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Prom and graduation are around the corner, so many consumers will be rushing to salons to look flawless for their big day. Whether yoshutterstock_641106730u’re interested in a new hairdo or getting a manicure, it is important to ensure that treatments are performed by licensed professionals at a clean facility.

Salon professionals deal with chemicals and sharp instruments, so you want to make sure they’re trained and know what they’re doing. To help ensure that you receive safe and satisfactory service, check these basic points before getting a haircut or color, a manicure, or a facial:

  • Ask to see the salon license and the license of the person providing the service (For security reasons, personal licenses are not required to be posted at individual stations). You can also check licenses on the Division of Professional Licensure’s website. Cosmetologists, manicurists, aestheticians and the salons where they work must be licensed by the state Board of Registration of Cosmetology and Barbering.
  • Observe the overall condition of the salon. It should appear clean and neat.
  • Towels should be stored in closed cabinets, hair should be swept from the floor, and perm rods, combs and brushes should be properly sanitized.
  • The cosmetologist, manicurist or aesthetician is required to wash his/her hands before starting each new client.
  • If you will be getting a manicure, observe the time spent on the manicuring service. If the manicurist is rushed, it can result in improper sanitizing of work area and tools, as well as nicks and cuts to the client. Keep in mind, however, that many customers want to “get out quick” and may have a tendency to rush the manicurist.
  • The manicuring table must be properly sanitized between each client.
  • A sterilizer (a container filled with a disinfectant solution for sterilizing manicuring tools) should be visible at the station and the manicuring tools must be properly sanitized between each client.
  • The price list for all services must be posted in a conspicuous place in the salon.
  • Gender based pricing for cosmetology services is prohibited by the Massachusetts Public Accommodations Act (MGL c. 272, ss 92A and 98). Prices must be based on factors such as hair length or difficulty of styling.
  • Check for “a la carte” pricing. Many manicuring services are offered “a la carte” (i.e., application of nail strengthener or moisturizer may be an additional charge over the price of the basic manicure).
  • Salons cannot use any advertising which is misleading or inaccurate or misrepresent any materials or services, terms, values or policies. For example, if a “permanent wave” is advertised at a specific price, the advertised price must include the cost of all operations necessary to complete the service. If the price of a haircut and styling is separate, it must be stated in the advertisement.

To check a license or file a complaint against a salon in Massachusetts, contact the Division of Professional Licensure or fill out a complaint form online.

If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer. The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for all Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s Lemon Laws, data breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs and the state’s Do Not Call Registry.

 

 

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