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Keeping your tools clean

Keep the public safe!

As a barber stylist, it is my professional and legal obligation to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria while servicing the public. I would like to discuss the importance of keeping your tools clean to ensure you are practicing safe procedures. In many cases dirty tools can cause infectious disease and disorders to spread from person to person. Ringworm, dandruff are among many infectious diseases that can pass through the public. Practicing disinfection regularly can cut down on this possibility by 99.99%. Using proper decontaminating procedures will ensure this, and here they are.

Levels of sanitation

There are three levels of santitation to reference when working in the field of beauty. Here they are from least effective to the most!

  1. Sanitization: using soap and water to reduce  the number of germs, and bacteria from porous surfaces that causes disease. Does not stop germs from resurfacing.
  2. Disinfection: using an E.P.A registered cleaner to remove the presence of germs, bacteria, viruses, and fungi from all non-porous surfaces.
  3. Sterilization: the most effective way to remove and reduce ALL disease causing bacteria, fungus, and viruses.

Those being the three levels it is easier to break it down by remembering while your hands can be sanitized, they can only be sterilized by using sterilized gloves. Non-porous areas such as tools and stations can be disinfected and dress for protection (i,e paper towel)

In the beauty field because we do not penetrate the skin none of the tools we use need to be sterilized.

Disinfection is required after each guest in the beauty industry to ensure the control of infection and its mobility.

Making sure your hands are sanitized is a guaranteed way to ensure you are free of germs and microbes.

Infection control products

The goal is to prevent the spread of disease to the public. To decontaminate items must first be cleaned and then disinfected. The federal government have put laws into place for proper precaution to prevent the spread of bacteria. If you fail to follow proper disinfection procedure, legal action can be taken where you can be held responsible for any outcome in result.

it is important to keep all products labeled and a record of material safety data sheets on the premise to guarantee proper use. Before using any agent the safety and storage instructions must be read to make sure they are correctly used.

For any disinfectant to be effective it must be E.P.A registered as a broad spectrum cleaner making it hospital grade able to kill all viruses, fungi, and bacteria air or bloodbourne. This number can be found somewhere on the bottle usually on the back under the active ingredients. If your cleaner isn’t registered then you may be spreading bacteria and not knowing.

Bleach is the #1 used cleaner in the barbershop mixed at a 10:1 ratio to be effective. Ten parts water to every one part bleach. Two ounces of bleach requires 20 ounces of water to become an effective disinfectant.

I use the mar-v-cide spray to disinfect as it is easy to use and has multiple uses as an odor eliminator, and disinfectant for my tools and station.

purell is your universal hand sanitizer, but rubbing alcohol can be used in substitution at 70% ethyl alcohol and 91% isopropyl alcohol.

Infection control procedures

The procedure of infection control is just as important if not more than the products. If you don’t administer the products as directed they can be ineffective leaving your guest vulnerable to contract disease. Leaving YOU the barber liable or YOU the guest infected.

gloves for safety


disposable gloves and goggles should be worn to protect your skin and eyes as the ingredients of your disinfectant can be hazardous. Always resort to your M.S.D.S to be on the safe side.

All tools and surfaces must be cleaned and decontaminated before they can be disinfected. Here are the steps in disinfecting clippers for infection control practices.

Using a toothbrush with warm mild soapy water should be used to remove all dirt, debris, and skin from the surface/ teeth of your tool. Use a towel/paper towel to dry your tool of excess moisture.

Holding your spray 6-8 inches from the surface spray your clipper head until covered. To sanitize; the clipper can be wiped off right away. In order to kill bacteria, virus, and fungus the spray must sit for ten minutes or suggested contact time of product before being wiped away. This method is used whenever your tool comes in contact with any type of body fluid. MUST be done WITHOUT HESITATION whenever a bloodspill happens.

implements such as combs, brushes, and metals can be decontaminated first then sat in a 10:1 bleach solution to disinfect your implements. Completely submerged in the solution and left for at least 10 minutes.

Infection control conclusion

Bacteria and viruses cannot be seen with the naked eye so using precaution before and after each guest is paramount. It is easy to spread disease and disorder if infection control is not a practice.

Have you ever seen skin irritation from razors? Or bumps caused by an uncomfortable shave? This can be caused by bacteria being transferred by the dead skin and dirt left behind on clippers. Each passing of the clipper on ones face or head can leave behind bacteria easily contaminating the skin leaving it open for infection.

So the next time you go get a haircut take a good look at your barber and how he cleans his tools. Does he constantly brush away dirt and debris? Does he clean his hands before beginning your service? Ask can you look in his station and see what type of response you get. Does he put his clippers away without spraying or brushing them? If so, don’t be afraid to ask that the tools be cleaned before proceeding with your service. It may be a matter of infection, or infection control.

If you are a barber start practicing decontamination and disinfection NOW. Keeping your tools clean is a must if you want to enjoy a long healthy career ensuring safe services for each and every guest you seat! Being negligent for a disease or infection you could have prevented can be avoided with proper infection control practices. Legally and professionally practice safely and properly!

