Growth of Bacteria
Bacteria goes through a growth cycle that consists of two stages: an active stage and an inactive stage.
During the active stage, bacteria reproduce and grow rapidly. This reproduction usually takes place
in dark, damp or dirty areas where a food source is available. As the bacteria absorb food, each cell
grows in size and divides, creating two new cells. This activity is called mitosis. The process of cell
division in bacteria is similar to the budding process in plants. Under favorable conditions, bacte-
ria reproduce quickly, with as many as sixteen million offspring developing in twelve hours.
Bacteria are not always active; when conditions are unfavorable, the cells die or become inactive.
Some bacteria, such as anthrax and tetanus, also have a normal inactive or dormant stage. When
the environment makes the bacteria's survival difficult, some bacteria enter this inactive stage by
creating spherical spores that are not harmed by disinfectants, cold or heat.
Spore formation and other means by which bacteria can resist disinfection are
factors to be considered when keeping the salon sanitary. Some bacteria can
survive for a long time in extreme heat or cold. When conditions again become
favorable for the bacteria's growth, the bacteria return to the active stage.
Movement of Bacteria
Because of their tiny size, bacteria can travel easily from place to place through
air or water, from you to your client and vice versa. Bacilli and spirilla have the
ability to move by themselves by using hair-like projections called flagella (flah-
JEL-ah) or cilia (SIL-ee-a), which extend from the sides of the cell. A wave-like
motion of these projections can easily propel the cell through a liquid.
Viruses are sub-microscopic particles (much smaller than bacteria) that cause familiar diseases like
the common cold, which is caused by a filterable virus. Other familiar diseases caused by viruses
include respiratory and gastrointestinal infections, chicken pox, mumps, measles, small pox, yellow
fever, rabies, HIV (AIDS), hepatitis and polio.
Human Hepatitis B (HBV) is a highly infectious disease that infects the
liver. Personal service workers (PSWs), such as nurses, doctors, teachers
and cosmetologists, are asked to take precautions against HBV, which is a
vaccine-preventable disease. Because these professionals work with the
public, inoculation is often recommended. Check with your local health
agency or doctor to determine if you are a candidate for this inoculation.
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a disease caused by
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). HIV interferes with the body's
Over 1,500 of
will fit on the
head of a pin.
"The National Centers for
Disease Control (CDC)
assigns the category titled
Personal Service Workers
to cosmetologists. Watch
for the initials PSW as
information is released."