Salon Sanitation

Texas Working to Improve Sanitation Rules for Barbers, Cosmetologists

Beginning next year, salons in Texas may be required to use an autoclave to disinfect reusable instruments. Changes in the law made by the Texas Legislature will require more stringent sanitation practices by salons that offer manicures and pedicures.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), which has been regulating the cosmetology and barbering industries since September 1, is currently reviewing all rules pertaining to both professions.

"Our concern is with the health and safety of the customers," says William Kuntz, executive director of the TDLR. "People have a right to know the instruments cosmetologists and barbers are using on them are clean and sanitary. The rules we propose will reflect that concern.

"At the same time, however, we don't want to adopt rules that look good on paper, but don't work in the real world," he says. "All barbers and cosmetologists should take a careful look at these rules when we propose them next month. We are interested in their opinions."

Current cosmetology rules require all reusable instruments used in manicures and pedicures to be disinfected after each use. According to the TDLR, this can include soaking the instruments in an EPA-approved disinfectant solution, such as chlorine bleach, or using ultraviolet light, dry heat, or an autoclave.

Revised and updated rules for barbers and cosmetologists are expected to be proposed in early December. Barbers, cosmetologists, and anyone else wanting to provide input are encouraged to review and comment on the new rules when they are proposed.

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