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Top 10 Nail Salon Tips

Salons and Spas

Manicures and pedicures have grown in popularity – among men and women, causing nail salons to be as prevalent as Starbucks. While walk-in salons do provide a quick and convenient way to get a manicure and pedicure, don’t be too hasty. It is important to look around the salon and choose one that appears clean and professional. Here are some tips on what to look for in a nail salon and what you should know to ensure a beautiful and healthy professional manicure and pedicure.

  1. Arrive 15 minutes early to your appointment so that you have time to glance around the salon. Does it appear clean and professional? A tidy salon is a good indication that the owner and technicians value cleanliness and more likely taking extra steps to sanitize their equipment and tools. If trash cans are overflowing and dust is collecting on shelves, do not trust that the foot baths and nail clippers are sanitary.
  2. Always look for the salon’s license, which should be posted on the wall near the entrance where clients can easily see it along with the technician’s licenses.
  3. How does the salon sterilize their tools? Some salons use UV sterilizers – devices that resemble toaster ovens. A UV sterilizer does not kill bacteria. Instead, you should see bottle of turquoise liquid, a disinfectant labeled as tuberculocidal. Make sure the liquid does not appear cloudy or foggy, which is an indication that the liquid needs to be changed.
  4. Look in the pedicure area. Are the technicians cleaning the footbaths after each use? Make sure the technicians use hot, soapy water to wash the tub. After being washed, the foot spas should be filled again with water. Hospital-grade disinfectant should be added to the water and allowed to sit for at least 10 minutes before being emptied out and wiped clean.
  5. Some experts say that cleaning after each use is not enough. Salons should take extra measures to avoid causing infection by using foot bath liners. If you choose a salon that does not provide tub liners, bring your own.
  6. If you are getting acrylic nails or fillings, make sure the nail technician washes her hands before getting started. She should also apply an antibacterial spray or gel to your hands. Make sure she is using sterilized tools. Even nail files should be sterilized after each use with a quick spray of isopropyl alcohol or antibacterial spray.
  7. Check the nail technician’s work area. Are the technicians cleaning their work areas after each client, replacing used towels with clean, fresh ones? Are used cotton balls and wooden tools thrown out properly?
  8. Don’t let the technician cut your cuticles. Cuticles provide natural protection against infection in your nail bed. So, rather than allowing the technician to cut them back, ask the technician to either leave them alone or gently push them back. Cutting cuticles is dangerous because it cause skin to tear, increasing your risk of infection.
  9. To further reduce the risk of infection, some salons provide file bags for individual customers. Each bag contains the tools technicians use for manicures and pedicures, such as files, manicure brushes and buffers. The tools are placed in a bag labeled with your name and are used on your nails only. They are cleaned and sterilized before and after use. When done, the tools are placed into a plastic bag – not airtight! – and ready for your next appointment. Some clients also prefer to bring their own manicure set.
  10. If you are still concerned about the risk of infection, consider going to a med spa for your regular nail appointments. Med spas are overseen by a physician, ensuring that the environment, tools, and equipment are cleaned and sterilized before and after each client.

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