Take care of your tools and they’ll take care of you.
Everyone stylist knows that the air intake filter on a blow-dryer should be cleaned once a week…Right?
“In my experience it’s the most important but least-performed maintenance on any type of salon tool,” says Joel Calfee, lead artist for BioIonic. Whether it’s a matter of neglect or procrastination, not cleaning your air filter can increase drying times and doom your blow-dryer to a premature death. Calfee suggests making it a part of your end-of-week closing or beginning-of-week opening routine so it doesn’t fall through the cracks.
So it's time to come clean: How else have you been neglecting your most valuable salon assistants?
“Untwisting the power cord on your dryer should be done daily,” says Calfee. “I’ve seen cords that look like hair braids from being twisted so much.” He suggests unplugging the dryer at the end of every shift, straightening the cord, and then folding it (never wrapping it around the tool) for storage.
Cleaning irons is a must, especially since many styling products will leave a residue on heated surfaces. Wipe cool irons with a damp cloth, being sure to get inside the tongs and around the outside of the housing. “If it’s been a while since your last cleaning and build-up is baked on hard, you may want to grab an orange stick from the nail room to help remove it, being careful not to scratch the styling surface” says Calfee. Once a week should do it, but Calfee warns, “If you’re seeing product build-up on the sides of your iron, you may be waiting too long.”
He also points out that many of todays’ high-end tools utilize digital thermostats and microchip processors which are sensitive to abuse. He recommends never placing hot tools on metal surfaces that can hold heat. Use a heat-resistant mat that allows hot tools to breathe, and only store them in a cart or holder when you’re done for the day.
Which does not mean leaving them on the whole time. “Turn your irons off between clients,” Calfee suggests. “On average you may only use your iron for 15 minutes at a time on a client. So on eight clients a day, that amounts to two hours of actual usage time versus eight hours if it’s left on all day."