Social Question

NightStalker's avatar

Do Hairstylists have an obligation to tell their client if they find lice while cutting their hair?

Asked by NightStalker (459points) September 30th, 2011

I was just curious what a hairstylist would do.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

13 Answers

wonderingwhy's avatar

If I was a hairstylist I would certainly say something. Do they have an obligation? Perhaps not a legal one (I don’t know – I suppose there could be some sort of health code issue involved), but in my opinion I find it difficult to argue against their having an ethical one.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I have a good friend who is a hairstylist, and yes, there is a legal code stipulating they inform the client about the lice they find, and they cannot finish cutting the hair.

zenvelo's avatar

In California they stop and tell the client why. Then they disinfect/poison/sterilize/delouse everything.

bobbinhood's avatar

My grandma recently discovered she had lice while at the salon. When the hairstylist saw it, she called over her boss to look. The boss confirmed that it was lice and immediately kicked my grandma out of the shop. I’m guessing that’s pretty standard. After all, they can’t very well do business if the salon becomes infested.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake I wasn’t sure about the legalities but that’s what I was thinking. I was wondering if a stylist could even cut the hair of a person with lice. They have an obligation not to maintain an place of business that doesn’t pose a public health hazard.

@bobbinhood Well, I certainly hope they were nice about tossing your Granny out of the shop! I hope they really didn’t just kick her out!

Coloma's avatar


I’d HOPE someone would tell me! I have never thought of this, but, I’d surmise there would be some sort of disclosure mandated for stylists. Ewww!

bobbinhood's avatar

@lillycoyote It’s my understanding that they were polite but hurried.

The funny part is, she said her head didn’t itch at all until they told her she had lice; then it itched constantly.

Ela's avatar

You’re all making my head itch : (

Dog's avatar

Yeah- my head is itching now too. Damnit.

Linda_Owl's avatar

People who cut hair/style hair for a living will not cut the hair of a person if they find evidence of head lice.

Ela's avatar

I’m a licensed cosmetologist. I keep my license up to date but am currently not practicing. Head lice usually attach their eggs to the hair strands located in the warmer areas of the head. Behind the ears and at the nape are where they are most commonly found. You can tell approximately how long a person has been infected by how far down the hair shaft it is. Unfortunately if a stylist doesn’t check for it before beginning any hair service, the service is stopped immediately once it is found, the entire area sanitized as well as all the stylists equipment.
The worst case I personally came across was a woman that had eggs attached to the hair in her front bang area. Usually you don’t see the actually bug, but I saw buggies… it was sad and disgusting : (

filmfann's avatar

My wife is a former cosmologist, and she says @Hawaii_Jake is correct.
You are legally required to tell the customer, and you cannot continue the cutting or styling.
This is to protect future customers as well.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I would be pissed off if my hairdresser didn’t tell me. My best friend once told me that, at the salon she works in, they keep a shampoo to treat headlice so, if they find them on a client they can deal with it there and then.

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