Why do barbers use Sanex strip during haircut

Sanek Strip

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Yesterday while I was sitting in my barber chair, my barber pulled a sheet of paper and wrapped it around my neck. I asked him what’s up with toilet tissue on my neck, he corrected me and said it’s sanex strip.

Honestly, I never really gave much thought as to what the neck stripe was until today. I always thought it was toilet paper and even then, I didn’t know why my barber used it. So, why do barbers use sanex strip during a haircut?

Sanex strip is a soft, tissue-like material that absorbs liquid great. The Sanex neck strips capture hair and absorb perspiration from the neck. The sanex material is able to stretch to comfort for the client.

One of the reasons barbers use sanex strips during haircuts is because it limits the washing of the barber cape. Another purpose of the white strip is, to protect the neck from loose hair and sweat. A sanex neck strip is a tool used as a sanitary precaution. It limits contact between skin and germs from the collar of the barber cape.

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In this article, we’ll go over every aspect of the sanex neck strip!

Is sanex strip the same as napkins?

barber neck paper

For a very long time, I was one of those who thought sanex neck strips were the same as toilet paper. They look a lot alike, it’s hard to tell the difference between sanex strips and toilet paper through your peripheral vision. Though the two absorbent papers look very similar at first glance, they are very different.

Sanex neck strips are not the same as bathroom paper! You should know that the two papers are not interchangeable. You may be able to get away with using toilet paper under a barber’s cape. I must warn you, if the tissue paper is oversaturated with moisture it will break and tear apart. That’s a mess and headache you don’t want to have to deal with while cutting hair.

Keep in mind that trying to use the barber neck paper as toilet paper… Yo, you’re either disparate or you seriously have some issues. One, you will have a serious case of the nasty hands and two it just wouldn’t feel very good.

Are neck strips reusable?

No, barber neck strips are not reusable. Think about how unsanitary and nasty that is. Reusing barber cape stirpes would be the equivalent of using a sponge to clean a spill then using it to do dishes. You wouldn’t do that, would you? I didn’t think so!

Good barber takes every possible precaution to limit the spread of germs and keep their clients safe. Using disposable barber paper is one of the precautions of limiting the spread of diseases within the barbershop.

According to the sections of the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology, the guidelines states all barbers must keep their workspace sanitized. During my research, I came across a pdf about barbershop sanitization guidelines.

“All tools, appliances, and utensils that meet the head, neck or face of a patron, should be disinfected before use upon any patron. The document also states that all paper barrier and alcohol cotton may not be reused.”

Do you see that line above that says, “all paper barrier”? Those three words mandate that your barber must use disposable barber neck strips and can’t use them between clients!

Do barber strips fit all neck size?

There are a variety of sizes that fit most neck sizes comfortably. Check out the barber neck paper breakdown.

Description Size Packing
SANEK® XL Neck Strips 3.5″x25.5″ 50 Strips/Pkg, 18 Pkgs/Case
SANEK® Neck Strips 2.5″x17.5″ 60 Strips/Pkg, 4 Cartons/Case
SANEK® Neck Strips  2.5″x17.5″ 60 Strips/Pkg, 4 Cartons/Case
SANEK® Black Plastic Dispenser 5.75″x3.5″ 12 Dispensers/Case


As you can see from the chart above, the size of the strips varies and accommodate most necks. Whether you have a small or extra-large neck you’ll be covered. You’ll be covered get it, get it?

The number of strips you will get in each package depends on the size of the neck strips. For example, the Sanek XL neck strips 3.5”x25.5” comes with 50 strips per package and the regular size 2.5”x17.5” comes with 60 strips per package.

How tight should the neck strip be around the neck?

I’m not sure if you’ve experienced this, but some barber put the strip around so tight it’s hard to breathe. The barber neck paper should not be tight around your client’s neck. Maximize comfort for clients by making sure you’re able to fit two fingers between strips client’s neck.

Making the neck paper too tight around the client’s neck can cause skin irritation. The client may notice redness, hives and in some extreme cases bruise. The two-finger method assures that the neck strips aren’t super tight around the neck.

As the client, you reserve the right to request for the barber strips to be loosened if it is on too tight. You will not offend the baber, I promise! Honestly, they would prefer that you tell them that you are uncomfortable with something that they are doing. Believe me, they would prefer to avoid the negative review on yelp or other service rating platforms.

Check out this funny video from DiceTheBarber about neck strips that are too tight!

How does the sanex strip stay on the neck?

I bet you’re wondering how the barber paper stays around your neck… The barber strip is wrapped around the neck and the end is tucked between the nick and sanex paper. Some neck strips even come with a sticky strip at the end to keep it attached.

Another technique that is used to keep the barber neck paper on the neck, is by snapping the barber cape over the strips! This technique keeps the sanex paper from falling off or moving around during a haircut. Whether your barber is using a sticky or non-sticky neck paper there are methods to keep them on.


The Sanex strips are convenient for both the barbers cutting hair and clients receiving a haircut. Using the barber paper is a sanitary precaution, it prevents the client from coming into direct contact from the barber’s chair and barber cape. Keep in mind that the practice is used to prevent the spread of germs since the barber gown is used by all sorts of people.

The adjustable barber paper fits most neck size by offering regular size 2.5″x17.5″ and an extra-large 3.5″x25.5″ to fit clients comfortably.

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