Is it bad to get your haircut while sick? Barbershop survival tips!

haircut while sick

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Have you ever wondered if you could get a haircut while sick? Most people don’t know that there are guidelines and restrictions about cutting your hair while sick by a barber. This is something men should think about… Whether you like it or not, the rules exist for a reason.

So, what would you do if you have a haircut appointment and fall ill? What are the rules about cutting hair during fever? These are questions you should consider if you’re planning to go to your barber and you’re not feeling well.

So, is it bad to get your haircut if you’re sick?

Yes, it is bad to get a haircut when you’re sick with something contagious. The risk of spreading airborne germs and sicknesses like the flu and cold are higher when in a confined space. You not only put others at risk of catching what you have but it is also irresponsible and selfish. Point blank period.

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Is it bad to get a haircut while sick?

In the intro, I briefly touched on whether or not it’s a good idea to keep a haircut appointment if sick. I’ll flat out tell you NO! It is not worth spreading the cold or flu to others while you’re in the barbershop.

Keep in mind that everyone’s immune system isn’t the same and are more vulnerable. Some people like the elderly and children are more susceptible to getting sick when exposed to common colds and flu.

In fact, I recently canceled an appointment to get a haircut because I felt under the weather. I had the cold sweat, shivers, high temperature, and weakness. If I had I kept my appointment I would have put everyone at risk of catching the flu.

Keep in mind it is not only irresponsible to put others in danger, but you also risk feeling worse. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) when your body doesn’t get enough rest, your immune system suffers. In other words, the immune system basically must work twice as hard as it would normally.

The CDC explains the appropriate amount of rest help boosts your immune system to speed up feeling better. So, staying away from the barbershop and sleeping helps your body better combat infections that cause you to get ill. That means, stay your butt home and get better before you go to the barbershop and get a haircut.

Why is the spread of sickness in the barbershop a concern for barbers?

Whether you know it or not, barbers pay attention to your body language to your moment you walk into their barbershop. Barbers not only watch who comes in and out, they’re focused on cutting hair and limiting the spread of germs.

This is why barber are concern about clients who come in wanting haircuts while sick. Aside from providing quality haircuts barbers, are responsible for cleanness and the spread of germs that cause infections and sicknesses. This is the reason a barber may refuse cutting hair during fever if clients show symptoms.

A client that requests a haircut while sick puts the barber at risk of catching contagious sickness. Your barber makes money when they work, if they get sick, they are unable to work and earn an income. Most barbers are unwilling to take that risk.

Stopping the spread of germs within the barbershop is a priority for barbers. Pay attention to your barber, you’ll notice them constantly cleaning their workspace and sanitizing their hair cutting equipment. This is all in an effort to keep the area clean and limit the spread of sickness causing germs. barbershop sickness warning

Limiting the spread of sickness in the barbershop is a concern because doing so maximize their profits and income. Think about it, allowing a sick client to get a haircut could harm your barber’s health but also their reputation. If people are getting sick every time they come in for a haircut, then it maybe suggested the barbershop is dirty and will lose costumers. It’s just not worth it!

Can are barber refuse to cut your hair if you have a fever?

Let me start by saying barbers reserve the right to refuse to provide service to clients if it violates health codes. If your barber determines you’re too sick and put their health or others at risk, then they’re within their right to refuse to cut your hair.

However, I want to be very clear that though barbers can refuse service, but they cannot discriminate under the premise of gender, race or sexual preference. Barbers refusing to cut client’s hair with the intent of being prejudice will find themselves in legal troubles.

  • Civil Rights Act – Current laws state that any form of discrimination and Prejudice against a group of people is against the law. There were several events in the early civil rights movements that pushed for a law change that would result in equality for all.

In 1965, the Civil Rights Act was in place as well as several other laws that were passed as resulted. This was in an effort of promoting advancements in opportunity and equal rights based on race, ethnicity, and gender.

  • Customer Non-Discrimination Act In 2015 the Customer Non-Discrimination Act was implemented and would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The new act prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in public accommodations. The law would also update policies for public spaces and services covered in current law to include retail stores, services such as legal services, healthcare providers, banking, transportation services, and common services.

The Customer Non-discrimination act has since been revised to include religion, pregnant women and countless discriminations. Under current laws, it is illegal to turn customers away if it doesn’t directly affect the health safety of the barber and other clients.

Is it harder for your barber to give you a haircut while sick?

Yes, it is extremely hair for a barber to give you a haircut while you’re sick. There’s a lot to take into consideration of what obstacles your barber may face when cutting your hair while sick. These obstacles could lead to a bad haircut or shape up amongst other issues.

Image trying to cut your front lawn during a flood… Yeah, it’s just as difficult attempting to cut someone’s hair while they’re sweating uncontrollably. One of the effects of most sickness is sweats.  The sweats happen when a person gets sick with such a case as the fever. One of the body’s primary defenses against illness is to raise the body’s internal temperature which causes sweat.

Moisture makes the hair extremely difficult to cut especially when using hair trimmers and edge hair liners. The clipper consists of several blades on two plates that go back and forth to cut hair. When the hair is wet the blades miss and sometimes get caught in the tool leaving patches or uneven haircuts.