Thank you for reading,

Shannon Kamal

How much does a good haircut cost?
Before and after of a mens haircut

As a barber I am plagued by the disease of analyzing people’s hair. Whether I am at the park, grocery store, or watching tv I find myself  envisioning ways to improve the persons haircut. So one day out of curiosity I asked a young man with a mediocre haircut how much does his barber charge and he said $20. That lead me to ask this question. How much does a good haircut cost? If one is paying  $20 for subpar work what can I get for my above and beyond performance.

Well first we should probably discuss what is a “good haircut”?

In my professional opinion a good haircut should last anywhere from 6-8 days. Although it’s hard to please everyone it is easy to leave everyone satisfied. A good haircut is when you follow instructions, the fundamental elements of design, & the code of sanitation!

If you aren’t comfortable executing a style being asked for Be honest and let your guest know where he can sit to get the look  asked for. In other words know the strength of your shop, and who can do what. It will show your professionalism, and keep shop morale high.

Not every head of hair is created equal so it’s important to recognize the flaws if any of your customer. A good haircut will enhance your features and hide your flaws. While a bad haircut will enhance your flaws and hide your features. So cut wisely!

So now that we know what a good haircut is. How much does it cost? Well first a consultation must be had to discover what is being done.

All haircuts come with a complimentary neck massage to finish and a fine fragrance to send you on your way.

A regular buzz cut $20-$25 w/beard

Picture of a handsome little boy and his haircut

A style cut that requires detail is $25-$30 w/beard

kids cut $15

That’s pretty much basically where the services begin, so now let’s look into what you’re paying for, and why a low-price may not always be the best idea.

Just remember not all haircuts will be good, but the price should always match the work. If ever you aren’t satisfied with the outcome of the  service do NOT pay! Sure we make mistakes as barbers, we’re human. Our mistakes shouldn’t cost you. So If the barber doesn’t agree to discounting the service, or offer free product you should find a new barber.

Experience v. Service

How does this play into the price of a haircut you ask? Well a service is  given to those who request work from you. While an experience will leave a lasting  impression on your guest from the work that is requested from you.

Many will argue that the experience is what adds value when factoring in various price points. What will your guest encounter when they come in for that routine grooming session? Loud vulgar Music, dirty shop, and a great haircut? Sure the cut was nice but you couldn’t relax, and was afraid to wash your hands because the bathroom sink looked like it belongs in an underground subway station.

Or is the music at a decent level for all ears to enjoy, clean reception area with a bathroom that belongs in a hyatt! With this you can relax and enjoy a service as your barber grows into giving you the best haircut you’ve ever had. 

You can also give a great experience by giving the customer exactly what was asked of you instead of what you believe he should have. At this point it wouldn’t matter how clean, and relaxing your shop is if i am leaving with a mohawk! Sure a mohawk is a fine haircut, however I have an important presentation Monday morning to determine my annual bonus. 

In which i may have to now leave with a correction haircut leaving me with a style that just isn’t flattering nor a compliment my features.

In final

A good haircut can run from $15-$80 which is all depending on what’s being performed, who’s it being performed on, and what kind of experience will they receive. You will know where you stand when you begin to hear the reviews from the public that you serve.

When they leave feeling brand new with added confidence to smash this years annual bonus review you will be the first to hear about it rendering your time worth every penny!

Don’t forget to leave your idea of what a good haircut should cost, and what experience do you create by leaving a comment below.

Thanks for stopping by,

Shannon Kamal

Hairline health tips for men

What happened to my hairline?

Male pattern balding is a condition that can be passed down from generation to generation and can skip generations if lucky.

The balding genes comes directly from your mom believe it or not.

Balding can also be caused by chemical damage, lack of maintenance, disease, stress, medicines, barber malpractice, and a host of other reasons.

30% of male balding occurring in males 30 and under suffer from testosterone produced enzymes called dihydrotestosterone. What this does is choke the follicle until it becomes thin and eventually non-existent!

This percentage reaches to 50% by age 50 and higher as aging takes place.

Now we all know that age plays a huge role in the health of our hair. However what we consume, and how we care for our hair is important for growth. Here are some simple hairline health tips to give you a better chance at a full hairline for as long as possible.

How clean is your lifestyle?

A diet full of nutrients and drug free will produce silky, shiny hair.

A diet fueled by bad habits will produce hair that looks and feel in distress.

Cleansing and moisturizing the hair is important to promote a healthy growth. While reducing breakage and choking of the follicle with dirt and debris.

Now I know there are a lot of products that promise to regrow your hair with a guarantee. These types of claims I find bogus.

Before a promise can be guaranteed information must first be gathered to determine what course of action will work if at all.

if the hair is gone through injury with damaged roots the hair will never return. Hair that is loss due to stress can be nursed back to health. While Chemical damage can cause hair loss the hair has a chance to regrow as long as the roots are in tact and unharmed.

