You have definitely noticed that when you get a haircut from a barber, they can rub a cotton ball smothered in rubbing alcohol on your hairline. It can cause a bit of burning but is always applied at hair salons for many good reasons.
So why alcohol after haircut? What if your barber doesn’t do it after cutting your hair? Are there any other alternatives? Let’s clear those queries through the following article.
Why Alcohol After Haircut?
“Why do barbers use alcohol after a haircut?” The haircut process can give you minor cuts on your scalp, which can cause infection if not cleaned properly in time. That’s when rubbing alcohol comes into play. An infected hairline can be unsightly and even make you go to your doctor.
When you get a haircut, clippers, liners, or straight edge razors that your barber uses may give you minor abrasions and microscopic cuts. If they were not cleaned and handled correctly, they would develop nasty bumps and sores. Bumps and sores on your head are common signs that you have an infection.
There’s nothing worse than going out with a new haircut the next day, but your nape has some bumps, right?
Therefore, skilled barbers will use alcohol to clean your head after giving you a haircut or shape up. They may spray alcohol on a tissue and pat your head with it or spray alcohol directly on your head.
It may cause you a little burning sensation, but it is necessary to protect your head from pimples or allergies. Hence, if your barber forgets or doesn’t do this, you need to remind him to use alcohol or any suitable disinfectant to clean your head.
There isn’t any good reason to skip this needed cleaning step. And we’ll cover the consequences of ignoring this in the next section.
If your barber regularly skips your first step, we bet they won’t pay enough attention to cleaning their tools either. So, in this case, consider changing barbers.
What if Your Barber Skips This Step?
By now, you should understand, “Why do you put alcohol after a haircut?” So what are the consequences of skipping this step?
This cleaning step is essential, even mentioned in the barber rule book. However, many barbers, especially beginners, may sometimes ignore it unintentionally or intentionally.
So what are the consequences of not applying alcohol to the head after getting a haircut?
In many cases, your scalp may build up nasty bumps or sores. In a worse case, you will catch infections and allergies.
In addition, those minor bumps and sores will make your head look nasty, no matter how glamorous the new haircut you get.
While you may hate the feeling of applying alcohol after getting a haircut, it’s essential to know it’s important and to remind your barber to use it if he forgets. Alternatively, you can apply it yourself or use lemon juice to replace the alcohol.
What Are the Side Effects of Applying Alcohol on Your Head?
Generally, you shouldn’t have a problem with this unless you are allergic to alcohol. But no one is perfect, and neither is alcohol, even though its pros completely outweigh its cons.
However, to be objective, we still want you to know the drawbacks of using alcohol on your scalp after a haircut.
After a haircut, applying alcohol to the scalp can give you a slight burning sensation, which is entirely normal. The good news is that this feeling will stop after some time.
It’s your body’s natural response, which tells you something is hurting you. It’s like feeling a burning sensation when you touch something hot like an iron or a cigarette. These signals are essential to our survival.
Alcohol or similar cleansers can strip your skin of its natural oils, also known as “defats” your skin, making your oily skin drier. So we recommend using oils after having a haircut from your salon.
Alcohol in contact with the skin may cause an allergic reaction, also known as “dermatitis.”
It’s not life-threatening, but it can cause a lot of discomforts, including itching, red rashes, cracked or dry skin, burning or swelling, and even bumps.
Fortunately, this allergy affects only a few people, and you can expect this allergic reaction to go away in two to four weeks.
The following are the main signs of contact dermatitis:
- Red rash
- Itching, and it may be severe
- Cracked, dry, scaly skin
- Blisters and bumps
- Swelling, burning, tenderness, etc
It is okay to apply cold, wet washcloths to the affected areas to soothe irritated skin during the recovery period. Besides, anti-itch creams may come in handy in this case.
What Is The Substitute for Alcohol After Haircut?
Rubbing alcohol can be an unpleasant experience for people who are allergic to alcohol, despite its benefits. Fortunately, many alternatives to alcohol still achieve the same effect. Ask your barber to use one of the following alternatives for your next haircut:
- Distilled Spirits
- Aftershave lotion
- Witch Hazel
- Lime/Lemon juice
The above options will be the perfect substitute for alcohol. Some may even already be in your kitchen.
Some alternatives, such as vinegar and lemon juice, are not as harsh on the skin as alcohol while still achieving the same effect. Besides, they also don’t strip the skin of essential oils, making them worth trying.
While the alternatives may not be as harsh on the skin as alcohol, they may sting when used after a haircut. Just like the feeling you get when you put lemon juice on a cut in your hand.
How Does a Barber Apply Alcohol to My Head?
A skilled barber will always clean your head with alcohol after an alcohol haircut. They do this in two ways: Spray alcohol directly on your head or pat your head with an alcohol-soaked towel.
For the former option, your barber will spray along your hairline, back of your neck, sideburns, top, and back of your head. For the latter one, he will use an alcohol-soaked towel to pat across the hairline, behind your ears, and beard line.
Either way, your skilled barber will know what to do to stop the spread of germs.
How Long Will the Burning Sensation From Alcohol Last?
When alcohol is applied to your head after a haircut, the chemicals in the alcohol activate the nerves in the skin, causing your head to feel like it’s on fire. The good news is that the stinging sensation only lasts a few seconds in most cases.
What Is the Ideal Amount of Alcohol to Use?
Of course, it’s not necessary to pour a whole bottle of wine over your head just to disinfect it. It is too much! A few sprays or an alcohol-damped towel is enough to kill all germs.
70% And 90% Alcohols: What Is the Best Alcohol After Haircut?
70% isopropyl alcohol is what lab techs and surgeons use to sterilize surfaces. It features enough water present to invade the bacterial cell membrane and kill and destroy bacteria on contact. Then the isopropyl alcohol evaporates leaving your surface sterile.
We helped you answer “Why alcohol after haircut?” So by now, you should know the importance of rubbing alcohol on your head after a haircut. Keep in mind that there isn’t any good reason for skipping this step. Remind your barber about using alcohol or any other substitute on your head.
Also, you will be all set to extol your wisdom when someone asks you questions like, “What is the spray barbers use after haircut?”
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