“Oh My Gosh! Do you have enough brushes???”
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this when I open my work station drawer to get one. I have two drawers full, and if I had a third drawer, that one would be full too. I guess I’m a self described brush junkie! When I find one I love, I get several. (Sort of like black pants!!)
Brushes and combs are the least expensive and most used tool of every hair stylist, and yes, I have an abundance. Not only because I can, but because I SHOULD.
You see, I would rather spend my time with you, my guest, than cleaning brushes all day. Yes, that’s right…cleaning brushes. Most people getting their hair done in the salon probably don’t even think about that, because they shouldn’t HAVE to. Unfortunately, too many stylists don’t think about it either.
I cannot tell you how many I have worked with over the years who have enough brushes for 3 clients, yet they’re booked all day long. How do they do that you might ask? Simple. They don’t properly clean and sanitize them between clients.
Some don’t even go so far as to pull the hair out. They just toss it back in their drawer, hair and all, before they use it on YOU. Gross.
While I may only have a few different styles of brushes, I have several of each and enough to get me through 3 or 4 solidly booked days of work. After using a brush (or comb), it gets put in a separate part of my cabinet. And when I start running low in my “supply drawer” they get cleaned and sanitized. The hair is pulled out, and the sink is filled with hot water, ship shape (a cleaner that removes product) and Barbicide which is a sanitizer that kills bacteria. They soak for the recommended amount of time. This is also required by our state board of cosmetology (AKA our state inspectors!).
Unfortunately, a lot of the stylists I have worked with do not do this. Have you seen those jars of blue liquid they pull their combs out of and use on you? The next time you’re sitting in the salon chair and watch your stylist pull a comb out, please pay close attention to that jar. Are the combs fully immersed in it? Or is it only half full and crammed so full of combs that you wonder how they can have so many in there? Is the liquid in the jar visibly blue with the barbicide? Or is it a very pale blue with a lot of “stuff” getting stirred up when they pull a comb out to use on your head? Most I have seen are not sanitary. The way barbicide jars are supposed to be used is to put clean combs in it to sanitize them. Only after the combs are cleaned are they ready to go into barbicide. When a used comb gets put into a sanitizer jar, it contaminates the entire jar.
All salons in Florida are inspected annually by our State Board of Cosmetology to keep YOU safe and make sure we are doing what we’re supposed to be doing. They make sure we are up to date on all of our licenses as well as the CEU’s we need to keep our license, check the general cleanliness and make sure we have proper sanitation practices. They have a check list to go by, and if you are not in compliance, they will note it on your report and either warn you or fine you for the infractions. As they should! By the way, those inspection reports are to be posted for the public to see in a visible location in the salon. Feel free to check it out the next time you’re in your salon because you’re allowed to.
Unfortunately, when “Salon A” gets inspected, they call “Salon B, C, and D” and “warn” them that the inspector is in the area, giving “Salon B, C, and D” plenty of time to clean up. And believe me, that IS what happens as I have been doing hair for 27 years now and have watched it happen in several salons. It’s like watching roaches on raid trying to get out of each others way to get their own stations cleaned up! I will crow here and tell you that I have NEVER been cited nor fined for any infractions.
This is why it’s up to you to pay attention when you go into the salon. Pay attention to that brush drawer and the barbicide. And if your stylist opens the drawer and there’s just a couple brushes in there, I want you to think about what I just shared with you.