Unit 201: Principles and practices of hairdressing and barbering services


The structure of the hair

Keratin is the protein in the hair.

There are 3 layers of the hair: 

  • The cuticle
  • The cortex
  • The medulla 

The cortex is where all the chemical changes take place.

Chemical changes: anything permanent eg perming

Physical changes: anything not permanent eg blow drying

The medulla has no function.

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COSHH: Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 

Refer to:

  • SHUD (storage,handling,usage,disposal)
  • Manufacturers instructions
  • Local Bi-law
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Electricity at Work Regulations

Check to see if the appliance (eg hairdryer) has been PAT tested.

PAT stands for Portable Appliance Testing.

If something doesn't work:

  • Label it
  • Report it
  • Remove it
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Health and Safety at Work Act

  • Covers all other health and safety legislation
  • Applies to everyone 
  • This act states it is the responsibility of everyone to work in a healthy and safe manner
  • It is a legal responsibility of employees to co-operate with his or her employer in implementing and maintaining health and safety policies within the salon.
  • Lays down the basic rule we must follow
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The Manual Handling Operations Regulations

It is a legal requirement for the employer to carry out a risk assessment on all employees for manual lifting.

You need to ensure that you:

  • lift the delivery load in the correct way
  • if the load is heavy ask someone to help
  • split the box if you can
  • ensure there is a clear path 
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The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulati

  • Used to protect your clothes and skin form damage or harm
  • Employers must provide suitable PPE for the employee exposed to a risk
  • The employer must train staff to use PPE correctly
  • The employer must identify risks with reccommendation of when to use PPE
  • The employee must report damaged or lost PPE
  • The employee must wear PPE in the salon when required
  • The employee must examine the PPE before using to check for damage
  • The employee must clean the salon after use
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RIDDOR stands for Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Ocuurrences Regulations. 

This applies to anyone who has injured themselves on the salon premisises. It is a legal requirement to report the following:

  • If a client is injured (or killed) on the premises and taken to hospital
  • If a staff member is killed or suffers a major injury 
  • If a person working on the premises suffers from an injury for 3 days or more and would be unable to do their full range of duties.
  • If a doctor notifies an employee they are suffering from a reportable disease.
  • Employee must notify their manager if they think they may have a reportable disease
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How can Hair Salons be more sustainable?

Sustainability: meeting the needs of the present without compramising the ability of future generations to meet their needs

Salons can:

  • Use energy efficient bulbs
  • Use electricity only when you need it
  • Watch water usage
  • Recycle
  • Reduce waste of hair products
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The skin

Epidermis: 1st layer of the skin

Dermis: 2nd layer of the skin

Subcutaneous: 3rd layer of the skin (fatty tissue)

Sebaceous gland: produces sebum (oil)

arrector pili muscle: warms you up 

sweat gland: cools you down

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Hair Classifications

Density: amount of hair

Texture: individual hair

The hair on our scalp is known as terminal hair.

There are three classification  types:

  • Asian - coarse/straight/lank hair
  • African - tight curls
  • Caucasion - loose waves/curls or straight
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The Hair's growth cycle

  • Anagen (active growth) lasts 1.25-7 years
  • Catagen (breakdown and change) 2 weeks
  • Telogen (resting stage) 3-4 months
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Hazards and risks

A hazard is something with the potential to cause harm.
A risk is the likelihood of the hazard’s potential being realised.
It is the employee and employer’s responsibility to prevent hazards becoming risks. Maintaining a clean and tidy salon helps to reduce hazards.
An example of a hazard is trailing wires and hair cuttings on the floor.
An example of a risk is tripping over the wire or slipping on the hair.

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Risk Assessment

A risk assessment helps you to protect your work colleagues, clients and visitors to the salon. It is completed by your employer or manager to ensure you are working in a safe environment. They may be carried out if there is a change in the salon environment, there is an introduction to new products or services, or a change in personal circumstances.
How to follow a risk assessment:
1. Identify the hazard
2. Decide who might be harmed and how
3. Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions
4. Record your findings and action someone to implement them
5. Review your assessment and update as required

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Tools and equipment must be sterilised after you have completed the service on you client. Failure to do so can lead to cross-infection and infestation, resulting in loss of business, and is very unprofessional.

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Salon Hygiene

Use a clean gown and towel for every client.
Sweep up hair clippings before drying hair and before the client leaves the styling chair.
Wipe down the work area between clients.
Sterilise tools and equipment after every client.
Position all tools and equipment for ease of working.
Read and follow manufacturers instructions when using chemicals, products, tools and equipment.

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Face shapes

Oval - perfect face shape, suits any hairstyle
Long - suits width, full fringe / avoid hair on face, height
Round - suits side fringe, hair on face / avoid width, height
Square - suits soften jaw line, length lower than jaw
Heart - suits length longer than jawline, width at jawline / avoid width at temples

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Data protection act

Clients name, address, number should be secure and only be viewed by yourself and the client.
You cannot share clients details
Only send marketing / promotions with permission

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Sales of good act

Goods must be in good condition and fit for purpose
Give refunds or replacements to customers
Describe product honestly and accurately
Items must be priced.

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Hair growth patterns

Double crown: 2 whorls normally turning in the same direction located in the upper, back part of the head.

Nape whorl: a specific pattern of growth in which a section of the hair grows in a spiral or curved shape at the nape of the neck

Cowlick: a section of hair that stands straight up or lies at an angle

Widow’s peak: v-shaped growth of hair that located towards the centre of the forehead.

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Porosity test

  • Porosity test tests the condition of the hair.
  • It includes running your fingers down a strand of hair starting at the root and finsihing at the tip.
  • You should carry this out before every service.
  • If the hair feels smooth then the cuticles are flat and closed.
  • If the hair feels rough and bumpy then the cuticles are raised and open.
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Elasticity test

  • tests the internal strength of the hair
  • it includes gently pulling a strand of the hair while holding the root and tip
  • carry it out before chemical services
  • If the hair stretches and returns to its original length then the hair is strong
  • If the hair stretches more than half its original length and odesn't return then the hair is weak.
  • If the test is not carrried out the hair may snap or break during chemical processing
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Incompatibility test

  • Tests for metallic salts
  • Involves placing a small cutting of hair in solution of peroxide and alkaline perming solution
  • Carry the test out before perming, colouring or bleaching
  • If there is a negative reaction (no reaction) then there is no metallic salts present
  • If there is a positive reaction (heat given off, fizzing, hair breaking, dissolving or changes colour) then there are metallic salts present.
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Skin test

  • checks if client is allergic to colouring products
  • Includes applying a small amount of colour on to the inside of elbow and allow to dry
  • Must be carried out 24-48 hours before colouring process
  • If there is a negative reaction (no reaction) then the client is not allergic to colouring products
  • If there is a positive reaction (redness, soreness, itching or inflammation) then the client is allergic to colouring products
  • If it isn't carried out and the client is allergic to colouring products then they can make you personally viable and make claims against you.
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Strand test

  • Checks the development of colouring products while the process is being carried out.
  • It involves removing some of the colour from a strand of hair using cotton wool to check whether the product developed properly.
  • It can be carried out during the colouring process.
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