The Crucial Role of Pre-Service Cleaning and Disinfecting in Hairdressing


In the dynamic environment of a hair salon, cleanliness and sanitation are as essential as the artistic skill of a hairdresser. Implementing a rigorous pre-service cleaning and disinfecting routine is a non-negotiable practice that ensures the safety and well-being of both clients and stylists. This comprehensive guide outlines the critical procedures for maintaining the highest standards of hygiene in a hairdressing setting, adapting the principles of the “Milady Standard Foundations, procedure 5-2: Cleaning and Disinfecting nonporous, reusable items.”

Pre-Service Cleaning and Disinfecting in Hairdressing

The Significance of Hygiene in Hairdressing

Salons are high-traffic areas where various tools come into contact with clients’ skin, scalp, and hair, creating potential avenues for the transfer of microbes. A hairdresser’s commitment to cleanliness reflects their professionalism and respect for the health of their clientele. The pre-service cleaning and disinfection process is vital for preventing the spread of infectious agents and upholding the reputation of the establishment.

Step-by-Step Guide to Salon Hygiene

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  1. Protection First: Prior to any cleaning activity, hairdressers should don disposable gloves and safety glasses. This protocol is the first line of defense against direct contact with contaminants and chemical disinfectants.

Cleaning Implements and Surfaces

  1. Warm Rinse: Begin by rinsing tools with warm running water to remove physical debris, which can interfere with the disinfection process.
  2. Thorough Scrubbing: Using a small brush, cleanse the tools with soap or a designated cleaning solution, paying particular attention to textured surfaces and movable parts.
  3. Complete Rinsing: After scrubbing, rinse all items under clean running water. Warm water is preferred for its effectiveness in removing soap residue without causing damage.
  4. Drying Process: Dry all items with a clean or disposable towel to prevent bacterial growth that can occur in damp conditions.

Disinfecting Procedure

  1. Selection of Disinfectant: Use an appropriate disinfectant that meets the regulatory standards for hairdressing tools and is approved by state health authorities.
  2. Application and Contact Time: Apply the disinfectant according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, ensuring complete coverage, and allow it to remain on the surface for the specified time to ensure efficacy.
  3. Storage Post-Disinfection: Store disinfected tools in a clean, covered container that is clearly marked, indicating that the contents are sanitized and ready for use.

Post-Cleaning Protocols

  1. Disposal of PPE: Safely remove and dispose of gloves to avoid contaminating clean areas.
  2. Hand Hygiene: Conclude the process by thoroughly washing hands with warm water and soap, followed by proper drying with a clean towel.


The pre-service cleaning and disinfection protocol is a cornerstone of salon safety, serving as a critical procedure to protect clients and staff from potential health risks. A meticulous approach to sanitation not only prevents the spread of infection but also enhances the overall client experience by providing a clean and safe environment.

Implementing Best Practices

Salons should regularly review and update their cleaning procedures to align with current health regulations and best practices. Continuing education for hairdressers on the latest sanitation methods will promote a culture of safety and hygiene. The health of a salon’s business is as much about preventing contamination as it is about cutting and styling hair; both require precision, care, and a dedication to excellence.

In essence, pre-service cleaning and disinfecting are not just mandatory health measures but also rituals that reflect the salon’s commitment to client care and service quality. By following these detailed steps, hairdressers ensure that their craft not only beautifies but also protects the health of their valued clientele.

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