Patronizing Hair and Nail Salons Linked To Increased Risk of Skin and Fungal Infections Interview with:
Lindsey Milich Rutgers School of Public Health studiesLindsey Milich

Rutgers School of Public Health studies What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Much of the spotlight has been focused on hair and nail technicians, with the focus now shifting towards the health and safety of hair and nail salon clients. We wanted to assess perceived safety and health risks and prevalence of respiratory and dermal symptoms among hair and nail salon clients in New Jersey.

Main findings include dermal/fungal symptoms being more prevalent among clients who visited salons three or more times within the past year, compared with those with fewer reported visits. Respiratory symptom prevalence was higher among clients with fewer salon visits, indicating a “healthy client effect”; clients with these symptoms may be less likely to return.

“Manicure (5)” by ASCOM Prefeitura de Votuporanga is licensed under CC BY What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Readers should have an overall idea of potential exposures within salons. Clients should ask their stylist or nail technician about the chemical ingredients in the products being used, how they disinfect their tools, and the type of ventilation system in the salon. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Studies of salon clients in other settings are needed to confirm and expand on our findings. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: This study does not provide causal evidence that visiting a salon results in negative outcomes. Thank you for your contribution to the community.

More information about safety and chemicals used in salon products are available at, a resource for cosmetology schools and consumers, which is maintained by the School of Public Health.


Lindsey J. Milich, Derek G. Shendell, Judith M. Graber. Safety and health risk perceptions: A cross-sectional study of New Jersey hair and nail salon clients. Journal of Chemical Health and Safety, 2017; 24 (6): 7 DOI: 10.1016/j.jchas.2017.03.004

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on December 16, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD