How Risky Is Getting My Hair Cut?

In our "What's the Risk?" series, experts suggest washing your hands afterward should keep your risk pretty low.

How Risky Is Getting My Hair Cut?

When it comes to getting sick with COVID-19, you might be thinking about this, and we have too. Hannah Youngblood asked, "What's the risk of getting a haircut at a hair salon or a barbershop?"

We asked the experts: Dr. Irfan N. Hafiz, infectious disease physician and Northwest Region chief medical officer at Northwestern Medicine; and Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a pediatric infectious diseases physician at the Mayo Clinic. Their take: Contracting COVID-19 from going out and getting your hair cut is high risk.

"So if your hairdresser is infected or shedding virus, you would be at high risk for exposure. Similarly, if you were ill and shedding virus, your hairdresser would be at high risk, given that you'll spend a lot of time in close proximity to each other. There have been some outbreaks or clusters that have been actually linked to hairdressing settings. We know that this is a way that the virus can spread quite well," Rajapakse said.

"With getting the hair done, getting your hair washed is another thing because when you're leaning back into the sink, the other person washing your hair is leaning over you in order to do your hair. So there is more of that face-to-face contact that's occurring there. So that's a little bit closer contact than other situations of getting your hair done. So something to think about with that as well. Some places are saying that they won't do shampooing and are asking customers to shampoo hair at home before they come in. That may be something to think about," Hafiz said.

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