Beauty services

Minimising the risk of infection and disease for beauty service providers.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – and there is a large number, and a wide variety of beauty service providers across the city and North Adelaide. It’s important that both the client and the practitioner are safe.

This section deals with three main types of services – hairdressers, personal care and body artists. 

As an owner of a hairdressing, personal care or body art business, you are required to notify council when you begin trading.


Hairdressing/beauty salons across the city and North Adelaide are inspected by the City of Adelaide’s Environmental Health Officers to ensure compliance with the Public Health Standards of Practice for Hairdressing.

Where sterilisation of equipment is required, or where a salon offers skin penetration procedures such as waxing, manicures, pedicures, body piercing or permanent makeup, the salon and staff must also adhere to the Guidelines on the Safe and Hygienic practice of Skin Penetration.

These guidelines have been prepared to inform the industry and the community about issues such as infection risk, decontamination of equipment, disinfectants, operator hygiene and cleanliness.

Infections can occur during hairdressing procedures such when equipment such as razors, scissors, combs, clippers and hairpins accidentally pierce the skin. Blood and body fluids do not have to be visible for infection to occur. Both clients and operators can be put at risk.

Infections associated with hairdressing

Some of the infections that can be spread in hairdressing premises include:

These can occur on the scalp, face and neck.

  • Staphylococcal infections such as impetigo
  • fungal infections on the scalp such as tinea capitis (ringworm)

Organisms that can cause potentially serious diseases such as those in the hepatitis family can be transmitted where appropriate precautions are not taken.

For example, when:

  • implements and materials used by clients are not cleaned, handled or used hygienically
  • proper operator hygiene is not observed
  • the facilities, furnishings and fittings of the premises are not kept clean and in good repair.

Head lice live in clean and dirty hair and are spread from person to person through close head to head contact with an infested person. It can also occur through the communal use of hairbrushes, combs, hats and hair accessories. Head lice do not fly or jump; they can only crawl. Head lice are a social pest and do no transmit diseases.

Head lice are small insects (approximately 2-4mm long and 1mm wide), light to dark brown in colour, with flat bodies and six legs which end in a claw. Headlice eggs are tiny, hard, yellow to white in colour and are laid close to the scalp. Eggs are attached firmly to hair unlike dandruff which can be brushed off.

When checking for head lice:

  • work in good light like daylight or fluorescent light
  • section the hair, and check the full length of each section, working back towards the scalp
  • search the entire head, especially the back of the head and behind the ears.

Personal care and body art

Personal care and body art studios in the city and North Adelaide are inspected by the City of Adelaide’s Environmental Health Officers to ensure compliance with Guidelines on the Safe and Hygienic Practice of Skin Penetration.

Inspections will generally be performed on a routine basis and additional inspections will occur if we receive a report of an issue. Random inspections may also be undertaken.

Relevant procedures include:

  • acupuncture
  • tattooing
  • micropigmentation
  • body piercing
  • waxing
  • electrolysis
  • other hair removals/ beauty therapies undertaken.

It is essential that proprietors and staff are fully aware of the risks of the services they are providing and understand the precautions that need to be taken to minimise the likelihood of infection or spread of disease.

Clients are not required to tell the practitioner if they are infected with a blood-borne virus. Practitioners should assume that all blood and other body substances are potential sources of infection.

Risk minimisation for all beauty practitioners

All beauty service providers must understand the risks of the procedures carried out, and the precautions that must be taken to minimise health risks. The following steps can help reduce the risk of infection:

  • wash hands immediately before and after attending a client and before resuming a procedure if interrupted (e.g. answering the telephone)
  • wear clean disposable gloves when contact with blood or bodily fluid is likely
  • use fittings and equipment that have been properly cleaned and sterilised before use; alternatively use single-use disposable implements
  • maintain the premise in a clean and hygienic state
  • keep your clothing clean and have no exposed cuts, abrasions or wounds
  • handle and dispose of sharps appropriately
  • consider being vaccinated against Hepatitis B.