In our sixth installment of our blog series - Ask the Expert - we moved to an industry where hygiene isn’t always the first thing you think about. I recently interviewed Nastasha Bascarini, Owner of Alvaro & Amici Randpark Ridge to find out more about hygiene within the professional hairdressing industry.
1. What is the most interesting thing you’ve found in a customer’s hair?
The most interesting (although by interesting perhaps we also could say weird and disgusting) things I have found in my clients’ hair would have to be leftover wax and pieces of food. I have no idea how they get there, and I don't ask!
With children, pieces of sticky fizzer is the most common food item I find stuck in there. People also use all kinds of weird and wonderful things as home remedies; for example using egg or oil as hair treatments and often they don’t wash them out properly. 🤢
2. What is the worst hygiene related hair horror you’ve seen?
We had a client arrive for a fringe trim. She had a bun right on top of her head. She took the bun out and this long multicolored hair cascaded all the way to the floor, along with what was the worst smell ever! It turns out she washes her hair once a month and hasn't cut it in 40 years.
3. What is your top hair tip for customers?
Avoid leaving in home remedy oils, like coconut oil, for longer than a day, and always shampoo with hot water to ensure a clean scalp.
4. What is your top hair tip for stylists?
Wash your hands as often as possible and don't chew chewing gum as it can get full of hair. Washing hands comes naturally to me, as I have OCD, but set a timer to wash your hands if you have to. It’s important to limit cross contamination in your salon no matter how busy it is.
5. How do you keep yourself healthy, having to deal with customers that may be sick?
I wash my hands as much as possible and take a lot of immune boosters; unfortunately they don't always work.
Speaking to Nastasha provoked some thinking around Cape Town’s water crisis. I know you are thinking that Day Zero has been put on hold and all is well but in all honesty Level 6B restrictions are still in place and people and businesses exceeding their allocations are liable for hefty fines. Here is a reminder of what your current 50 liters a day gets you.
How has the hairdressing industry in Cape Town adapted to water restrictions? I’ve heard of stylists opting for water spray bottles for short hair rather than using the basin. I’ve also heard of alternative products being used that are pre-mixed rather than buying products that still need to be diluted with water.
Whether you work in the industry or you are a consumer, what has your experience been? We’d love to hear from you regarding how water is being saved.
Do you have a question for our Experts?
Fill in the form and we’ll try our best to answer them in the next “Ask an Expert” blog series.