Author Topic: Obligations of those in personal care professions  (Read 4729 times)

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Cattitude

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Re: Obligations of those in personal care professions
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2010, 10:49:25 PM »
Sorry but if I was hairdresser I would not be interested in dealing with that at all.  That is a condition that is going to take prescription medication and repeated shampooing with prescription shampoos over quite some time to get the situation under control.  A single or double shampoo is going to do little.

For the teacher's information your son was 100% correct for wearing the gloves and if she thinks they are unnecessary she is dead wrong and needs some education on biohazards.

Dandruff and dried skin are biohazards?  There is no further information than this in the OP, the person's hair *could* just be incredibly dirty.  OP I completely understand your son's feelings but he does have to get past it.  I am a health care professional and I remember all too well the sights and smells of my first "bad scene" so to speak.  I was a student too and I had to hold back my dry heaving.  It's hard but tell him to hang in there.

Calypso

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Re: Obligations of those in personal care professions
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2010, 11:27:42 PM »
Congrats to your son for learning a valuable and useful skill---may he have work he enjoys for many years.
But, yeah, his assumptions about the physical perfection of high-end clients are naive (and I would certainly have shared them, at his age). Health problems, addictions and other conditions that can affect the skin hit people of all income levels.

But, they teach all about that stuff in cosmetology school, don't they? (At least here in California, the number of hours required to get a license is some humungous number, partly because they have to learn so much about skin conditions...)

Hillia

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Re: Obligations of those in personal care professions
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2010, 12:28:56 AM »
Here in AZ, it's 1300 or 1600 hours, I forget which.  They do cover skin and scalp conditions, but it's early in the program and there's not a lot of guidance on how to work with clients with these issues.  This was his first exposure to someone with really serious problems, and I'm glad he got it in school where he had some backup and potentially some guidance (although I don't think the teacher handled it well).

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lolane

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Re: Obligations of those in personal care professions
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2010, 10:38:21 AM »

DS is 16 and will graduate from this program in a few months, when he's 17 (he started school early).  He is extremely fastidious by nature and I tend to agree that developing a thicker skin would be to his benefit.  He seems to think that if he works with high end clientele he will never have this situation  ::)  I disagree; as someone pointed out, there are all sorts of reasons why a client might not be pleasant to work with and he needs to be prepared to handle himself professionally.

I used to work for a high-end salon and spa and while these issues of this type are possibly rarer, they are harder to deal with. It may be easy to refuse service to a homeless person who is going to pay $2.50 for a haircut, it's much harder to refuse service to a local celebrity or politician who is paying $250.00 or more for their service. This is a great learning experience and I think a good time to start thinking about how to deal with unpleasant clients going forward regardless of their issue or walk of life.

I'll also add, with the updated info, I can see why the instructor was displeased, although he could have handled it better.



HushHush

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Re: Obligations of those in personal care professions
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2010, 11:16:24 AM »
I consider myself a very clean person and I've been battling a scalp condition for years.  After trying all manner of dandruff/dry scalp shampoos, I finally went to a dermatologist and got a prescription for a medicated shampoo thats been working wonders.  But the condition comes and goes and I can't tell if there's going to be a flareup right when I have a hair appointment.

I hope he doesn't see a lot of yucky stuff but the nature of his work will be making people look their best despite any other conditions they might have.  I think he was fine to ask the teacher for help and will see what the "real world" is like once he graduates.

MovieLover

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Re: Obligations of those in personal care professions
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2010, 05:26:51 PM »
Sorry but if I was hairdresser I would not be interested in dealing with that at all.  That is a condition that is going to take prescription medication and repeated shampooing with prescription shampoos over quite some time to get the situation under control.  A single or double shampoo is going to do little.

For the teacher's information your son was 100% correct for wearing the gloves and if she thinks they are unnecessary she is dead wrong and needs some education on biohazards.

Dandruff and dried skin are biohazards?  There is no further information than this in the OP, the person's hair *could* just be incredibly dirty.  OP I completely understand your son's feelings but he does have to get past it.  I am a health care professional and I remember all too well the sights and smells of my first "bad scene" so to speak.  I was a student too and I had to hold back my dry heaving.  It's hard but tell him to hang in there.


Yes I consider those things Biohazards as does my place of employment.  In this age of Universal Precautions gloves should be put on before touching anything out of the ordinary.  Unless a doctor has diagnosed it it's hard to be certain that it actually is dandruff.  It could be a parasitic or fungal infection of some sort.  Scaly, flaking patches of human tissue is not something I want to contact my bare hands. Workers have the right to protect themselves from possible health hazards.

