When you’re being groomed and pampered, hygiene is not necessarily top of mind. But if this behind-the-scenes detail is not in place, what should be a great experience can end in discomfort.

For establishments that work with many people every day, cleanliness has to be next to godliness. Here’s how we do it at Hines & Harley..

The general cleanliness of our premises is a priority. The floors are regularly swept and washed, and all surfaces dusted and cleaned. We wash and sanitise our hands continuously throughout the day.

Our guests often ask about how we keep our tools clean. We wash them in a mixture of water and general disinfectant to remove debris, and then sterilise them with clorhexidine. This is the spray that hospitals use, and that the dentist asks you to rinse your mouth with. It’s more powerful than iodine and can be used on skin, implements and work surfaces. We rely on clorhexidine to destroy all possibility of fungus, bacteria and viruses on the equipment we use.

You will spot two UV heat cabinets in our lounge. In these we keep the metal tools for extra sterilisation. Barbicide jars with disinfectant are also visible at various stations.

When we disappear to the back of the shop, it’s for a squirt of the sterilising spray that we use on absolutely everything – hands included. Even our clippers have their own special spray, formulated to clean electrical equipment that cannot be rinsed.

We clean and sterilise between each and every guest, which is why we book longer appointment times. We never use dirty tools on our guests. Cross contamination is not an option.

Hygiene and the prevention of cross-contamination also extend to the creams, oils and waxes we use. Most of our products come in vacuum or pump-action bottles that protect the product from contamination, oxygenation and degradation. For products in tubs or tins, we use disposable spatulas to scoop out and apply the product. Our fingers never come into contact with any of the contained products. We will never use expired products during treatments or sell them as retail.

In many of our treatments, almost everything is disposable. We use, for instance, a brand new, fresh blade for every shave. Our files and sanding boards have disposable grits and are cleaned and discarded between manicures and pedicures. Some files can be cleaned and re-used, which we do but only when a guest doesn’t have any afflictions. During a waxing treatment we use disposable strips and disposable spatulas that are discarded after application so that there is no risk of the wax becoming contaminated. We will also never ever re-use wax.

A further hygiene habit of ours is fresh towels. After each treatment they are washed and treated in the UV cabinets.

A hugely important consideration to our general hygiene are contra-indications. We ask for your details and relevant medical history because diabetes, epilepsy or even recent surgery can affect your treatment. We modify our treatments accordingly.

We also have allergy and medication alerts. If you are, for instance, allergic to iodine, certain products will never be used on you. Retinoids like Roaccutane thin the skin, meaning that you cannot have any waxing treatment as that will remove skin and create an access point for bacterial infections.

Similarly, we cannot work on hair with any traces of lice. What we will do is give advice on how to cure the condition. This applies to fungal infections as well, as they are also contagious. When we can treat the area we will do so and give you homecare advice. In such cases all our tools are immediately discarded afterwards.

All Hines & Harley’s somatologists are trained in anatomy and physiology, as well as hygiene and sterilisation. We are therefore competent to recognise external afflictions, and offer advice on treatment. However, only a medical professional can diagnose and prescribe medication. If one of our therapists note a problem, they will tell you immediately and refer you to trusted professionals.

Finally, it is also good to know that we have a basic first aid kit on the premises, and that all our staff have received first aid training.

At Hines & Harley our guests are truly in save – and sterilised – hands.

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