Patron observed sterile treatment for hairstyling, haircutting and shaving
|POST for beauty salons, haircutting, and shaving
|1. Avoid skin-piercing procedures
||(a) Avoid shaving in public places if you are not able to ensure the razor is new.(b) When you get a haircut, don’t let the barber shave your neck unless he or she uses a new razor.
(c) If your barber plans to use an electric clippers to cut your hair to your scalp (for a bald look), and if you are not sure the clippers have been sterilized, ask the barber to shave your head with a new razor instead.
|2. Use new disposable instruments
||(a) For any procedure that uses a razor, ask your barber to use a new razor or half razor for you. You can buy and bring this, or the barber may have a supply of new razors. (Some shaving instruments accept a razor, while others accept a half razor.)(b) Use disposable paper napkins to clean and wipe cuts and sores.
|3. You sterilize the instruments
||(a) Bring your own comb. Combs that are reused at a barber shop or beauty salon could carry blood or pus from previous clients’ scalp sores.(b) Bring your own electric clippers.
(c) Bring your own handkerchief or other cloth to wipe cuts.
|4. Ask providers how they sterilize instruments
||(a) All instruments reused at a barber shop or beauty salon – combs, scissors, hand-clippers, electric clippers – should be boiled (or autoclaved).(b) If your barber uses an electric clipper to cut your hair at least 0.5 cm from your scalp, and you are sure there is no chance he or she will nick your scalp, you might be OK. Think about it before you decide. Electric clippers that are not boiled or autoclaved are a risk. Their blades cannot be reliably sterilized by wiping or soaking in bleach or alcohol because they have many small gaps that collect hair and dirt. Blood, pus, and HIV can get into such gaps, where HIV is hard to reach and kill.
Additional information about hair styling, hair cutting, and shaving
Scalp shaving: Some men like the bald look. Scalp shaving is common for children – it helps to keep them clean and prevents lice infections. Barbers often use electric clippers to shave heads. Even if clippers are designed to be boiled or autoclaved, many barbers do not have enough clippers to boil them after each use. Hence, many barbers reuse clippers that are not sterile.
Hair straightening: Chemicals to straighten hair are harsh and may cause scalp sores. When you go for hair styling at a salon, consider the risk that one or more clients before you had scalp sores. If so, combs and scissors reused without boiling (wiping or soaking are not enough) may carry HIV that can get into sores on your head.
Risk to get HIV from shaving, haircutting, and hair styling
If a barber or hair stylist reuses razors, clippers, or combs from an HIV-positive client without any effort to clean, and if both the previous client and you have cuts or sores, your risk to get HIV may be estimated at less than 1% (see Table on Estimated risks in Blood-borne Risks section). Although these risks are small, they are common. Even a small risk can be important over time. You can avoid these risks.
If your barber uses a new razor and sterilizes combs and clippers, or if you bring your own, you can be sure that you will not get HIV from hair-cutting or styling.