Improper sanitation practices can spread infection between clients and will get you into trouble with the Board of Cosmetology in your state if you aren't careful. In this blog we will go over the safe and thoughtful practices you should be implementing while performing lash services.
1 | USE DISPOSABLES WHENEVER POSSIBLE
Most of the items you are using throughout a lash service should be disposable. Lash Wands are used to brush through the lashes throughout the service and can also be used for a deep clean in the lash line. All of the debris from the lash line gets stuck in the bristles. You could dip it in Barbicide to disinfect, but the particles would still remain and could get transferred onto another client. Lash Wands, Flocked Foot Applicators, Micro-Tip Swabs, Eyelove Cleansing Brushes, and MatteGel Eye Pads can all be used to prep your clients lashes before extensions or a lash lift service. Lash Wands and Eyelove Cleansing Brushes should be given to your client at the end of the service to encourage good aftercare practices at home. The other tools should be discarded. If you are looking for a creative alternative to throwing away your Lash Wands, consider saving them throughout the year and donating to Wands for Wildlife in October or February.
2 | CLEAN, SANITIZE, OR DISINFECT NON-DISPOSABLES
After every appointment, you’ll need to sanitize or disinfect your non-disposables and work surfaces properly so that they’re safe to use with your next client. You should learn proper sanitization and disinfecting practices from any reputable lash certification course, but let's do a quick review of cleaning vs. sanitizing vs. disinfecting just in case.
Cleaning simply removes external debris. Sanitizing reduces the amount and growth of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Disinfecting, however, kills these organisms for good. Lash Tweezers and Lash Lift Shields are the only non-disposables that should be coming into direct contact with the clients eye lid and lashes. For these tools, clean them with soap and water to remove any residue of product. Then, disinfect them with Barbicide. You’ll need to use 1 oz of Barbicide concentrate to every 16 oz of cold water -- any less will not properly disinfect your tools. Your non-disposables will need to be in contact with the liquid for 10 minutes in order to be considered fully disinfected. Gently place your tools in the Barbicide solution- watch those delicate tips on your tweezers if you are using a glass jar. Once ten minutes has elapsed, pull them out, and place them on a clean waterproof paper towel, such as these, so they can air dry. Store your disinfected tweezers in a protective case when not in use, such as the Rollout Tweezer Case.
When you aren't using your Lash Tile, make sure it is rid of any stray lashes trying to stick around. Remove used strips and wipe off residue with an alcohol wipe. Store the tiles in a drawer system, like this one, so they can stay clean and dust free.
You can use disinfectant wipes to wipe down your work surfaces in between clients, including your massage bed or chair that your client is laying on. If you use a Lash Pillow for your clients' head, make sure that you have a paper towel or dental bib for them to lay on so you can switch that out instead of grabbing a new pillow each time.
3 | PERSONAL HYGIENE IS IMPORTANT
Although you may not receive a fine from the Board of Cosmetology for your personal hygiene practices, it makes a huge difference on the experience your client receives. Here are some tips to make sure that you are preventing infection and providing the most comfortable service to your client.
- WEAR A MASK | Not only is a Carbon Filter Face Mask important for your own safety as it protects you from harmful VOCs, it also prevents any offensive odors due to bad breath from bothering your client. No one wants to be forced to lay for two hours, smelling your lunch!
- USE HAND SANITIZER OR GLOVES | If you need to pick up your phone, cough, or take a sip of water during a service, make sure you sanitize your hands before getting back to the service. It may not be necessary, but it will give your clients peace of mind to know that you are keeping things clean.
- SWITCH TO E-CIGS | If you are a smoker, everyone will know it. No amount of perfume or hand sanitizer can cover up the scent of cigarettes. With your hands being so close to the clients nose, you're sure to create an unpleasant sensory experience for them during the service.
- COVER THEIR FOREHEAD | Use a tissue to cover your clients forehead during the lash extension service so your hands aren't resting directly on their skin. This will create a light barrier that will increase client comfort.
- SUB MINTS FOR GUM | Loads of people suffer from Misophonia, a disorder that is defined by the hatred of chewing or breathing loudly. Chewing gum not only looks unprofessional, but it can trigger clients that are sensitive to chewing noises, making the service very uncomfortable for them.
- KEEP HAIR BACK | No client wants to feel your hair brushing their face during an appointment. Make sure your hair is pulled back so it never touches your client.
4 | ADDITIONAL BEST PRACTICES
- If you have a salon with many employees, consider hiring a secret shopper every so often. Many times owners or employees can become blind to the client experience. They may be doing things that they don't even realize looks unprofessional or unsanitary. Getting feedback from a person who is seeing your salon and interacting with your staff for the first time can be invaluable and can help you make any necessary changes to better the experience for other clients.
- Never put lash strips on the back of your hand or on the clients forehead. The strip will pick up oil and skin when you take it off and will be impossible to sanitize.
- If you drop a disposable or non-disposable tool on the ground, don't pick it up and continue using on the client. Dispose of it or disinfect it while you grab a fresh tool to continue the service.
Next time you are getting a service done, take a look around and analyze what practices the establishment is using to keep things clean and refreshing during your service. Chances are, you will notice some things that they may be neglecting which affects your service negatively or just feels dirty to you. Take note of these things that made you question how clean the place was so you can be sure to avoid those things in your own workspace.
Taking a moment to reflect on and improve your safety and sanitation practices will only help you to keep clients safe and ensure that they come back again and again.
Founder | Boston Girl | Pig + Dog Obsessed | Lover of House Music