contra indications

Why Checking For a Contra Indication is so Important

by akesha / last updated March 7, 2019

As part of your hairdressing training you would have been taught to check with your client whether they have any contra indications to the treatment they are having before you begin. A contra indication is defined as a medical condition that may restrict or prevent a treatment being carried out.

These vary depending on the type of service or treatment being performed. No hairdresser wants a claim to be made against them so to minimise the risk of receiving a claim, it is important to carry out a full consultation with your client prior to the services.

It is during this consultation you will be able to obtain any information regarding your client’s medical history and whether they have any allergies. It is important to record this information on your client’s consultation record.

During this consultation if your client declares they have a condition or takes medication that may affect the treatment then it’s important to reflect back to your training and decide whether you need to adapt or restrict the treatment to take account of the condition or possibly whether to carry out the treatment at all.

You may have to restrict the treatment, for example, if your client has a nut allergy. No product should be used during the treatment that contains any nut based ingredients. Prior to the treatment if you have discussed this with your client you would be aware that your client has a nut allergy and you can restrict the treatment accordingly.

As your insurer will probably tell you, if in doubt, leave it out

If you use a product during the treatment that does not contain nuts then this will reduce the risk of your client having an allergic reaction and in turn will reduce the risk of the possibility of a claim being made against you. Some conditions prevent the treatment being carried out, for example, if your client has ringworm (tinea capitis) and came to you for a hair colour then this condition would prevent you from carrying out the treatment.

If you hadn’t asked your client during the consultation process as to whether they had any medical conditions and you proceeded with the treatment then this could result in an adverse reaction being caused along with distress to your client and again the possibility of your client making a claim against you.

Even if you have insurance in place that will provide you with cover you do not want to have a claim if you don’t need to. Checking for contra indications prior to the treatment can easily prevent the possibility of a claim being made against you. A client making a claim against you may cause you stress, is time consuming and may not only affect your reputation, but may cost you in the long term as it may increase your insurance premiums in the future.

Another common issue for hairdressers is head lice. They spread like wild fire, potentially to you, other colleagues and other clients and your work tools. As awkward as it may feel you have every right to refuse to work on a client with head lice and you can discreetly, professionally tell them that you unfortunately can’t work on them until they have their head lice treated.

As you will remember from your training there are many contra actions and contra indications that professionals must follow. These are in place for a reason – to protect your client from injury and to protect your reputations and business. As your insurer will probably tell you, if in doubt, leave it out.

HJ Direct offers insurance for salon owners, self-employed hairdressers and students. For more information go to

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