Another reason it is difficult to give a haircut while sick is the shiver’s people’s experiences when they’re not feeling well. The shivers are another line of defense your body has to fight off foreign viruses. As phenomenal as it how the body fight foreign invaders, the chills make it hard on your barber. The constant movement from coughing and sneezing also increases the risk of a bad haircut and even injuries if your barber is using a straight razor to edge you up.

If you must get a haircut while sick keep in mind your hair may not be to par as normal. Again, the obstacles that I mentioned earlier make it hair for your barber to cut your hair.

How long do germs live on barber’s hair cutting tools?

You would be surprised to learn that different viruses have various life expectancies living on certain surfaces. For article sake and staying on topic, I’ll stick to germs on barbers cutting tools and surfacing within the barbershop.

You should know that there are many different types of viruses can cause colds and other sicknesses like the flu. But how long can these viruses survive on the surface of liner clippers and barbers chair?

The viruses can survive on indoor surfaces like barber chairs and counter tops for more than 8 hours in some cases a full day. However, sickness causing viruses usually live on barbers’ tools for a short period of time. This is because a product like barbicide kills germs instantly. Usually, viruses that cause flu and common cold last on hair cutting tools until the end of a haircut.

Typically, viruses survive longer on non-porous (water resistant) surfaces, such as plastics and stainless steel, than porous surfaces, like cloth fabrics and tissues.

What about human skin, how long will germ last?

Because most humans wash their hands frequently with antibacterial soap viruses have a lower rate of survival on the skin. This is true with both flu and cold-causing viruses, the germs on our hands are usually gone after 20 minutes.

So, there you have it! Hand hygiene is important.

Will cleaning barber tools sanitizing work areas help contain the spread of germs?

When it comes to cutting hair, the mentality should be cleanliness is next to godliness. Keeping cleaning and sanitizing everything within the work area is the great equalizer when combating sickness causing germs.

Think about it, people come to the barbershop from all walks of life to a haircut. Let’s be realistic, currently, in 2020 there are still people who are uneducated about hygiene, to say the least.

black surgical mask

Imagine getting a haircut after someone who doesn’t prioritize hygiene. Let’s go a step further, what if the client before you had something contagious and your barber cuts your hair without cleaning their tools. You would be concerned and would say something. Right?

Well, there’s no way for a barber to measure some hygiene or if they’re contagious… That’s why there are sanitary guidelines barbers must follow in order to protect everyone!

According to barber shops shall maintain thorough sterilization of tweezers, needles, and all other instruments used for the removal of hair, blackheads, or the opening of pimples. All tools used on a customer shall be cleaned and sterilized before each customer use.”.

The sanitary guideline barbers must follow are in place to contain and reduce the spread of germs within the barbershop. So, don’t be offended if your haircut while sick your barber clean up and sanitize their cutting tools afterward.

Why do I get sick when I cut my hair?

During my research, I noticed a lot of people online asking, “why do I get sick when I cut my hair?”. The question is indicating that a haircut is causing some people to become sick. Well, let’s take a deep dive and analyze the question.

How does a haircut cause people to become sick right afterward? Let me be clear, I’ve never personally experience sickness right after a haircut. However, willing to be openminded and investigate. Getting sick after a haircut is much different than getting a haircut while sick but may have a correlation.

  • Improper cleaning of hair cutting tools after cutting someone’s hair who is sick can cause a sickness after a haircut.
  • Another explanation is it maybe the induvial is already sick and doesn’t feel the effect until after the haircut

Remember when I said I’d be willing to be open-minded… well, another cause of getting sick after a headache could be bad QI A.K.A Chi. The belief is that bad energy from others can affect the way you feel. Under this belief could explain the question “why do I get sick when I cut my hair?”

I can’t say that I personally subscribe to the theory but it was worth taking a look at and presenting to you guys!

Tips for avoiding sickness while getting a haircut

Here are some tips to help avoid getting sick during your next visit to your local barbershop. These tips can also limit the spread of germs as well! Well… without further adieu let’s get to it!

  • Wash and sanitize your hands as often as possible.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or with the bend of your arm whenever you cough and sneeze.
  • Avoid touching face, mouth, nose and eyes while at the barbershop.
  • Barbers should wipe down barber chairs with disinfectant after every client’s haircut.
  • All barber tools should be cleaned and sanitized after each haircut.
  • Barbers should avoid sharing tools.

Follow the tips above to avoid getting sick while getting a haircut.


While many people think that getting a haircut while sick is something minor and should be overlooked it is not. People forget that children and seniors who make up a quarter of barber’s clients and are most at risk. It is a terrible idea to get a haircut while under the weather whether it’s a common cold or the flu.

Keep in mind that cutting hair during fever makes it difficult for your barbers. It is impossible to cut hair when clients are shivering and sweating during a haircut. Coughing and sneezing can turn a normal haircut into a dangerous one.

The only way to combat the spread of fever causing germs in the barbershop is to sanitize and keep clean. All barber hair cutting tools and work areas should be sanitized and cleaned after every haircut. Barbers who do not follow the barbershop sanitary guidelines, may pay with fines and even lose their license to cut hair.

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