Whether this is your first salon inspection or not, then you know that salon inspections are no joke. States want to ensure the public that the salon they are patronizing is up to code and follows all the safety guidelines.
Failing a salon inspection means you may:
- not get open your salon
- have to close your inspection until you pass
- get a citation (or fine)
- find yourself in front of the disciplinary committee or state board
None of these are ideal, obviously.
To pass your salon inspection, keep your clients safe, and get or keep your license, you need to be prepared for anything the inspector might ask of you.
Keep in mind, each state has different salon requirements, so make sure you know your state salon board guidelines.
In this article, we will discuss how to prepare for your salon inspection, avoid the most common violations, and make sure that you pass with flying colors!
Here are five of the most common violations inspectors find that can keep your salon from opening its doors, lead to citations, or land you in front of the state board for disciplinary hearings.
Dirty salons are a risk to the public. No one wants to get their hair cut or nails done in a salon that looks or smells dirty.
Your salon should be cleaned daily, with special attention paid to areas that are more likely to become contaminated, such as shampoo bowls, pedicure tubs, and manicure tables.
All salon equipment must be properly sanitized between each client, and salon towels should be fresh and clean.
One-time use products should be discarded after each client and all salon garbage should be removed daily.
Your salon inspector will be looking for evidence of proper sanitation, such as cleaning supplies and sanitizing solutions that are properly labeled and stored.
You should also have a list of approved cleaning products and sanitizing solutions, as well as MSDS sheets for each one.
If they find violations, they will make notes, take pictures, and can even take further action.
To avoid this, make sure you have a cleaning schedule that is followed every day, and that all salon staff know and follow the proper sanitation procedures.
#2: Visible or Displayed Licenses
And all employees should have their licenses displayed at their workstations in the salon.
The licensee may also need to include a recent photo of the licensee attached to the license.
Your salon inspector will want to see that all licenses are up to date and that they are being displayed as required.
If they can’t find them, or if they are expired, you could be facing some serious consequences.
Not having the proper salon license displayed in a visible location is also a violation of the rules in many states.
Some states even take identification a step further. A few states require that each licensee be able to produce a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, upon request.
So, if you are not sure what the requirements are in your state, be sure to check with your state board or salon inspector before your inspection.
#3 Unlicensed Activity
Allowing unlicensed employees to perform salon services is a major violation that can lead to salon closures, citations, and disciplinary action.
Only licensed salon professionals are allowed to perform salon services.
The salon owner will be disciplined in addition to the unlicensed worker. If you are caught allowing unlicensed employees to work in your salon, you could be facing some serious consequences.
It is up to the salon owner to ensure all workers are properly licensed.
To avoid this, only hire licensed salon workers, and verify their license number in the license verification system for your state. Do not skip this step.
In Florida, you can verify a cosmetology board license here on the DBPR website.
In Texas, you can verify a cosmetology board license here on the TDLR website.
Clean and dirty never mix.
If your salon is not disposing of salon tools and equipment between uses, then it needs to make sure that they are properly sanitized and stored. Placing clean and sanitized tools with dirty ones negates the sanitation process.
Your used shears, scissors, or implements should not be anywhere near your cleaned ones. Not in the same drawer or proximity.
#5 Cleaning Records
Pedicure equipment has some of the most stringent cleaning requirements , and salon inspectors will be looking for evidence that you are following these rules.
There are serious consequences of poor sanitation in foot baths, or pedicure chairs. Last year in Florida, a woman sued a nail salon after she contracted a bacterial infection that required surgery as a result of salon equipment that was not properly sanitized.
Because of this danger, inspectors will also want to see your cleaning records during the salon inspection.
A record or log book containing the dates and times of all pedicure cleaning and disinfection procedures must be documented and kept in the pedicure area by the salon. It should be made available for review upon request by a consumer or inspector.
Where do I find a list of things the inspector will be looking for during the salon inspection.?
Check your state board website for salon rules.
For example, in Florida, COSMO 6 Application has all the details of what will be inspected for your first inspection, and every yearly inspection after that.
Your salon inspector will likely show up, introduce themselves, and then ask for the owner and manager. From there, they will likely start the salon inspection.
How much can I be fined for violations?
Again, each state has various citations.
It depends on the violation and if this is a first or subsequent offense.
A salon can be fined $100 to $1,000 for each violation. If you have more than one violation, the salon will be subject to disciplinary action, even suspension or revocation, by the Board.
How often is my salon or barbershop going to be inspected?
Initial salon and barbershop inspections are usually unannounced. After the initial inspection, your salon will likely be inspected at least once every year. Check your state rules.
If the inspector finds something, they may return more often.
How do I get ready for an inspection?
You should treat every day like it is salon inspection day. This means that your salon should always be clean, organized, and in compliance with your state’s laws and rules.
I’ve sat through disciplinary hearings where salon and barbershop owners tried to explain why there was hair all over the salon, MMA in the cabinet, or an unlicensed worker in the salon. The board is not interested in excuses for unsanitary conditions, unknowing having banned substances, or failure to verify an active license. As a salon owner, you are taking responsibility for all of these issues.
A Clean Salon is More Likely to Be a Successful Salon
A salon that is clean, organized, and in compliance with state rules is more likely to be successful than a salon that is not.
When customers see a salon that is well-kept, they are more likely to trust the salon and its employees.
A salon that looks like it does not have its act together is less likely to attract and retain customers.
So, if you want your salon to be successful, make sure it is clean and in compliance with all state laws and rules.
If you are looking for more tips to opening a salon in Texas and passing your salon inspection, check out our tips here: Tips for Opening A Texas Salon. For Florida, we suggest this guide: Tips for Opening a Florida Salon or Barbershop.
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