Department of Health

Hairdressing and make-up application – infection prevention and control

Key messages

  • There is a low risk of transmitting an infection at a hairdressing or temporary make-up application business.
  • Hairdressing and make-up businesses still need to take precautions to reduce the risk of infection.
  • If a hairdressing or make-up business also performs other beauty, tattooing or skin penetration procedures, it should follow the guidelines for those industries as well.
  • Hairdressing and temporary make-up applications businesses may apply for an ongoing registration with their local council.

Hairdressing and temporary make-up application businesses need to follow the Infection prevention and control guidelines for hair, beauty, tattooing and skin penetration industries. If you work at these type of businesses, you should download and be familiar with the entire guidelines. Excerpts of the procedure specific requirements from the guidelines are also provided.

Infection can occur during some hairdressing or barbering procedures. Items such as razors, scissors, combs, clippers and hairpins can accidentally penetrate the skin.

Blood and body fluids do not have to be visible on instruments, equipment or working surfaces for infection to be transmitted. Both clients and operators are at risk.

The main risks, albeit low, include:

  • bacterial skin infections, such as impetigo
  • fungal skin infections, such as tinea and ringworm
  • viral blood-borne infections, such as hepatitis B and C, and HIV.

Workers should ask clients to point to specific moles or prominent lesions, so that appropriate care can be taken to avoid cutting the client.

If hairdressing premises perform other beauty, tattooing or skin penetration procedures, then the operators should follow the relevant sections in the appropriate industry-specific guidelines.

Hairdressing, barbering and temporary make-up businesses can apply for an ongoing registration with their local council. If the business also conducts other beauty, tattooing or skin penetration procedures they will not be eligible for an ongoing registration. Download the 'Registration requirements for hairdressing and make-up businesses' pamphlet below for more information.

Client information sheets

As part of enhancing public awareness of infection risks, information sheets have been developed for clients receiving particular procedures. In some instances, clients must be provided this information in writing.

View the copies of client information sheets.

Reviewed 19 August 2019


Contact details

Do not email patient notifications.

Communicable Disease Section Department of Health GPO Box 4057, Melbourne, VIC 3000

Was this page helpful?