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Last updated: March 14, 2018

What Would You Do: Pregnancy And Chemicals

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If a pregnant co-worker is hesitant about in-salon chemicals, who’s responsible for altering their services or schedule? That’s what one BTC member asked our community this week.


I work at a salon which all the stylists are booth rental. I am the only one that performs chemical blowouts. We have a stylist who is pregnant and doesn’t want to be in the salon during these services. That stylist and myself happen to work on the same days. Should I have to move my clients or change my schedule because she doesn’t want to be around the chemical or should she move her clients?


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Hands down, many of you agree that the responsibility to change the schedule lies with the pregnant co-worker. But there’s a way to do it that will ensure everyone is happy.

Some Say: It’s On Her
It’s plain and simple, said @echidnabrdk. “I’m pregnant and I would think it is up to her when to be in. Doctors tell us to avoid all sorts of things when pregnant and the world can’t always cater to us. My suggestion would be to talk to her and see how to best compromise.”


@hairbyangelacounts said this responsibility lies with the salon owner or renter. “She chose to expand her family, not you,” she added.


“I would say she should move her clients! Her clients would probably be more understanding to the situation and willing to change their schedules since she’s pregnant, and she’s the one with the restrictions so I don’t see how it should affect your business,” said @mrs_kaylaquin. “I’m on my second pregnancy while in the salon and I work with a lot of stylists who do blowouts and I just avoid being there while they have them in the chair.”


Some Say: Compromise
Consideration and compromise can go a long way in building relationships and maintaining a positive salon culture, many of you said. “I would let her know when you have chemical blowouts booked and let her take it from there,” said @kris_ferraro. “That may mean she has to come in late, leave early for the day, or maybe take an hour lunch or something. She did choose to start a family, but you may find yourself in her shoes one day and not want to be around harsh chemicals for a good reason. We all know maternity leave is not paid for most hairdressers so I’m sure she is trying to make as much as she can before she goes out. Being considerate of each other will only making working on the same days easier now, and in the long run.


The Other Alternatives
A lot of you urged reconsideration of the service completely. Says @evolutionsalonhb, “You must also be aware that smoothing treatments are in fact harmful and emit harmful gases. We use a fume extractor at our salon during all smoothing services and we do not schedule pregnant clients at the same time. One of my stylists is planning to get pregnant soon and we plan on not offering smoothing services when she is at work. It’s common courtesy.”


“I believe that first of all, everyone in the salon, including clients should sign a waiver acknowledging that they know they are exposing themselves to chemicals that are known to be dangerous and carcinogenic if the salon is going to provide chemical blowouts as a service,” said @howtohairgirl. “In general, we need to be more informed and transparent about the chemicals we work with and the lack of FDA regulations. I don’t think everyone should have to pay the price of one person’s desire to make more money by exposure to blow-out chemicals.”


@beautyphenomenon82 suggested looking into chemical blowout alternatives. “All situations present themselves in our lives for a reason and this could be an opportunity as well as a convenience for all involved. For now, collaborate to do blowouts in the mornings if she’s an evening person and vice versa if not. Teamwork makes the dream work even in independent rental salons.”


@soonleehairstudio said that chemical services only happen when the salon is closed and no other stylists are around. She added, “I also use a chemical source capture system. It was the best investment I ever made in the salon. You might want to get one if you do blowouts often.”