So to prescribe any products a consultation must be done first to discover what condition are you in, why is the hair gone, how long has it been gone, can it grow back.

Rogaine doesn’t grow the hair back in fact it just slows the process down. Only drawback is that if you stop using it for a while the rest of your hair will fall out.

So to keep a healthy hairline you must realize that if you have balding relatives on moms side of the family this may be a mission impossible.


What is your grooming regimen?

While your hairline is strong and full pay close attention on your barbers skill to keep your line in its natural state. A continuous shave in the hairline with a motorized clipper can just leave that root to weak to push out anything strong enough to hold detail.

Keep the scalp cleansed free of dirt and your hair shiny and healthy. Now you can embrace a style to minimize the obvious balding, or sport a neat style with a receding line but a clean sophisticated look.

There are no tricks to a healthy hair line but my tip would be to enjoy it while you still have one. If you are receding. Know your level in which you can still wear hair.

Trying to wear full styles and a lineup are out of the question with some baldness so embrace the bald look.

On the other hand some receding hairlines can be blended with a lower cropped style.

Either way it begins with appearance! As long as your hair is neat, clean, and free of odor then you have more range to wear your hair as you see fit.

Thats it for now! Any comments or questions about your experience in balding?

leave below,

Shannon kamal

Discussing men haircut styles

Let’s talk about men’s haircut styles!

As a barber I have cut over 10,000 different heads in my career. The one thing that keeps me challenged is the different men haircut styles that get requested. When I first began cutting it would make me tremble to get a style cut. Today I welcome the opportunity to be creative.

It can get boring at times to cut the same hairstyle day in day out. In my rookie years that’s all I would hope for. A regular same length buzz cut, or a high and tight state trooper cut. That’s all I was ever comfortable doing, or felt I was good at! That’s fine for someone just beginning to become familiar with technique, but after while where is the creation that sets my ability apart from the regular.

I needed to let my creativity out so that’s  when I decided to take on the next customer that wanted a regular cut, and assert my professional opinion to suggest something more stylish. It WORKED! The next guest was game for it and said “sure!” Well there I was with my chance to challenge  myself and put my creative side to work.

45 mins later I cut one of the WORSE Mohawks ever to adorned by a human being not in a comedy show. Well I was still fairly new I was only in school 3 weeks. Sure I was cutting before that but, never a style cut. Now that it was over it was painless actually. I began watching dvd after dvd studying advanced cuts. Next time around I will knock it out the park. 13 years later and Mohawks are my favorite cuts to do and used to be one of the most requested from me.

The ideas for haircut are just bought back into circulation from the past. A lot of the styles worn today are from different eras in time from the 80’s with high top fades to pompadours from the 1700’s. It’s fair to say some styles will never go out of style, while other styles will return to be the style!

Although hair is hair not all hair can or should be worn the same. I find myself having to remind some guest that not everyone can wear the same styles and pull it off. due to texture, length, condition, density, etc… So at the end of the day it’s important to know what you can, or cannot pull off. This is the general rule of thumb that I follow!

the Different Face types

By determining the shapes of the face I can recommend a style that’s pleasing to the eye, and will suit your profile. Oval being the perfect shape face for design any cut can be sported. Triangle, diamond, and heart has similar features giving this keeping the top on the lower side will shorten the face giving the pointy chin less pointy. Leaving round, and square as unique. Round faces do well with square shapes hair to draw the eye from the roundness. While a square shape can be softened with a round shaping. Now these are general rules not to be followed all of the time.

There are a few more checks to

Some features and bone structures allow room to be creative. Hair texture, and density are vital to the overall look  of a specific design. You can’t come in with a picture of silky wavy short cropped hair when your hair is a Brillo pad on steroids. After all I’m only a barber not a magician!

Lastly, when a guest doesn’t know exactly what they’d like a consultation is a sure way to discover what will suit this individual.  for a men’s haircut I tend to ask these questions to discover what style to administer.

  1. What do you do for work?
  2. Hobbies?
  3. outgoing or home body?
  4. life of the party or glad to get invited?
  5. what is your maintenance routine?

With these question I will find out if he can wear a funky style or has to keep it professional for work. His hobby will give me a little insight into who he is, and what they can/can’t pull off. Home bodies tend to keep it routine. Therefore being a homebody means usually a regular cut will suffice while outgoing can be adventurous and willing to try anything. Life of the party can pull off adventurous looks  as they can be adventurous. Maintenance is vital! One who doesn’t shampoo or cleanse the skin under the hair then a regular low buzz cut is best!

If you have had any men’s haircut style ideas that didn’t turn out too well, or any success with choosing a men haircut style. It’s probably because the proper elements of designs weren’t used, or you chose a style that didn’t fit your profile.

I would love to hear how you prefer your style, and why? If you are a stylist what rule of thumb do you use when approaching your grooming duty? Leave your comments below, and don’t forget to follow on Instagram @ shannon_kamal

Shannon kamal