Archive for September 2nd, 2020


Hair Today

September 2, 2020, Linda Lou Burton posting from Little Rock, Arkansas – It makes sense that Donald would comment on Nancy getting her hair blow dried; something a big hair guy would be sure to notice. Hard to tell if the hullabaloo is about Nancy walking down a hallway with wet hair and no mask, or the idea that blow driers in and of themselves are deadly. Geez, it’s hard to look pretty, with this virus thingy making a haircut so dangerous. I decided to check it out. What evil lurks in the hair salon these days? Beauty Parlor Gossip was the worst thing about such an environment in years past; Eudora Welty claimed to get some of her best story ideas from an afternoon under the drier.  One of her short stories, The Petrified Man, is actually set in a beauty parlor. Lots of gossip in that one. Yes, back before Twitter, we relied on our beauty parlors to spread tales.

But back to our modern hair salons, and the dangers they may, or may not, present for us. Prevention magazine recently interviewed infectious disease specialist Michael Ben-Aderet, MD, about salon safety tips and recommendations in the age of COVID-19. The article appears at a time when many states are easing restrictions and businesses like hair salons are reopening.

“The number one-way coronavirus spreads is through respiratory droplets from someone who is sick,” said Ben-Aderet, explaining the virus spreads the same way in salons as it does anywhere – making it increasingly more important that sick people do not enter salons. “One way to do this is to screen clients before appointments to make sure those who are sick reschedule if they have fever, cough, or shortness of breath.” But many people want to know what happens if someone sick does enter a salon. Can products and tools like a blow dryer spread COVID-19?

“A blow dryer does have the potential to spread contaminated air around a room,” said Ben-Aderet. “But again, there needs to be an infected person around. Unless someone coughs into a hair dryer and that spreads the droplets, it’s very unlikely.” As for the blow dryer itself, Ben-Aderet says it’s “unlikely for a hair dryer to be contaminated with coronavirus.” He does explain, however, that while viruses can’t grow on surfaces, they can persist on certain surfaces for a particular amount of time, making it imperative that each salon is cleaned and disinfected after each client. “Touching a surface that is contaminated with secretions or mucus membranes from a sick individual and then touching your face can make you sick,” said Ben-Aderet. “It’s important to remember that viruses need to grow in a person.”

So there you have it. A sick PERSON is the dangerous thing. And if not yet obviously sick, A VIRUS CARRIER. If nobody is hauling the virus around on their body, and coughing and touching things with their virus-contaminated droplets, or hands they just wiped against their nose, there is no virus to get anybody else sick. And the notion of “sick people” spreading things to other people is true for ordinary colds, the flu, and lots of other stuff that people transmit from one to another. It’s rude to take your sick self out and put your germs off on somebody else. Don’t do it!

We’re advised to wear masks when we do go out now, so if we have that Virus Thingy, we don’t spread it. This is a dangerous proviso – having a mask dangling around your neck and not properly positioned, or made of the wrong material, or not kept clean, is as bad as not having one at all. Also, RELYING on a mask as your ultimate protection is foolhardy. Look at these videos showing how far DROPLETS can travel THROUGH a mask!

Tomorrow: Masks Better Than Even The Lone Ranger Wore