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Every year the same discussion crops up here in The Netherlands. Flip Flops at work, to wear or not to wear. Aside from not being very presentable, safety is often the most cited reason for not wearing flip flops to work. But did you know that people working in a hair salon are not allowed to wear flip flops? Here is the reason.
Why your hairdresser is not allowed to wear flip flops
I was recently having a chat with my hairdresser Jeroen Schultheis (Schulthies Coiffeurs) about his work and his salon.
“People have no idea how razor-sharp hairs are and can easily prick your feet, and if that is not bad enough, hairs can also get stuck and grow inwards. If you are wearing flip flops, the chance of this happening is quite high. So, for this reason, you are officially not allowed to wear flip flops if you work in a hair salon.”
I came across an article in the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad about a hair splinter incident. It was about how doctors in Sao Paulo found a rare hair splinter in the foot of a man that was the cause of his excruciating pain. When I chatted with Jereon about this article, he had to laugh.
“This does not make any sense at all. It states that in 60 years, there are only 26 incidents reported worldwide. But every hairdresser deals with this. When you are busy cutting hair every day, hair gets everywhere. Believe me, at the end of the day you find hair everywhere, even in your underwear. As a result at least once a year either I or one my colleagues will have an ingrowing hair. Always in a different place, last time it was under my nail.”
Rules and Rules
Yet I’m sure I’ve seen Jeroen wearing flip flops. When I mentioned this he was quick to answer.
“Yes, on a really hot day I sometimes wear flip flops. It doesn’t happen often but once in a while. While it is officially not allowed, remember that the rules for hairdressers are constantly changing. Officially you should always were gloves when you are working and you should not wear rings or bracelets. This has more to do with allergies which not everyone has of course. So, I am not going to ban my staff from wearing these items.
As a hairdresser, you have to keep abreast of the rules, but use your common sense and get your priorities right. There are health and safety rules in place that I find very important. For example, being able to adjust the stool that you are sitting on while cutting hair so you do not damage your back. This, to me, is very important and the reason I always buy top-notch expensive stools. I do not want the ladies working with me to get back problems.”
Here we see it again: there and rules and rules. But flips flops are probably best left at home if you are working in a hair salon. Have you seen your hairdresser working in flip flops?