Wavicle

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Re: Obligations of those in personal care professions
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2010, 05:47:43 PM »
I was in a different field, but I went to a vocational high school and by definition these schools are preparing students for the working world. Teachers push professionalism and teaching students how to deal with situations that will pop up in the real world. I would guess that in cosmetology this is a tough thing to get through to students who may have gotten into it because they like making people pretty and want to play with their friends hair but don't want to actually work. I am guessing your son isn't like that, but situations like this may be built into the lesson plan for that reason. Compassion and discretion are some things that teens often need to work on, so I think the teacher probably wants to emphasise that aspect of their business.

A lot of hair business will come from older people. They often will go to the salon once a week, and that may be the only time they wash their hair. In that situation it probably won't be that gross because as people get older they produce less oils/sweat, but not everyone he sees will be healthy with nice skin.

I don't think it is unreasonable for the teacher to have him deal with people that are gross. Wealthy people can be gross too. People that have money and care can be gross due to medical issues. They also should be learning not to assume anyone is illness free and following precautions for that, so this may be a good reminder on being clean.

She also could have been more upset with his response than the fact that he had trouble, and your son may have misinterpreted a harsh talking to as berating. I would not have a problem with a teacher firmly telling a student "This is just something you will need to deal with. You are going to be an adult soon and you will need to grow up and deal with icky things" if a student said "I won't finish the cut because this lady is too gross." I am not saying that your son necessarily said that or that he said anything outright bad, but considering his age he may have not realized that refusing came off as being lazy and unprofessional to someone who has adjusted to dealing with grossness.

Every once in a while I think that people should get a pass on something just pushing their grossness meter, but to earn that you need to be willing to make up for it by dealing with other gross stuff. Otherwise you will just look like a whiner.

camlan

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Re: Obligations of those in personal care professions
« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2010, 06:11:18 PM »
What did the instructors do to teach/prepare your son to deal with this client? I agree that the OP's son could have handled the situation somewhat better, but he's 16. The adults in charge of the program should have made sure that he knew how to wash hair that dirty and have been on hand to provide assistance--the way they would for any client with an unusual problem. It's not just the OP's son who could have handled this better; I put some of the responsibility on the teachers, who are the adults in charge.
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whatsanenigma

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Re: Obligations of those in personal care professions
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2010, 06:40:34 PM »
It's not just the OP's son who could have handled this better; I put some of the responsibility on the teachers, who are the adults in charge.

I've been thinking along these same lines.

It's one thing to just tell students that it's important to show respect for less-than-textbook clients and to treat them with dignity, and even to describe in words what some of the problems might be and how to deal with them.

But it's quite another to see it for the first time, with no warning, and just be expected to sink or swim.

Yes, yes, yes, it's very important that the OP's son learn to deal with clients of all levels of health and hygiene and to always behave professionally. But it doesn't sound like he was very well prepared to do so, and panicked and did the best he could, which was, granted, not the best that could have been done, but the best he could do under the circumstances.

Honestly, and I realize that the OP's son has no actual power to make this happen, I think that if this particular school gets a lot of homeless or very poor clients, it could be a great opportunity for both students and clients to have special times for only those clients, at maybe even more discounted rates, to give the clients more dignity and self respect by allowing them to keep their hair cleaner (and not get to that point where it is that extreme to deal with) and to provide the students the opportunity to take more time to interact with those clients, and not rush, and learn to handle that situation with respect and grace and dignity.

Bottom line is, I think some learning opportunites are going to waste here, and that the OP's son handled it in a way that was not ideal but really really understandable. For a fully trained professional, it would not have been understandable, but the very point here is that he was not. He was still in school and relying heavily on his teachers in difficult situations, as was appropriate.

Sophia

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Re: Obligations of those in personal care professions
« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2010, 06:55:58 PM »
...A lot of hair business will come from older people. They often will go to the salon once a week, and that may be the only time they wash their hair. In that situation it probably won't be that gross because as people get older they produce less oils/sweat, but not everyone he sees will be healthy with nice skin...

This was ... at least a decade ago.  But the lady that cut my hair told me about a nightmare she had.  She was covering for her friend on vacation who had the next chair.  The friend's clients were exclusively the older, once a week type.  She said she had a nightmare about small rats coming out of some woman's helmet head.  Apparently the reality was a tad gross. 

baglady

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Re: Obligations of those in personal care professions
« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2010, 07:27:39 PM »
...A lot of hair business will come from older people. They often will go to the salon once a week, and that may be the only time they wash their hair. In that situation it probably won't be that gross because as people get older they produce less oils/sweat, but not everyone he sees will be healthy with nice skin...

This was ... at least a decade ago.  But the lady that cut my hair told me about a nightmare she had.  She was covering for her friend on vacation who had the next chair.  The friend's clients were exclusively the older, once a week type.  She said she had a nightmare about small rats coming out of some woman's helmet head.  Apparently the reality was a tad gross. 

FTR, my mom is 89 and is a once-a-week lady. She is fortunate to have hair that can go a week without getting icky, and has been in that position for around the past 20 years. She has never had any issue with her hair that grossed out a hairdresser. (I'm not implying that you said all elderly once-a-week clients were gross; as I said, just going on record here!)

