Analysis of Occupational Exposures of Black Hair Care Professionals in Predominantly Black Salons
Black hair-salon workers face serious health hazards from the products they use on
themselves, products they use on clients, and other health hazards in their work
setting. Currently there is a significant research gap in understanding the prevalence of workplace related exposures and health outcomes. The primary objective of this study was to gather data on workplace exposures and health outcomes of hair care professionals in South Los Angeles. The goal was to determine the workplace exposures, assess hair care services provided, investigate prevalence of personal protective equipment and ventilation use in salons, and to obtain data on potential interest in health and safety education programs. The results suggest the need for proper health and safety training within the salon worker community, specifically around chemical hair services. The results also suggest ergonomic workstation assessments and recommendations for hair care professionals would be beneficial to reduce musculoskeletal disorders. Willingness of stylists to learn more about workplace hazards and how to mitigate their risks was high. It is recommended that a training program be developed to educate stylists on creating safer salons.