Safe Sandal Season Brings Awareness to Potential Dangers of Pedicures

Proper salon cleaning procedures are essential to avoid serious diseases

A pedicure can be a great way to pamper yourself, but did you ever think you could get a life-threatening infection from one? It’s possible if the salon isn’t using proper cleaning and disinfection techniques. Lurking in the depths of a foot spa basin may be bacteria, fungal strains, and other dangerous microorganisms that thrive in warm, moist environments. Any break in the skin—like insect bites, scratches, scabs or razor cuts—are gateways for those microorganisms to cause infections. Whirlpool foot spas must be cleaned and disinfected after each use, at the end of each day, and every week.

California’s Board of Barbering and Cosmetology licenses and regulates salons and the people in them that provide the services, and has established cleaning and sanitation procedures that are required by law for infection control.

Watch this quick video before your next salon visit—it shows what has to be done and why it’s critical (some graphic content):

The board also offers these pre-pedi safety tips:

  • Don’t shave or wax your legs 24 hours before a pedicure. If you have broken skin or lesions on your lower legs, don’t get a pedicure until they have healed.
  • Always verify the licenses of anyone working on you. Current licenses are required to be posted on the wall in plain sight. You can verify licenses through the board’s website and check to see if your salon or cosmetologist has been disciplined for rules violations.
  • Ask how the salon cleans and disinfects its pedicure equipment. You also have the right to see the pedicure cleaning and disinfection log. Wiping out the tub between clients isn’t enough. For example, in the case of whirlpool foot spas and air-jet basins, special disinfectant must circulate through the equipment for 10 minutes between patrons.

As for those “fish pedicures,” you won’t be finding Nemo in any California salons—the practice is illegal statewide. Among other reasons, fish can’t be properly disinfected between customers. Learn more here: www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/forms_pubs/publications/fish_peds.pdf.

To learn more about salon safety or to file a complaint, visit the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology’s website.

DCA is Here to Help All Year Long

Just because National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) has ended doesn’t mean you aren’t protected. As #NCPW2017 wraps up, DCA wants to remind consumers that our resources and programs are available any time of year. This past week, we’ve shared details on many of them.

An informed consumer is a protected consumer: consider yourself empowered! Learn more at www.dca.ca.gov.

Also, see our complete list of free publications at www.dca.ca.gov/publications/publications_list.shtml, subscribe to our award-winning magazine, Consumer Connection, and follow us on Facebook and on Twitter @DCAnews.

California’s New Laws for 2017

scalesIn 2016, Governor Brown signed into law 898 pieces of legislation. Here’s a sampling of some of the new state laws:

Barbering and booze: Under Assembly Bill (AB) 1322, Board of Barbering and Cosmetology-licensed beauty salons and barbershops can serve up to 12 ounces of beer or 6 ounces of wine to customers without having an alcoholic beverage license or permit. The businesses cannot charge for the alcohol.

Building construction: Senate Bill (SB) 465 requires the California Department of Industrial Relations and the Division of Occupational Safety and Health to tell the Contractors State License Board when the state punishes disobedient contractors.

Gun laws: SB 880 and AB 1135 ban the sale of semi-automatic, centerfire rifles or semi-automatic pistols that do not have a fixed magazine. AB 1511 outlaws most gun loans.

Sexual assault: AB 2888 mandates a prison term for sexually assaulting unconscious individuals. This legislation is the result of a reaction to the jail sentence of a Stanford student who assaulted an unconscious woman and received a jail sentence in June 2016, but was released in September.

Distracted driving: Under AB 1785, drivers cannot hold or operate their devices for any reason. Exceptions are functions that require only a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger, as long as the phone is mounted in the car.

Car seats: AB 53 requires that children under 2 years old be put in rear-facing child safety seats, except for kids who are at least 40 pounds or 40 inches tall. Children under 8 years old must ride in the back seat of a car.

Voter registration and ballots: AB 1436, which passed in 2012 but takes effect January 1, allows people to register on the day of an election. SB 450 allows voters to return mail ballots at any county elections office in the state, not just the county that issued the ballot.

Dogs in cars: AB 797 allows good Samaritans to help free animals showing signs of distress in a hot car. They must first contact law enforcement and wait for them to show up.

Gender-neutral bathrooms: AB 1732 requires that all single-toilet restrooms in schools, businesses, and public places be designated as gender neutral.

Minimum wage increase: SB 3 raises the minimum wage for workers at businesses that have 26 or more employees from $10 to $10.50 per hour. Yearly increases under the law will bump the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022.

Uber/Lift background checks: Under AB 1289, drivers for ride-booking companies will have their entire driver’s record checked.

Terminally ill and the “Right to Try”: AB 1668 allows terminally ill patients to try experimental drugs that have not yet had full federal approval for clinical trials.

For more details on California’s new laws, visit the Governor’s website at www.gov.ca.gov. For a list of all the new laws, go to www.leginfo.ca.gov/pdf/BillsEnactedReport2016.pdf.

 

 

 

Men Discovering Pedicures Are “Man-Tastic”

male pediIn case you haven’t noticed, pedicures aren’t just for women anymore. A growing number of men—both young and old and who aren’t even Hollywood celebrities—are taking the pampered plunge. They’re discovering what women have known all along: Getting a spa foot treatment can be a luxurious experience that not only makes you look great, but feel great, too.

