1151539 tn?1262151603


I just finished reading a discussion posted back on Oct. 9th 2009 regarding Hair & Nail salons. I have been a cosmetologist for 24 yrs. who is in treatment for Hep C. I do not mean to offend anyone, but would really like to hear from others on this subject.
First each state has different regulations. I have worked in the state of OH & FL throughout my career, since my diagnosis last March, I quit. I have recently discovered other hair stylists in the industry with Hepatitis, as we use the same equipment on ourselves & each other. State board safety & sanitation regulations are NOT always practiced or followed, no matter how closely a state may attempt to regulate the industry.
Across the board, we all know and or heard of people that have absolutely no clue as to how they contracted the virus, people with no background of anything that the medical community can come up with.
I am searching for any studies/research ect... and am coming up with nothing conclusive. I do know that I have been so fearful of my giving this to my family that I take every precaution I can possibly think of. Within the industry of cosmetology hair clippers keep haunting me. Mens haircuts normally require a "lining" this is metal to skin, many men can tell you of a rash along their necks at some point in their life, a commonly used product is "clippercide" it's an alcohol & a oil based lubricant. All metal implements are SUPPOSED to be sterilized with alcohol after EACH use, sorry folks this is not done especially in "franchised" salons where the high volume of customers is the only way to make a pay check. The higher end salons do have more time & do practice better sanitation. But I will guarantee that any pair of clippers when taken apart are filled with hair, oil, & God only knows what else. We do take our equipment apart on a regular basis in order to keep it in a good working clean condition, but impossible to do between every client.
Additionally, you will not meet a stylist that has not cut themselves. Our hand become so dry, cracking & bleeding especially in the northern states during the winter, that it is a chronic problem the longer a stylist has been in the industry. Myself, I have never thought I really had too much of a problem with the chronic drying & cracking, until my diagnosis, then I noticed every little cut, scratch, torn cuticle ect... My having Hep C or you having it. I give you a simple shampoo with a cut or dry torn cuticle, and maybe you have a scratch, dry scalp, pimple and you all know how we scrub your scalp with our hands. Need I say anymore?
I can go on all day with numerous case scenarios that either I could give it to you or you could give it to me without even knowing it within the industry. Trust that, in general, stylist do not know & would honestly change the way they do things if they did.
Any and all feedback regard your opinions, knowledge, suggestions ect... would be greatly appreciated.
11 Responses
338734 tn?1377160168
It is really good and responsible for you to notice and take care of scratches, etc. but realistically, unless you are drawing blood from your customers while working on them, there's not a significant change of spreading the infection to them IMO. It is not like you are using your combs or scissors to administer IV hair dye or to give "curly hair" gene therapy.

If you are drawing blood from your customers, forget what I said and find another profession! ;-)
Avatar universal
I'm currently in cosmetology school in new jersey. I was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2000. In 2014 I started to take the new medication that came out So valid and Olysio which costs over 100 grand. I took it for 3 months and currently undetectable of her c. The Dr said I still have hepatitis c regardless if it shows up undetectable it's not harming my liver no more and prey that it stays that way! I was wondering if  it will effect me to get my cosmetology license because once you get 600hrs you have to go to ur Dr to get a physical and would like to know if the Dr puts that on the physical teachers will not want me near them or discriminate me. And will it effect me to get a license? My health is fine just still comes up on a blood test that I'm positive for hep c but it's no longer effecting my liver, just worried that they might say I can't work in the field I'm studying for. Any help or suggestions I am in school in new jersey to get my cosmetology license. I know it's hard to give it to someone else only when u are bleeding and another person has a cut and u rub it together but would never do something like that!
Avatar universal
Hi, and welcome to the Forum.

First, IF you are Undetected now, after treating in 2014, then you do NOT HAVE HEP C.

IF you have Hep C your are NOT UNDETECTED.

That is mutually exclusive.  Hep C is - either you have it or you don't.  It's and 'either / or' kind of thing.

What you WILL always have, are Hep C Antibodies.  All you have to tell the Dr on you exam, if he tests for that and finds the antibodies, is "I had Hep C, was treated and now I am cured.  Please do the HCV RNA PCR test, which measures for viral load, and that will tell you that I do not have Hep C".

