The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and Institute of Licensing have called for new rules to be drawn up to match the offerings in modern salons after investigations found that the current legislation is not fit for purpose.
“With an abundance of new treatments emerging on the market, local authorities desperately need new powers to check these are being carried out safely by trained and competent practitioners,” said Debbie Wood, an executive director at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH).
Long are the days of beauty salons offering just simple manis, pedis and waxing. In fact, for many beauty salons across the country, offering a range of high-tech, professional services, from HydraFacials and microblading to fillers and eyelash extensions, is a key part of their modern businesses.
Now, health inspectors are wanting beauty salons to face stricter regulations after finding that many of them have “little understanding of infection control.”
In some salons staff, the inspectors found that there was little or no safety training with some even reusing needles and offering procedures to under-18, such as tattooing.
The current licensing laws are reportedly so vague that the officials struggle to properly enforce strict guidelines for health and safety procedures or to punish those acting unsafely.
The reports by the CIEH and Institute of Licencing (IoL) found that in some salons staff offered ‘semi-invasive’ and risky procedures without proper training which put clients at serious risk.
The CIEH and IoL recently inspected salons who believed it was safe to reuse needles or other sharp tools as long as they cleaned them between uses. Sharing needles of any kind can spread serious blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis or HIV. They also found that many salons didn’t undertake patch testing before beginning treatments – a safety testing procedure that is required when a client is trying a treatment which may cause chemical irritation.
Basic cleaning, hygiene and waste procedures were also often ignored, the reports found.
Daniel Davies, chairman of the IoL, said: “A complete reform of licensing arrangements together with measures to raise public awareness is absolutely essential and should be progressed as soon as possible.”