Salon Safety Takes Another Step Forward

As beauty product consumers, we’re used to seeing a list of ingredients (albeit small and sometimes hard to find) on the products we buy, per federal law. This helps us make informed purchasing decisions and allows us to avoid certain chemicals if we choose. However, federal law does not regulate professional cosmetics in the same manner as retail cosmetics. Now, thanks to a new bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, professionals working in California’s beauty industry will also have that ability to see what’s in the products they are using on their clients.

Assembly Bill 2775 requires a professional cosmetic manufactured on or after July 1, 2020, for sale in California to have a label affixed on the container that satisfies all of the labeling requirements for any other cosmetic pursuant to specific federal laws. The professionals it helps protect are all licensees of the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.

Educating consumers and licensees on health and safety issues is a top priority for the board, which is why it continues a perennial campaign called “CASafeSalon” to educate the public and licensees about salon health, safety, and infection control.

Chemical concerns

The board’s website has a wealth of information on chemical safety in salons as well as a link to the California Safe Cosmetics Program within the Department of Public Health, which collects and makes available information on hazardous ingredients in cosmetic products sold in California.

The California Safe Cosmetics Act of 2005 requires that the manufacturer, packer, and/or distributor named on the product label to provide to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) a list of all cosmetic products that contain any ingredients known or suspected to cause cancer or developmental or other reproductive harm for all cosmetic products sold in California.

Is your salon safe? Here are some ways to tell

  • Before your visit, verify the establishment’s license at by using the “License Search” button. You can check if it is current and if it has any disciplinary actions against it. Unlicensed shops tend to avoid the costs in both supplies and time that proper disinfection takes.
  • Make sure each person working on you also has a current license displayed at his or her workstation. This includes barbers, cosmetologists, electrologists, estheticians, manicurists, and apprentices.
  • Each tool must first be washed with soap and water, then immersed for a specified period of time in a disinfectant registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, then stored in a clean, closed container labeled “clean.” Tools that can’t be disinfected such as buffers, nail files, or cotton balls must be tossed after each use.
  • Before a pedicure, ask to see the foot spa cleaning log. It should note when the basin you’re about to put your feet in was last cleaned and disinfected.
  • Make sure your technician washes his or her hands before the service.

For more salon safety information and to verify a professional or establishment license, visit

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