If he doesn't want to do the additional test, it would be worth your while, even if you don't have health insurance, to come up with the few hundred dollars (I have read between $200 - $400, depending on where you live and the Lab company,etc.) the test costs and pay to have one done yourself, then you will be able to show him/her a CURRENT HCV RNA PCR test, verifying that you DO NOT HAVE Hep C.

Another way is, if you live in an area blessed with an active Clinic or Board of health, who does those tests, low cost, or free, get it that way.

Finally, IF you find out, from that RNA PCR test, that you DO still have Hep C, get into treatment!!  There are a couple of next generations, after the Sovaldi/Olysio tx now available, and tx time should be around 12 weeks.

However, from what you said, I do not believe that will be necessary.  I believe the Dr was talking about antibodies, NOT about Hep C.  In any instance,myou need to know.

Good luck, good testing, and success in your cosmotological future!


1689583 tn?1387752394
I always was told alcohol does not sterile metal only extreme high heat. Alchol sterilizes skin and tissue.
683231 tn?1467323017
Being positive for the hep c antibodies should not prevent you from obtaining a cosmetology license in the U.S. You could be a nurse a doctor or a food handler with hep c whether cured or just positive for antibodies.

I suggest you contact your state health department for confirmation

Congrats for curing your hep c

Good luck
Avatar universal
I cut my own hair. I do my own nails. I'm good. You'd never know. You are in a high risk profession. This thread is old. Please repost.
Avatar universal
Since reaching svr 4 months ago, this is the one thing I worry about because I want to start getting pedicures again. I've been cut to the point of bleeding before and so now just figure I need to use my own scissors. I don't think any manicurist would object to a customer bringing in their own tools.

All this to say I do agree we have to be vigilant when sharing services with the general public.
Avatar universal
I'm currently enrolled in cosmetology school in new jersey also and just got paper work to get filled out and had hepatitis c and took the sovaldi and olysio treatment and was undectable the first month and 6 months after treatment! I am also worried about the same thing spider man said? About others looking at me different because the teacher would have to inform fellow students that even though I'm undectable I can still give it to someone else. It would be very small % that it would happen. The person who posted that they are at there 600 hrs did you get ur permit? Did Dr put on paper you were infected with hep c? Please provde what happens would really appreciate it! Will new jersey still give me a permit and a license?
Avatar universal
I'm in the same position you are in! Took the meds undectable. Was wondering if the Dr.put on sheet u were infected Ted with it? Did you have any problems with getting ur permit? How long did u get ur permit after u submitted paperwork?
Avatar universal
I currently was treated for hepatitis c and was undectable after 6 months of not taking any meds! I'm worried that I will have problem getting my permit? If I knew this in the beginning I would of asked someone about it cause the school is 17 grand I have to pay back. If anyone had same problem would appreciate any feed back
683231 tn?1467323017
you don't have hep c you cannot transmit a virus you do not have.

You will forever test positive for hep c antibodies but antibodies are not the virus they are made by your own body when it tried to defend itself from the virus.

If you treated and test negative for hep c virus with a HVC RNA by PCR test and have not detected as a result for viral load 12 weeks after treating you are cured and do not have the hep c virus in your body.

Even if you still had hep c which you do not the CDC (U.S. Center for Disease Control) recommends:

Should a person infected with the Hepatitis C virus be restricted from working in certain jobs or settings?

CDC's recommendations for prevention and control of the Hepatitis C virus infection state that people should not be excluded from work, school, play, child care, or other settings because they have Hepatitis C. There is no evidence that people can get Hepatitis C from food handlers, teachers, or other service providers without blood-to-blood contact.

I found the N.J. application for Cosmetology License form


Page 9 is a Physicians certificate asking a Physician to attest that:

"and found this person to be free from any evidence of infectious, contagious or communicable diseases which could reasonably be expected to be transmitted during the course of rendering cosmetology
and hairstyling, beauty culture, barbering, skin care specialty or manicuring services."

Hep c would not be and issue for this type of work and anyway you do not have hep c. So unless you have something else going on this should not be a problem for you

Good luck
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