Stylists Article - June 2014

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You’re busy. It’s summer and sandal season is in full swing.  People have been rushing to your salon for a soak and pedicure so that their feet will look their best. Now is not the time to take your eyes off the state’s health and safety regulations. In fact, it’s a perfect time for a refresher on what makes for a safe pedicure service.  Following these rules will not only protect your clients from health risks; they will protect you as well from citations and fines from the State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.

Disease and Infestation: Salons are prohibited from knowingly allowing a person afflicted with an infectious or communicable disease to serve clients.  At the same time, licensees are prohibited to service a person with an infectious or communicable disease.  Board regulations also prohibit licensees from massaging any person’s skin if it is inflamed or infected or an eruption is present. 

Spa Basins: Any foot basin that holds water needs to be cleaned with liquid soap and water, and then disinfected with an EPA-registered disinfectant with demonstrated bactericidal, fungicidal and virucidal activity used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In addition to after-client cleaning and disinfecting, whirlpool footspas, air-jet basins, and pipe-less footspas must be cleaned and disinfected after use by each patron, at the end of each day and at the end of each week according to the instructions on your Health and Safety poster (be sure you have one posted on the premises).  Each cleaning needs to be recorded in a pedicure-cleaning log.  For specific cleaning procedures for each footspa type, consult the Board’s regulations at The relevant sections are 980.1, 980.2 and 980.3. You can also view a demonstration on how to clean a footspa at

Tools: No razor-edged tool or other device can be used to remove calluses.  Callus removal is not within the manicurist scope of practice and should not be performed by a licensee of the Board, but rather a qualified medical professional.  Licensees, while skilled and trained in cutting, trimming, polishing, coloring, tinting, cleansing, or manicuring nails, may never perform any act that affects the structure or function of living tissue.  Other tools that cannot be disinfected such as buffers, cotton pads, and emery boards, must be thrown out immediately after one use. A metal smoother may be used to massage the foot.   

Cleaning and Storage: Tools that can be disinfected, such as nail clippers and metal cuticle pushers, must be cleaned with soap or detergent and water and then completely immersed in an EPA-registered disinfectant.  Containers need to be large enough so that all non-electrical items being disinfected can be thoroughly and completely immersed in disinfectant.  The disinfectant solution must remain covered at all times and be changed at least once a week or whenever it is visibly cloudy or dirty.   Tools that have been used on a client or soiled in any manner must be stored in a container clearly marked as “soiled” or “dirty”.  Disinfected tools must be stored in a clean, covered place and labeled “clean”.

Do a Visual Check of Your Salon: Look at the general cleanliness of the salon.  Floors, walls, counters, and chairs must be clean and in good condition.  Are towels scattered around the salon?  Soiled towels must be stored in a closed container and not used until properly laundered and sanitized.  Clean towels need to be stored in a closed, clean cabinet. Is there an accumulation of waste? A visibly dirty salon can not only deter prospective clients, but can also subject you to a State Board fine.

Take a moment to view the Board’s Safe Sandal Season video at

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