Now let us move this forward to the 90’s, 2000 and beyond.

As you may recall about 15 or so years ago a new concept of straightening hair became the trend, and many of theses new straightening products were based on Formaldehyde and used with extremely hot flat irons. It started in South America and moved north like a storm and everyone was on board for this new service but soon stories of serious health problems came to the surface but too late for many of the stylists working with these treatments.

Of course, we all know there were a lot of legal issues which has now caused the companies to change the actives but how safe are they; this still seems to be an unfinished discussion. Look at what has happened to hair color for years color used ammonia as an active, but then moved towards the natural approach many companies changed to using MEA but what did we trade it for, other than the natural label what are the long term issues with MEA, time will tell.

Recently stylists have returned to the dry cutting concept and here again we will be dealing with fine particles flying around in the salon and barber shops which brings me to another issue; clippers are popular today and this may just amplify this issue. Covid 19 may have a silver lining as we are now required to wear masks, and this we know reduces not only the virus but minimizes the fine hair particles we breathe in every day. Hair sprays are also making a come back with all the updo’s and though they are not as toxic as in the sixties they still represent an issue for stylists in the salon.

I have not mentioned anything about diet, exercise and working postures, which if not addressed will continue to cause our industry health issues and I believe in acknowledging a preventative approach and sharing observations. In my generation of stylists, I have never seen so many of my peers with these conditions and those who are extremely ill or passing with what I see as industry related illness.

This is not to scare but to inform, Knowledge is power, Work Smart and Safe so you may enjoy the fruits of the industry.