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Last updated: June 08, 2018

Do You Wear Gloves Or No Gloves?

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Remember this article where we broke down why some stylists prefer working with brushes and bowls while others love their tried-and-true bottle application technique? Well we’ve got another debate on our hands and this one warranted some strong reactions from the BTC Community—gloves or no gloves? One stylist wanted to know the effects of not wearing gloves, so we posed the question to our Instagram and Facebook pages and you guys did not disappoint. Keep reading to find out what fellow hairdressers had to say!



“Gloves or no gloves? A lot of hairstylists I know rarely wear them (saying they have better control) while some are adamant about them. Has anybody seen real research on the effects of not wearing gloves?”


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Always Wear Gloves

“Seriously? Is this even a legitimate question to ask? When do stylists not want to wear them? Bleach will burn your fingers. Color will dye them. The only time I can halfway understand not wearing them is in a perm/relaxer service. But even then it’s iffy. Protect yourselves! There is a reason we as a profession have been taught to wear them.” – Amy Young


“Wear gloves! I work with some older women and they have seen everything. One girl even wears gloves when she shampoos out color. It is a chemical and being exposed to it ALL DAY is not healthy!” – @stephygoddess


“Wear gloves! I was in the industry for 13 years and was forced to leave because I ended up with overexposure on my hands. Some was from color but it was mostly from styling products, shampoos and conditioners. My hands looked like they were dipped in battery acid. I spent 2 years trying to find alternatives and Workers Compensation Board did extensive testing…I’ve not switched careers, it’s been 2 months and my entire body is still recovering from overexposure. Yes, you may have more control but if you don’t have your health what do you have? Wear gloves to protect yourself and your career.” – Kerri Randolph


“I recently had continuous bladder infections and ended up at a urologist! He decided to scope my bladder after I told him what I did for work, and he said hairstylists have the highest rate of bladder cancer from not wearing gloves!– Gayle Running



“Gloves till the end…Your skin is the largest organ on your body, and it will let chemicals in your system so easily. Don’t doubt the effects of getting chemicals on your hands. If it wasn’t a big deal, the state board wouldn’t fail you immediately during your test for not putting them on. Protect yourself—you only have one body.” – @celebrity_hair_ninja


“Always gloves! Overexposure is serious business. I know a few in my small town who had to completely stop doing chemical services because of it. I personally have to double glove and wear long sleeves during color services when working with certain brands due to their metal content and my copper overexposure allergy. Trust me, the reactions only get worse over time! I even use gloves with any wax or facial product that contains mica or bentonite. I would much rather protect my health and career than go gloveless!” – Kimberly Jones


“A fellow stylist’s nails fell off after years of perming without gloves and had to take year off. No thanks.” – @marian_scissors


“I wear gloves for everything! My skin has developed allergies to all sorts of things and my doctor flat out said it’s gloves or find a new profession. He said anyone can develop an allergy over time, so take care of your skin. I wouldn’t wish my skin issues on anyone. I also know if my skin continues to get worse, it will be the thing to end my career.” – Nicole Rotto


“Yes to gloves! I developed an allergy that almost killed my career. It’s not worth it.” – @melissag77


“I’m really disappointed in myself for not taking this situation more seriously. I was always asked why I didn’t wear gloves when coloring hair and I always shut it down with excuses. It’s sad to say I now have developed a serious case of eczema on my right hand that rarely ever heals. It’s so embarrassing when I shake people’s hands, and it truly is affecting my every day life. Everything I do irritates it. Please, please wear gloves.” – @noradababneh



Nah, Def Not A Necessity

“I’ve been doing hair for 21 years and have never worn gloves. I don’t like the feel of them, yet I have never had any issues.” – @tara_erv


“I don’t know about real research but I know that I’d rather just not use gloves. My hands sweat and when I take them off during a process I just end up touching the haircolor anyways because I’m constantly checking it. The only time I wear them is when dealing with bleach.” – Lindsey Betancourt


“I don’t wear gloves for foiling, balayage or toning.” – @hairbylucifeen


“I never wear gloves if I’m doing a balayage.” – @hairbymarisa_


“I haven’t worn gloves for years but I got engaged at Christmas so now I wear a glove on my left hand just to protect my ring. I hate them.” – Jo Scott


“I apply color with a ungloved right hand but I wear a glove on my left hand. I’m weird, I know.” – @kimberlyannt3


“I wear gloves for all-over color applications, rinsing any type of color and toning. I can’t stand to wear them while foiling or doing a balayage, though I know I should.” – Elissa Winslow



It Depends On The Service

“I think it’s more of a personal preference. I don’t wear gloves because I like to feel the hair, and for me, I feel like gloves get in the way. The only time I will wear gloves is if I am doing balayage (because I like to keep lightener on my non-painting hand) or if I am doing an all-over color so I don’t get stains on my hands.” – @toorad4_u


“I don’t wear gloves when I’m just foiling, but I’ll wear gloves when I do color or a color in between foils. They get in my way with foils and slow me down. Also, I don’t wear gloves with toners. Unless I’m doing something darker or red, then I’ll wear them so I don’t stain my hands.” – @tonyadombrowski


“I wear them for all dark color services. Sadly I don’t always wear them for my bleaching/painting services. I have also adopted a whole food, no oil, plant-based diet along with daily coffee enemas for m6 liver support lifestyle these past 2 years. My health and overall life has done a complete 180. Amazing.” – Julie Joseph


“I only use gloves if I’m doing an all-over color. I get bleach and color on my hands all the time and I’ve never had any problems.” – Stacy Tinsley


“I’m guilty of glazing with no gloves. I also don’t wear gloves for a retouch since color doesn’t really get on my hands. It sounds like one of those rules we all give ourselves permission to break. I never thought about the styling products risk though. My boss has been in the industry awhile and has chronic dry skin on her hands probably from the aforementioned…But I can’t bring myself to shampoo with gloves because I’ll snag wet hair with latex.” – Dakota Jones


“I’ll wear gloves for certain colors, a retouch, all-over color or if I have a cut on my hand. But I don’t wear gloves for highlights or balayage for control purposes and because the lightener doesn’t really touch my hands. I probably should for toners but usually don’t.” – @hrnahair


“I wear gloves for color but I do not wear gloves for weaving because most of the time you’re not getting bleach or color on your hands when you weave. A full color on the other hand (pun intended) tends to be a much messier job.” – Donnyé Sabo


“I can’t use them for foils because the squeak makes me feel sick, like putting cotton wool in your mouth or touching a garbage bag with wet hands. I def have more control without gloves, and they cloud my judgment of heat as well when setting the water temperature at the bowl. But I’ll use gloves for an all-over tint that’s darker.” – @kellyt_hair_page


“I only wear gloves with dark color application. For me, 90 percent of any stains come off with pumice in the shower. I have more control without gloves and I don’t do keratins anymore—it’s an asthma trigger for me.” – @audreyp321


“I think it’s a personal preference thing. I always wear gloves when doing a root to end color but typically not when I’m doing a highlight only. The only time I wear gloves when it’s not a full root to end color is if the hair is really gross. If they are contagiously ill, they are required to reschedule. Again personal preference! I go with my gut feeling.” – Bonnie Rivers


See what others had to say on Instagram and Facebook!