can do to prevent them.

In fact, we thought about it so much, we decided to pen this post on how to make salons safe for those with allergies.

Who is most at risk of an allergic reaction in salons?

According to a study by the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD), there is an epidemic of people becoming allergic to one type of (meth)acrylate – a key ingredient of most gel, gel-polish and acrylics used in nail salons.

Of the people who do have an allergy, the study indicated 60% develop it due to nail enhancements or eyelash treatments using glue. 33% of those cases in the study were classed as ‘occupational,’ meaning they happened in the workplace. A large number of those were nail techs.

In other words, both nail techs and their customers need to be mindful about the risks of contact allergies.

What causes these allergies?

young lady getting her nails done in a salon

The risk of an allergic reaction largely comes from uncured products (ones not yet hardened by UV light) coming into contact with the skin.

This is more likely to happen with home gel kits as salons tend to use higher-quality kits and apply them with more care. That being said, it’s certainly something that can happen in salons if your staff aren’t following best practices for health and safety in your beauty salon.

What are the symptoms?

The most obvious sign of an allergic reaction to nail gels or acrylics is reddening or swelling of the skin. The nail may also loosen, and a rash could form anywhere on the body – not just the point of contact. A severe allergy could even cause shortness of breath.

How to make salons safe for those with allergies

These are our tips for safeguarding those with allergies in your salon:

Wear gloves

Avoiding skin contact with chemicals is a must. Wearing nitrile gloves of at least 8mil or 0.19mm thickness is therefore a must when it comes to health and safety in your beauty salon. Or, if the gloves in your salon are too thin, have your nail techs wear two pairs at once.

Use a suitable UV lamp

Curing gels and acrylics correctly is a huge part of helping to avoid allergic skin reactions to your products. Using the right UV lamp is therefore one of our best tips for safeguarding those with allergies in your salon.

Remove inhibition layers with care

Polishing nails in a salon

Removing the gooey residue from gel nails after curing (also known as the inhibition layer) can be tricky to do, even for seasoned nail techs. Getting it right is a big part of how you make salons safe for those with allergies.

Going in size order starting smallest finger first, have your staff wipe from cuticle to free edge so they don’t drag liquid or gel onto the client’s skin. Once they’ve done one hand, they can move on to the other one using an entirely new pad.

Use an approved extraction solution

When it comes to health and safety in your beauty salon acrylics and gels aren’t the only potential hazards. Many treatments give off potentially harmful dust and fumes, which you’ll need to keep away from the breathing zones of your staff and customers. Choosing the right at-source extraction solution is essential to keeping everyone safe in a salon environment.

Making salons safer

The products in our beauty extraction range, including the VODEX SalonAIR® 1001 and VODEX SalonAIR® 1002, are specially designed to protect everyone in your salon from inhaling potentially harmful particles.

If you’re looking to improve health and safety in your beauty salon, there’s no better place to start.

Not sure which SalonAIR® is right for your salon – or which capture accessories would suit your space better? Get in touch and we’ll talk you through your options.

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