Many hairdressers suffer from occupational hand eczema due to continuous contact with chemicals. Hence, using protective gloves is important. It safeguards the hands from allergens and irritants. Many studies have been conducted to understand the permeation of chemicals and other allergens through gloves used in the hairdressing business.
A wide variety of gloves are available on the market to protect hairdressers from the chemicals in hair products. Several studies are being conducted on the different composition of gloves available for stylists. After researching and going through different studies, two studies stated that nitrile rubber (NR) gloves offer best protection when dealing with hand dyes, while polyethylene (PE) gloves have the least breakthrough time. The studies showed the sensitivity to rubber materials in hairdressers. It included, thiuram mix, median 2.5% (range 0%-8.2%), weighted average 3.0% (95% confidence interval [CI] 3.0%-3.1%); mercapto mix, median 0.4% (range 0%-3.3%), weighted average 0.5% (95% CI 0.47%-0.50%), mercaptobenzothiazole, median 0.6% (range 0%-6.6%), weighted average 0.7% (95% CI 0.6%-0.7%), NRL-type I allergy, median 1.3% (range 1%-16.4%), weighted average 4.0% (95% CI 3.6%-4.5%).
The overall conclusion of the studies was that NR gloves offer the best skin protection, while most often natural rubber latex (NRL) and polyvinylchloride (PVC) gloves would do the job. Also, PE gloves should not be used for this job. Instead synthetic rubber gloves with low or no levels of accelerators offer better protection.