freelance journalist, print journalist, online journalist, copywriter, content editor, freelance editor, health and lifestyle, blogger Sometimes it's hard to be a woman | Christine Morgan - Journalist
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It’s definitely not a good time to be a female riskfactorphobe who likes a spot of beauty pampering. My goodness, have you seen the scare stories doing the rounds right now? No? Well let me tell you about them.

First up, essential oils. According to a report in The Telegraph, they are causing fires. And not in the way that you might think. I’m not talking about oil burners being knocked over and the tea lights setting everything ablaze. No. Apparently towels can ‘burst into flames’ when they have been sprinkled with the fragrant oils and not washed at high enough temperatures to remove them. You heard right.

So basically the oil residues can catch alight in tumble driers – right, I can buy that, there may be static that causes a spark, for instance. But apparently non-fully cleaned towels with essential oil residues have been catching fire in linen baskets and airing cupboards too. Apparently it has happened in at least one beauty salon in Swindon. No, hang on, the report in the Telegraph says that officials have linked at least six fires in recent months not just in beauty salons but also in homes and launderettes to therapy oils.

I’m not exactly sure how a towel with oil residue can seemingly spontaneously combust, but fire chiefs are saying that’s exactly what can happen. The solution is to wash towels at 40 degrees or above to get rid of the oil completely. So there, you have been told.

The other beauty practice to come under fire this week is eyebrow threading. Woe betide anyone who indulges in this Middle Eastern technique – which has apparently been around for centuries (but hasn’t killed anyone as far as I know) – as it could result in… a skin infection. In Texas and Arizona they’re trying to make eyebrow threaders apply for a cosmetology licence ‘for the safety of the public’, no less. Ooh, are you scared yet?

Just a minute. To get a cosmetology licence in those states you have to take a course that can cost up to $12,000. That’s right, £12,000 to find out how to wash your hands in between clients and how to use clean threads for each eyebrow. Well then, now everything becomes clear, doesn’t it?  I have also read that one threading company has been fined around $100,000 and had to pay legal fees of $200,000 because the threaders were not licensed. I’m not sure about you, but that sounds bonkers to me. Talk about health and safety gone around the twist. Twice.

They’ll be telling us that shopping for shoes increases your risk of instant death next.