Health Concerns for Cosmetologists

Approximately 30% of the nearly 3,000 chemicals used in cosmetology are classified as toxic substances by the United States government. In addition, many studies throughout the past 20 years have shown a high worker turnover rate in cosmetology worker due to occupational allergies and health problems. A study by Hollund et al. (2003) reported about 40% of cosmetology study participants had left the occupation due to an occupational allergy or health problem. In addition, Leino et al. (1999) reported hairdressers were 3.5 times more likely to leave the profession due to asthma related illness and that occupational elbow, wrist, neck and shoulder strain was associated with reported career changes among cosmetologists.

The following list highlights some of the health risks cosmetologists could face on the job:

  • Exposure to hazardous chemicals
  • Risk of infection
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Burns/cuts/scratches
  • Noise
  • Verbal or physical abuse from clients
  • Stress

Click the following links to learn more about exposure to hazardous chemicals (as summarized from our review of peer-reviewed literature as of spring 2012):