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2. Know the hairdressing rules

View the Health (Hairdressers) Regulations 1980 for full details.

Wash hand basins and sinks

You need a minimum of:

  • a shampoo sink
  • a sink for cleaning equipment, and
  • a hand basin to wash hands.

Use each sink for their designated purpose only.

The wash hand basin must be within 6m of all hair-cutting chairs. It must have:

  • hot and cold running water
  • soap (anti-bacterial)
  • nail brush
  • a towel or paper towels.


  • You must use a clean, machine-washed towel or single-use paper towel for each customer.
  • Store used towels in a clean covered container (laundry basket).
  • Store freshly washed towels in a clean, dust-free location.
  • Do not wash towels in the service area of the shop.


You should not use tools and equipment, such as scissors and combs, on customers unless they have been cleaned in the following way:

  1. Remove hair.
  2. Wash in warm water using a suitable detergent.
  3. Dry with a clean cloth or towel.
  4. Soak for 30 minutes in a suitable disinfectant (ensure that the disinfectant covers the whole comb and is used according to the manufacturer's directions).
  5. Rinse in clean water and dry.
  6. Store in a way that prevents re-contamination.

Clean razors and clippers or any other instruments with non-detachable parts:

  • Brush teeth or blades thoroughly with a clean brush to remove hair (used exclusively for this purpose).
  • Wipe the blades with clean cotton wool or cloth saturated with disinfecting fluid.
  • Immerse shaving brushes, mugs and sponges in boiling water for five minutes after each use.
  • Use disposable blades wherever possible.

Ultra violet cabinets are satisfactory for storage but not effective for disinfection.

Serving refreshments

The Health (Hairdressers) Regulations 1980 specify that you may not serve any refreshments to customers in the hair-cutting area.

Any crockery and cutlery used for serving refreshments should be single-use utensils, or washed in a dishwasher.

This is to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria, hepatitis, and cold or flu, through inadequately cleaned crockery and cutlery.

For more details, see the Health (Hairdressers) Regulations 1980.