We don't mean to alarm you... 

By Patricia Shannon

Truth be told, it might just be cleaner than you think. With so much attention being paid to salon sanitation standards, most hair salons are completely on board with giving clients the best and most hygienic services possible. If you're at all concerned, don't hesitate to ask your stylist or the salon owner about the disinfecting processes they implement to keep their tools and salon clean. At the very least, keep an eye out for any, shall we say, yucky, practices. While our tips might sound a tad dramatic, it's always a good rule of thumb to stay alert and aware of these hidden dangers at the salon to ensure all you walk out with is good hair.

Brushes and Combs

You don't need to worry too much about the blow dryer (though you'll want to keep an eye on the filter to ensure your stylist is giving it a regular clean), but there are a few other tools that are breeding grounds for germs, bacteria, and lice—gross, we know. The thing to look out for here is stray hair left in a comb or brush from a prior client. Also, if your stylist drops a comb or brush on the floor while working with your hair, picks it up, and intends to continue using it, you're well within your rights to ask her to select another tool instead.

Clippers and Shears

Did you know that unsterilized tools can lead to staph infections and fungal infections like ringworm? While these scenarios are unlikely, salon clippers and sheers should be cleaned and disinfected between clients to eliminate the chance of passing on harmful germs bacteria from one client to another.

Towels, Smocks, and Robes

You might think it goes without saying, but all linens should go straight into the hamper after they've been used once. Smocks and robes are no exception.


This one sounds weird, but it's true. If your salon's waiting area has furniture that's showing signs of wear, you might want to stand while you wait for your number to be called. Chances are it's fine, but there could be germs, bacteria, and creepy crawlies stowed away in that unsealed stuffing. Not to mention, the edges of cracked vinyl and plastic furniture can get downright sharp.

Bathrooms and Stations

Take a look around the bathroom and even the stylists' stations. If they're disorderly, cluttered, messy, or there's still leftover hair on the floor from the prior client, you might want to pay closer attention to some of the items we mentioned above. Bathrooms should be tidy, clean, and constantly stocked with soap and towels, which—again—should go without saying. If you feel like an attention to cleanliness isn't being paid to stations and the restrooms, the same might be said of your stylist's tools, linens, and products.