Spas and Salons Personal Services

Businesses that offer personal services such as hair cutting, barbering, manicures and pedicures, waxing, electrolysis, tattooing and piercing are inspected at least once a year by our Public Health Inspectors.

Ontario Regulation 136/18: Personal Services Settings states the requirements for cleaning of tools and equipment, surface finishes, hand wash sinks and record keeping. Services such as ear candling/coning are prohibited as is the use of live animals in treatments such as fish pedicures.

Inspection results are available online at Check it! We inspect it

Opening/Re-opening Service

If you are planning to open or re-open a new or renovated site, you are required to notify Public Health by submitting the following form:

Personal Service Settings Notice of Operation

Preventing Infection

Service providers can prevent infection if they:

  • Wash hands before and after each client.
  • Use personal protective equipment when needed (for example, gloves)
  • Discard single-use tools and instruments after each client
  • Clean and disinfect re-usable tools and instruments properly
  • Keep records of accidental blood and/or body fluids exposure
  • Decline service to clients with a skin and/or nail infection 
Tools and Instruments

Single-use tools and instruments such as emery boards, wooden foot paddles, nail buffers and wax cartridges must be discarded after each client.

Reusable tools and instruments such as nail clippers, scissors, tweezers, combs and brushes must be cleaned and disinfected properly after each use.

Discard used needles, blades and other sharp objects into a puncture-resistant, leak-proof container with a tight-fitting lid. It should be properly labelled with a biohazard sign.

Service Requirements
During an Inspection

The inspector will observe and question infection-prevention practices and check the premises and equipment to ensure the health of clients and staff is not being put at risk.

The operator will receive a copy of the inspection report once the inspection is complete. The report will indicate corrective action(s) that are required and a date by which the correction is expected.

A re-inspection may be scheduled to verify that the issue has been resolved.

If a serious problem is identified during an inspection - one that poses an immediate health risk to the client or the provider - the facility may be ordered to close or stop providing a service until the problem is fixed.

Accidental Exposure

The tools used in salons and spas may come into contact with blood and other body fluids.

Take the following steps when an accidental exposure occurs:

  • Wear single-use gloves prior to handling or dressing the wound.
  • Wash the affected area with water and soap (preferable a germicidal soap) for a minimum of 20 seconds.
  • If the area is bleeding, allow it to bleed freely. Styptic pencils should not be used to stop the flow of blood.
  • After cleaning the wound apply a skin antiseptic and cover with a clean dressing or bandage.
  • If there has been a splash onto a mucous membrane, flush the area thoroughly with water.
  • The person exposed should be advised to seek medical attention.
  • Document all incidents in the Accidental Exposure Incident Report Form
  • Keep incident records on site for a minimum of one year and on file for a minimum of five years.
  • Dispose of any single-use items used during the procedure.
  • Clean and disinfect work surfaces and any reusable instruments used during the procedure.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after cleaning up.
Tanning Bed Regulations

Youth are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of artificial ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The Skin Cancer Prevention Act prevents youths under the age of 18 from using tanning beds.

For information about how the Skin Cancer Prevention Act affects tanning bed operators, please reference Skin Cancer Prevention Act (Tanning Beds) How the Act Affects Tanning Bed Operators.

Tanning bed operators must:

  • Prohibit tanning services to youths under 18
  • Request ID from anyone who looks under the age of 25
  • Prohibit all tanning without the presence of an attendant
  • Restrict advertising and marketing to youths under 18
  • Post health warning and identification signs
  • Require all users to wear protective eyewear

Visit Sun Safety for more information on skin cancer prevention.

Additional Resources

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