Risk level

It could be worse than cutting your fingers

Hairdressing is a dream job for many, but is not without its risks. It's not the sharp scissors that you need to look out for, it's the risk of hand eczema and allergies.

What are the risks?

Hairdressers come into contact with many products that can cause allergies, such as hair dyes, perming lotions, bleaching agents and shampoos. Contact with soap and water can also cause different types of eczema, and the skin becomes dry, red and flaky with cracks and blisters that itch.

Prevention and avoidance

There are ways of reducing the risk of eczema. The most important, and maybe the easiest, is to protect the skin by rubbing in a moisturising cream several times a day. Also wear thin protective gloves whenever possible. Unfortunately, gloves can cause eczema if you have too much contact with and gloves of synthetic material are preferred.

If you know that you are allergic to a specific substance, you should, of course, avoid working with products that contain it.

If you already have, or have previously had, eczema, think twice about going into hairdressing. If you do, nevertheless, decide to become a hairdresser, find out how you can best protect yourself.

Want to know more?

If you have any questions or want to know more about allergy and eczema when working as a hairdresser, get in touch with your school nurse or careers adviser.