Kristy Underwood, Executive Officer for the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology, discussed this growing trend and how some traditional women’s salons are stepping up to cater to their male clientele, particularly since barbershops don’t offer these services—not yet, anyway. Underwood also talked about what men should look for when choosing a salon, as well as some of the changes on the horizon for the nail/spa industry.

Q. Kristy, can you talk about the trend of men getting spa pedicures? What do you attribute it to?

A. Yes; this service is growing in popularity for men. Many salons even have side areas with foot spa chairs for men to get the service in a little more privacy. I have heard from men who say they find it relaxing, but also that it’s just good upkeep on their nails.

Q.  As men gravitate toward women’s salons, is it likely we will see barbershops start offering spa pedicures as part of their services?

A. I don’t think so. The barbershop has an image, and I think it’s a long way off from offering nail services. We’re actually seeing barbershops going back to more traditional settings. For example, the traditional shave and a haircut is being marketed to men and is becoming more and more common. But you never know, maybe pedicures have a future in the barbershops.

Q. If barbershops ever do make nail care a part of their services, what sort of guidelines and procedures would need to be established to do so, and would they be similar or the same as those regulations at women’s salons?

A. They would simply have to hire manicurists. Barbers are not licensed to do nails whereas cosmetologists are.

Q. What should men who want to try the whole foot spa experience look for when choosing a salon?

A.  First and foremost, valid licenses and a clean establishment. And they should make sure the establishment doesn’t use illegal tools. For example, some consumers think a razor is needed to remove calluses, but it’s illegal to use in a shop and removing calluses can be done perfectly safely with a proper smoother.

Q. What about people with diabetes who may have feet issues—should they get spa pedicures?

A. We get this question a lot. Licensees should ask their clients if there are any health concerns they need to be aware of. Lots of elderly consumers receive pedicures and are fine, but if they have a compromised immune system, we highly recommend they talk to their doctor before getting a service. I would also suggest that the pedicure be received in a transportable foot tub as opposed to a foot spa chair. And again, they should never allow someone to use a razor on their feet.

Q. There also seems to be a trend, perhaps more in the south and on the East Coast, for nail salons to use plastic liners in the foot spa. Are these used for sanitary/health reasons and is the usage becoming more prevalent in California salons as well?

A. In July of last year, we set regulations that allow for the use of liners. It really cuts down on the amount of chemicals used to clean [the whirlpool spas] and often makes the client feel safer. We will likely see more salons in California using liners as well.

Q. What are some changes and trends you see coming to the manicure/pedicure profession?

A. Green products. There is a lot of talk about trying to make nail services safer not only for the client, but for the licensees as well. I think more manufacturers will be putting out safer products. We also expect to see an increase in the use of liners in the foot spa.

For more information on the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology, visit www.barbercosmo.ca.gov.

 

 

Gel Manicures: How Safe Are They?

shutterstock_260352359The durability of a gel manicure is stuff of a manicure-junkie’s dream. Although more costly than a regular manicure, a gel manicure is relished for its high-gloss polish that can last for weeks.

After application, you need to “cure” the gel polish by putting your nails—and hands—under an ultraviolet (UV) lamp. We frequently hear about the skin cancer dangers of UV radiation from sunlamps and tanning beds, but what about UV exposure from nail lamps?

A 2014 study by the Journal of American Medical Association/Dermatology concluded that because of low UV levels, the risk of skin cancer from nail dryers is small. However, there are some caveats. No regulation exists for nail lamp manufacturing, so your exposure to UV light can vary from device to device and even on how the lamp is set up.

Because of those inconsistencies that can affect the amount of UV exposure, consumers should take precautions to limit skin cancer risk as well as prevent premature aging of their skin. Limit your number of gel manicures, and wear sunscreen on your hands and UV-protective gloves while under a nail lamp.

Also, make sure that you’re going to a reputable and licensed salon. Visit the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology’s website, www.barbercosmo.ca.gov, for more information and to verify a license.

Tips to Stay Safe at Your Next Salon, Barbershop Visit

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Wedding season and special events have many of us visiting the salon and barbershop to get primped and pampered. What you may not realize are the dangers you could be exposing yourself to while there. The good thing is you can guard yourself and others with the right information. The Board of Barbering and Cosmetology (BBC) has launched its latest educational campaign CASafeSalon to spread the word about salon safety and infection control.

Here a few things to remember during your next visit to the salon or barbershop:

  • Make sure everyone is licensed, including the establishment. Anyone providing services needs to have a BBC license.
  • Check the cleaning logs. Footspas used for pedicures should be cleaned and disinfected after each customer.
  • Does the salon or barbershop look clean? If the place doesn’t look clean when you first walk in, you may want to visit another location.
  • Check with your barber or cosmetologist if they know whether a product contains formaldehyde-related ingredients and avoid those products.

To learn how to protect yourself and others from potential health hazards from a pedicure, a manicure, hair treatment or other salon services, visit the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology’s website.

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Department cracks down on schools submitting bogus training documents

The California Department of Consumer Affairs today issued two press releases about schools cheating the system by providing people with fraudulent training documents. Recent investigations by the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation found a cosmetology school in South El Monte  and a cosmetology school in Milpitas were accepting money from students in exchange for training documents even though the students never completed any training. Consumers deserve licensees who are properly trained. A licensee who has bogus training documents could put you at risk!