A hair net is a piece of mesh netting shaped like a round cap that fits over the head to hold hair in place. Hair nets cover the entire head from the forehead to the nape of the neck. The main purpose of a hair net is to keep hair from falling into food or other products. Hair nets are used in the food industry as well as in hospitals, labs and some manufacturing operations.
Hair nets may be worn by males or females and most hair nets stretch to fit different head sizes. The netting has an elastic edge that stretches around a hairstyle. Longer hair is usually put in a bun or other up do first. Hair nets are available in basic hair color shades such as brown, dark brown, black, blond and white. The idea of a meshed hairnet is to appear nearly invisible so the color of the net is supposed to be matched to the wearer’s hair color.
A bouffant cap fits like a hair net, but itis made from semi-transparent spun-bonded material. Bouffant caps are usually white in color and are sometimes called hair net bouffants. The word bouffant is derived from the Old French bouffer which means to puff out. The bouffant hairstyle is a puffed–out hair cut that was popular in both the 16th century and the 1960s. Bouffant caps are also very puffed in shape – more so than hairnets. Some hair accessories feature nets with rhinestones or beads made to fit over a bun, but today the term hair net usually refers to the type used in food service and other industries.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) lists in section 402.11 of its Food Code that “all food employe
es shall wear hair restraints such as hair coverings or nets…” Hair nets are often sold in bulk packages of 100, 144 or 1,000. Hair nets or bouffant caps are commonly used in electronics assembly and pharmaceutical applications as well as food service companies.