Muscat – Muscat Municipality conducted a number of inspections of beauty salons in the capital this year.
A statement issued by Muscat Municipality said, ‘In addition to the intensive awareness campaigns conducted by the municipality, there is also a focus on increasing field visits during the morning and evening periods.’
The statistics and numbers reflect the intensity of efforts made by the municipality in monitoring the activities of beauty salons. In 2023, inspection visits in Seeb reached approximately 1,715, resulting in 26 violations. In Bausher, there were 1,987 visits with 5 violations and 3 damage notices. In Muttrah, there were 920 visits with 6 violations. Quriyat recorded 200 supervisory visits with no violations, while in Amerat, there were 575 inspection visits, resulting in 5 violations and 6 damage notices.
The workforce in the health inspection department faces several challenges in overseeing women’s beauty salons. One major challenge is the lack of adherence to occupational safety during services, especially in hair treatments like protein and keratin. These substances contain chemicals, including formaldehyde, which can emit fumes causing nasal congestion, red eyes, persistent headaches, and sometimes difficulty breathing. All these centers are advised to have proper ventilation, wear specialised glasses, and masks. The use of these products on children is also highlighted due to potential adverse health effects.
Furthermore, the difficulty in implementing effective surveillance tools, such as surveillance cameras, adds to the challenges of controlling prohibited behaviors in beauty salons. The shortage of inspection personnel compared to the density of beauty salons leads to infrequent inspection visits, sometimes extending to once every three months, resulting in numerous violations within these centers.
Additionally, there is a need for complex procedures to address reported violations in homes, along with the lack of awareness among most business owners about health regulations and applicable laws. The language barrier, with many workers unable to communicate in English or Arabic, adds another layer of complexity to the oversight process.