Salon Air Quality & Ventilation Code Experts

1. Doug Schoon’s MSDS Question:

I wonder what percent of salons (or independent contractors) in America have a Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for each of their professional products? Do you? It seems American salons largely ignore this important federal requirement. Why?

2. Aerovex Systems Question:

A question for professional hair stylists & nail technicians:

Do product manufacturers/distributors/sales representatives provide you with MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets), for all the products they introduce to you? Do they review the safety precautions with you, as indicated on the MSDS?

Keratin Hair Smoothing Expert, Jordana Lorraine, on Manufacturers’ Support for Safe Use of Products:

“MSDS and Advancing Hair Stylist Safety Standards”

Jordana Lorraine Kotlus 

I have been in the industry since 1994, but never heard of MSDS until the keratin treatment controversy. I went to a well-known and -respected school, worked for a large company as a color educator and assistant manager, and have worked in a few small salons. The State Board of Cosmetology (I am in CA) has never asked for them during inspection…which they can’t really, until it is taught in school or on our exam that we need to have it.  Many hairdressers still do not know what MSDS’s are, even though we use chemicals every day.  It is my understanding that salon owners are required to have MSDS, but never really trained about them.  It is unclear who is required to provide it and when; manufacturers vs. distributors, with order vs. on request, etc.

Cadivieu USA educators discuss safety and ventilation openly and provide MSDS upon request. They are distributed by Beauty Solutions; I have never asked my rep about MSDS because it was given to me in my training at Cadiveu.

Keratin Complex training classes are provided by the distributor, Sweis.  I asked the rep to email me MSDS, and she said she would but unfortunately has not.  The manufacturer did not reply to an email request sent to their site, but they did provide MSDS by email, within minutes of making a phone request.

Brazilian Keratin by Marcia Teixeira provided MSDS by email when requested through their ‘Contact Us’ tab.

Brazilian Blowout has MSDS for both of their treatments on their website, but I have not found it accessible on any other company’s site.  Their educators (who are working stylists) do discuss some safety precautions in class, and the sales reps who come to my salon are company employees who are well-versed on the product and the process.

GK Hair was including MSDS with their bottles of solution for a time, but that seems to no longer be the case.  Their educators are company employees, stylists who use the treatments in their salons.  Their treatments and products are distributed (in CA) by Bassett Salon Solutions; their rep has not come to my studio but the office takes orders and kindly provides MSDS upon request.

Overall, ventilation and safety in general are neglected areas of training in the keratin/smoothing treatment arena.  The State Board of Cosmetology is charged with maintaining a salon environment that is safe for both clients and stylists, but they are not updated frequently enough to be aware of new chemical services and the details of their safe execution.  This unfortunately leaves a gap in the system.  In some cases, stylists do not take precautions seriously and may use the products incorrectly.  Many salon owners are not trained on the treatments themselves, and are not always in the salon, leaving them unable to supervise and ensure that safety precautions are being taken. 

Whether the training comes from the manufacturer or the distributor, it should include safety information such as proper product use and environmental safety factors like ventilation.  [Can you imagine if construction workers were never taught to wear hardhats and steel-toed boots?]

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