Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Air quality for hair and beauty

Air pollution, a common hazard in a beauty salon

Air inside your hairdressing business can contain

  • odours and chemicals from hair dyes and treatments
  • dust and vapours from nail care treatment
  • airborne fine hair.

If you have an extraction system then these can be removed from your premises, this could be a basic safety procedure for a beauty salon or hairdresser.  You should make sure the extraction system doesn't become a nuisance for surrounding properties. This can include residential properties as well as other businesses.

What you must do

Prevent nuisances

You must not create a nuisance for neighbouring properties from dust or odours. If neighbours complain, you should try to deal with the problem before your local council becomes involved. If, for example, a food business or a café is being affected by odours or dust from your business, they can make a complaint to the local council.

Your local council can require you to take steps to prevent the nuisance, or could even close your business until the problem is solved. Read our guidance on noise, odour and all nuisances.

Noise, odour and all nuisances 

Health and safety measures

Provide your staff with appropriate safety equipment if dealing with chemicals; read the manufacturer’s instructions before using them. The fumes from certain products, and dust and fine airborne hairs can cause adverse reactions, such as asthma or dermatitis. You should minimise exposure for clients, but especially for staff who are exposed for long periods of time.

HSE: Beauty sector

Good practice

Prevent dust and odours

You can prevent many of the odours and health effects by buying hair, nail and other beauty products that don’t contain any of the potentially harmful or odour producing chemicals. Ammonia free products are available, as are products without solvents.

Use pump dispensers where possible rather than aerosols.

Eco Hair and Beauty: List of product suppliers

Use blow-dryers less

Use hairdryers that are lower energy use, and use them only as necessary. This prevents stirring up dust, fine hair and nail filings into the air your staff and customers breathe.

Ventilated and downdraft tables

Ventilated and downdraft tables are useful to keep dust and particles under control. Nail filing and skin treatments can produce fine dust. Ventilated or downdraft manicure tables can protect clients and workers from the harmful effects of breathing in this dust.

Fit air filtration systems

You can fit filtration systems that will remove all fine airborne hair, dust from nail filing and odours from the air. This will create a fresh atmosphere in your premises and will prevent irritation of skin, lung and eyes for your workers and clients.

In Denmark air filtration systems are now required by law for all hair and beauty businesses.

Further information

Hair and Beauty Industry Authority (Habia): H&S packs

VIDEO: Ecoproducts

Eco Hair and Beauty: Sustainable salon tips

The Virtual Salon

Ecohair and beauty have developed their Virtual Salon. You can log on and enter the virtual salon to learn about sustainable hair care in a fun and engaging way. Once finished you can get the Sustainable stylist certificate. Why not get all staff to work through the salon and be eligible for the Sustainable Salon Certificate.

Find out more ands sign up for your free access to the virtual salon.

Ecohair and Beauty: Virtual Salon

SEE ALSO: Hair and beauty, Noise, odour and other nuisances

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