The purpose of this Q&A is to dispel some myths and offer our advice.

  • Q. Hairnets have holes. Could hair protruding through the knitted structure fall out into the product?

    A. A warp knitted Hairnet will conform to the shape of the head and lay the hair flat, trapping it at the root. Hair will not fall out into product of its own accord. However, if an operative scratches, or adjusts the Hairnet, this is where contamination may occur.

    Please visit our Hair Science page to find out how hair grows, how it falls and how best to keep it out of food!

  • Q. Do short hairs protrude through head coverings more so than longer hairs?

    A. Short hair is harder to contain than longer hair as it stands more upright. However, a 5mm, 3mm or 1mm mesh size traps the hair at the root preventing hair falling into product.

    The key to keeping hair restrained is making sure the operative is as comfortable as possible so that they do not touch headwear. Please visit our Hairnet Ranges for further information on which product is most suitable for the environment.

    We do not recommend using Hairnets or head coverings with larger holes for critical environments.

  • Q. Should I double layer headwear to catch any hair that protrudes through?

    A. A Hairnet, when worn correctly, is sufficient to minimise hair contamination; double layering, especially with another close knitted structure such as a skull cap, is unwise. This can lead to operatives sweating, wiping brows and fidgeting, increasing the risk of stray hair and bacterial contamination.

    It is imperative that operatives remain cool at all times, a 1mm Hairnet should be considered before double layering, please see our Ulti-Net® for further information.

    Whilst we do not feel it necessary to recommend any further head covering, should you still feel a second layer is required we would suggest the use of a Mob Cap. A Mob Cap is not tight fitting and it’s non woven structure allows some breathability through the fibres. This will not lead to the overheating that adding another tight knitted structure can.



  • Q. What is the benefit of a double elastic headband?

    A. Our lay flat double elastic headband offers greater protection than any other. It provides extra security and distributes the elastic evenly so that it doesn’t cut into the forehead; again keeping operatives as comfortable as possible. This can be clearly seen in our photograph to the right.

  • Q. I have found a Hairnet which claims to be better than a traditional Hairnet.

    A. A traditional Hairnet can typically feature a mesh size of up to 10mm. Some research uses inconsistent comparisons to present misleading claims about better performance, beware of selective marketing.

    At Lion we have trialled many types of Hairnet but consistently identified that 1mm to 5mm mesh sizes offer the ideal standard for food processing areas. This allows sufficient airflow and comfort, prevents the wearer overheating but still brings effective restraint of the hair.

  • Q. Can you wash Headwear?

    A. Hairnets or other headwear should not be re-used or washed. Hair is not removed with washing and when re-worn the head covering may be inside out and loose hairs can fall into product.

    It is not advisable to use a hair dissolving additive, these chemicals are highly dangerous and will also break down the fibre in the products.

  • Q. Is there any independent research to show that Hairnets are the best option?

    A. Following guidance by Brian Plunkett MIT, renowned Trichologist (hair and scalp specialist), Brian identified key aspects to the prevention of hair contamination in food. His book 'Food, Hygiene and Hair' identifies airflow and avoidance of dense coverings as high on the list of desirable features. For these reasons, Hairnets are the industry leader for protection against stray hair contamination.

    In 2004, Lion, along with other industry experts, worked with Campden BRI to contribute to the first "Guidelines for Preventing Hair Contamination of Food". This trade lead research project compared the effectiveness of various types of headwear, of which, Hairnets were found to be a favoured means of protection.

    Lion did NOT fund this research, in fact, Hairnets were one of many head coverings tested, it still stands as the only truly independent research carried out to date.

    We are always available to offer advice, sales training and to support you directly with your customers should you require it; please be assured that we do not approach end users, either to promote our products, or to sell them.

How to Contact Us

Lion Haircare Ltd,
NTG House, Willow Road,

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