Thu 2 Jun 2016

Graduate returns with a message

WITT has become the first school to embrace a national safety campaign launched by the country’s largest beauty therapy body.

The New Zealand Association of Registered Beauty Therapists is running the Are You in Safe Hands Campaign in the wake of a rising concern at the damage caused to customers who have treatments in unhygienic and unlicensed environments.

Award winning beauty therapist Tegan Frost, who has nine years’ experience in the industry and is based at the Silk Spa in New Plymouth, is a passionate supporter of the campaign She returned this week to WITT, where she studied, to pass on the campaign message to hair and beauty therapy students.

There are no national regulations covering beauty therapy, but there are registered members the national association encourages people to use.  Association members, who display a membership logo, are also required to meet set standards in ethics and hygiene.

Tegan Frost said Social Media was very quick to expose cases where customers were put at risk, and she could recount some horror stories which had been posted on-line.

 She said in one case an eyelash extension job went so wrong the customer went to a second therapist, a fully trained eye lash professional, to fix the original job. She took two hours to remove the eyelash extensions and said it would take a further two weeks before all the glue was gone.    Poor hygiene could cause a raft of problems, particularly fungal infections, and it could take months for the damage to heal, Tegan Frost said.

 “If you are not in the hands of a qualified person, you are taking a risk.”

 In 2014 the Auckland Council introduced a new health and hygiene bylaw and code of practice that required beauty clinics and nail salons to be licensed by the Auckland City Council. In that city, reports of hepatitis, scabies, infections and cockroach infestations were among 87 complaints about hygiene practices at hair and beauty premises over the previous six years.

Similar district council bylaws requiring operators to be licensed are also in force in Taranaki and apply to all tattooists, piercing and beauty therapy clinics.

Tegan Frost says while there are “cowboys” in any industry, she is confident Taranaki’s standards across the province match the best in the country.

“But the fact remains we are dealing with chemicals and processes which demand a high degree of skill and experience,” she said.

 At WITT she discussed with students the importance of being properly qualified and to remain vigilant.

"I also hoped I could inspire the present WITT students to keep passionate about our amazing industry and standards high. I am a huge supporter of WITT and the tutors here and I am extremely proud to be a product of my training at WITT."