Article by Sean Edwards – Publisher the Cutthroat Journal
Does everyone get razor rash when they get a clipper cut at the barbers?
I personally have to be very cautious when I go to the Barbers and I get a clipper cut, with my sensitive skin type. The next day after I have a cut I often get itchy rashes and annoying pimples appearing on those close cut areas at the back of my neck. There are a few reasons I found out these rashes appear! For one, the clipper blade pulls out hairs in the cutting process, exposing open pores, where the hair follicles are. Thus making them sore and itchy. The pulling of hair on the loose neck skin can also be the cause of irritating ingrowing hairs.
The other main reason, which can be totally avoidable is that the barbers clippers have not been cleaned properly, between cuts and Staph infections can been introduced into the open pores of the skin by the unsanitised clippers. This condition is called Folliculitis and is contributed from passing germs from one customer to another. Sanitising clippers between cuts should be a standard part of the hygiene practice of the Barber Industry and there should be no excuse why this process is not followed!
In my travels around the globe, I have had the great pleasure of visiting hundreds of barbershops and I still see many shops not consistently practicing these hygienic safety protocols. Most clipper manufacturers have good guidelines on how to maintain and extend the life of the clipper, but often overlook the hygiene process of cleaning the bacteria from clipper blades through to good sanitizing practices, between each customer.
Covid 19 has had a hugely negative affect on the Australian hospitality and service industries! One of the few positive aspects surrounding the pandemic is sanitation and cleaning practices. Barbers have exposure to good education on sanitization, within their daily work routine, like washing hands, cleaning surfaces and soaking tools in coloured hygiene solutions. Clippers also need to be sterilised between jobs. We have researched the best method to do this, which can only take a few seconds and regularly practiced between each client. There are lots of sanitizing solutions on the market but how do you apply them to clippers quickly & effectively?
I have been discussing this with my Barber network and most like an aerosol based clipper solution. Products that can have a powerful blow action to release hair, dead skin and sterilise at the same time. The spray solution needs to also be rust inhibiting and also lubricate, where possible. Most major clipper companies have their own recommended products but many are heavily focused on the lubrication process of the application for the clipper, not the skin of the barber’s client.
I chatted with Callan Gates, the Business Development Manager for Sirron Holdings Australia who has recently looked at the issues of barbershop hygiene. In response, Sirron have developed and taken to market a full sanitizing range of cleaning products. Callan’s Newcastle based business has boomed through Covid, by being able to quickly develop working solutions for many industries around simple hygiene practices. When his business was asked to develop some barber sanitizing soaps for a few local barbers he looked beyond obvious concepts and discovered there was a major need to create an Australian designed product to clean and sanitize clippers. With the help of some forward thinking barbers, “Clip it” was born. Callan is also very proud of his sanitizing solution “Soak it” that will kill 99% of germs of barber tools!
These Sirron products are 100% Australian made, making the price point to the Australian Barber significantly reduced compared to other related products in the market place.
The Australian Barber industry has suffered considerably from lockdowns, so having good hygiene practices in place is vital to a safe future and like me, customers will start seeking out those businesses that go the extra mile, with a clean operation in place.