Contaminated Scissors & Fungal Infections

Hair cutting scissors, comb and razor
Photo: F8 Studio/Shutterstock
Q: Can contaminated scissors or shavers at a hair salon cause dry itching scalp? I do not have head lice. Since my last haircut I have experienced a very dry itchy scalp. I also am experiencing itching on my upper back, like crawling sensation. Scalp tingles, but no flaking.
A: It is possible that you could have contracted some type of fungal infection from contaminated scissors or clippers/shavers at a salon, but most salons have very strict sanitation practices in place to prevent the passing of infections conditions from one client to the next.
If you are concerned that the itching you are experiencing is due to a fungal or other type of infection, you need to see your doctor as soon as possible. There are broad-spectrum treatments for fungal infections that will help to rid you of that problem.
If the problem is fungal and you believe that it is a result of contamination of tools used in your local salon, you should report the problem to the salon management and advise them that you will be also notifying your state and or local licensing board and health department.
In most cases, the salon will take whatever measures are needed to prevent the problem from happening again. In the event the salon does not take appropriate measures, your state or local agencies will investigate and evaluate the sanitation and sterilization practices used by the salon.
I do want to caution you against jumping to a conclusion that can cause damage to a salon or stylist's reputation without certainty. It is entirely possible that your scalp itch is a result of sensitivity to other elements in your environment. Change in shampoos, laundry detergents, bath soaps, foods, seasonal factors, etc. can all cause reactions in sensitive people. And an individual who has shown no previous sensitivity could suddenly develop a sensitivity to any substance to which he or she is exposed.
Take the situation slowly, and be careful in your investigation. If there is cause to censure or blame the salon, then do so, but make certain before you cause problems for someone who may be innocent of any wrongdoing or negligence.
See also:
Hair diseases
Hair salon sanitation guidelines
Occupational diseases among hairdressers
How to report hair salons that continually do not honor the patron's request