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Female hairdressers - Respiratory symptoms, mechanisms, and health-related quality of life and their views on the work environment


  • Kerstin Diab

Summary, in English

Little is known of respiratory symptoms in female hairdressers, and of the impact on the health-related quality of life (HRQoL), nor of knowledge of their own views on preventive work. The aim of this thesis was to examine the occurrence of asthma, symptoms and mechanism of bleaching-associated nasal symptoms, the effects on HRQoL and how young hairdressers reason about the work environment.

A moderate increased risk of asthma was found during active time in non-smoking hairdressers, and it was somewhat greater for those performing most bleaches and hair spraying. Childhood hay fever and smoking had no effect on this risk. Hairdressers with bleaching- associated nasal symptoms (S+) responded in a challenge study with increasing symptoms and albumin in nasal lavage at a nasal challenge with persulphate, and atopic females to a lesser intent. The reaction of the S+ did not seem to be IgE-mediated. After a month's work S+ reacted with increasing symptoms and an increase in ECP in nasal lavage. HRQoL decreased in S+ parallel to an increase in nasal symptoms. In an interview study young hairdressers had an awareness of the work environment and opportunities to influence it, but shortage of means and strategies made it not an active part of their business. Focus was on customers and working technique. Organization had an impact and teachers were crucial for the preventive work. Hairdressers saw the professional future as uncertain due to work-related health risks and their consequences.

Publishing year





Lund University Faculty of Medicine Doctoral Dissertation Series



Document type



Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University


  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health


  • Female hairdressers
  • Respiratory symptoms
  • Health-Related Quality of Life
  • Work environment




  • Jörn Nielsen
  • Edith Andersson


  • ISSN: 1652-8220
  • ISBN: 978-91-87651-61-8

Defence date

4 April 2014

Defence time


Defence place

Skåne University Hospital, Lund, Auditorium F1


  • Anna Rask-Andersen (Professor)