Both the OP's son and the teacher handled this situation clumsily. The son gets a pass for his age. The teacher needs to work on her diplomatic/teachable moment skills. Like so:

Student (to client): Ma'am, I'm going to ask my teacher for some guidance here. I don't have much experience with hair like yours. (To teacher, out of client's earshot): Teacher, could you give me a hand with this? I'm not sure how to proceed with hair this dirty.
Teacher (to student): Sure. (To client and student): What we have here is some severe oil buildup and some dandruff. What we need to do is use some Oil-B-Gone Dandruff Formula shampoo and leave it in for at least five minutes before rinsing. We may need to do a second application. Here, let me show you ..."
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MaggieB

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Re: Obligations of those in personal care professions
« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2010, 04:10:46 AM »
I don't think the OP's son gets a pass because he's 16.  He is only a few months away from graduation, and at that point he needs to be ready to work in a salon environment.  While I don't think teachers should "berate" students, the teacher absolutely should have made the OP's son understand that he screwed up.  You can't just stop working on a client because the job is unpleasant.  All kinds of people get their hair done in high end salons, and he needs to be prepared to behave professionally with those who have hygiene issues.  And this is assuming your son is lucky enough to get a job in one as a 17 year old fresh out of cosmetology school.

Now I don't mean to come down too hard on your son.  I don't doubt that it was gross and that he probably wasn't prepared to deal with hair in that condition.  But this was the time to learn (both about dealing with the hair and about treating the client respectfully) and he dropped the ball.  The teacher needed to correct him.  If he had pulled that at work, he probably would have been fired, and rightfully so.

(I am only talking about him quitting the job halfway through.  The gloves are not an issue, IMO.)

blueberry.muffin

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Re: Obligations of those in personal care professions
« Reply #27 on: August 13, 2010, 06:10:49 AM »
While I don't think teachers should "berate" students



Eeeeegh. I'm not trying to ignore the rest of your post, but I'm really really hoping you can explain what you mean by this.

(Without being at the scene, I have no idea if the teacher was correct in his/her guidance or went overboard on the discipline, so I really can't comment at that level. This is more wondering what your statement means.)

MaggieB

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Re: Obligations of those in personal care professions
« Reply #28 on: August 13, 2010, 06:46:44 AM »
While I don't think teachers should "berate" students

Eeeeegh. I'm not trying to ignore the rest of your post, but I'm really really hoping you can explain what you mean by this.

(Without being at the scene, I have no idea if the teacher was correct in his/her guidance or went overboard on the discipline, so I really can't comment at that level. This is more wondering what your statement means.)

I'm not really sure what needs clarifying.   ???  (No snark intended, I just thought that was a pretty straightforward statement.)

"Berate" is the word the OP used.  For the teacher to actually berate the student (to "scold or condemn vehemently and at length"-MWD) is an overreaction, in my opinion.  To me "berate" carries the connotation of a really angry, over the top outburst; of totally losing it on someone.   I don't think that teachers in general should react to student mistakes that way.

But the student still made a mistake and needed to be corrected. 

You are correct that we were not there and don't know whether the teacher was over the top in his/her reaction.  That's why I put "berate" in quotation marks.  I don't think students should be berated, but the OP's son did need to be corrected and have it impressed on him that his behavior was unacceptable. 

Does that help clarify?

whatsanenigma

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Re: Obligations of those in personal care professions
« Reply #29 on: August 13, 2010, 08:09:46 AM »
Now I don't mean to come down too hard on your son.  I don't doubt that it was gross and that he probably wasn't prepared to deal with hair in that condition.  But this was the time to learn (both about dealing with the hair and about treating the client respectfully) and he dropped the ball.  The teacher needed to correct him.  If he had pulled that at work, he probably would have been fired, and rightfully so.

I have reread the OP and I don't see where it says or implies he was disrespectful to the client, though. The OP didn't say her son ran away screaming or told the client directly that her hair was too gross to handle. She just says that he got his teacher, and that the teacher called him out for stopping halfway through.

Should he have finished the cut? Yes. And if he had openly showed disgust to the client, yes, that would be wrong at any stage of the game. But we don't know that he did. All we know is, he got his teacher to help.

And if he had "pulled that at work", as you say, that would have been another thing, because whoever hired him would have expected that they hired a fully trained professional.

I would find it very unfair as a general concept if at a job where I was not fully trained, that it would be okay to fire me because I messed up but it was because I hadn't been trained all the way yet. If I mess up, for whatever reason, sure, it needs to be corrected, but if it's because the training is incomplete, it's only right for a supervisor to take that into account, even to apologize for not seeing that there was a gap in my knowledge there (that I couldn't know about because I am, after all, new) and to show respect when correcting me.