What to Look for in a Salon and Spa
Choosing the best place to have your beauty services performed is a very personal decision. Here are some factors to help you select a salon and spa.
Time versus Convenience
Do you have blocks of time you want to devote to beauty treatments on a regular basis? If so, perhaps a multi-service salon or spa would be best for you. You can book several services in a block of time, make one trip and get everything you need done at once. The convenience of making only one appointment is a factor, as well as the pampered feeling you’ll achieve when you are treated head to toe.
Do you have limited bits of time? In this case, you might want to find specialty salons or spas that focus on the particular services you want. Devoting only a small amount of time to a single service might help you get everything accomplished on your list.
When considering a salon or spa, ask around. Hearing testimonials about their level of professionalism, their skills and their customer service will help you choose wisely.
When you see someone who has a look you like, ask them for a referral.
Checking out online reviews can be helpful, as well. Keep in mind that anyone can write anything online … and that won’t necessarily make it true, so focus on overall trends, rather than random individual bad reviews.
While you’re waiting for your service, or when you have a moment to look around, observe the level of professionalism in the services being performed. A top salon or spa will always observe safety and sanitation practices … no matter the price of the services performed.
Some things to look for:
Hair services—only clean, sanitized implements are used in your service. Combs and brushes should be obviously clean and disinfected. The rare (hopefully rare!) occasions when skin is nipped or scratched is handled with proper Universal Precautions protocols: the wound is cleaned and dressed with gloved hands, everything is double bagged and thrown away, and that area is avoided for the rest of the service.
Nail services—both you and your technician should have clean, sanitized hands before the service begins. Implements are obviously new or clean and disinfected. Disposable supplies are properly thrown away.
Pedicures—an especially important step in salon safety is the proper cleaning of the pedicure bowl. It is important that it is wiped out between clients with an appropriate disinfectant, but additionally, if there are jets or whirlpool type bowls, they should be run with a disinfectant in them for 10 minutes between each client. If this is not done, the water in your pedicure could be contaminated by the water in the jets from previous pedicures.
Facials—make sure that products are removed safely from containers. A pump or a new, clean spatula should be used every time.
Waxing—proper waxing procedures should always be observed. No “double dipping” the wax spatula back into the wax container, the technician should be wearing gloves and should use a pre- and post-waxing sanitizer on your skin.
Appointment or Walk-in
If you are a person who is impulsive and flexible about your beauty treatments, you might want to find a good salon that allows spur-of-the-moment convenience. Look for “walk-ins welcome” in their advertising.
On the other hand, if you know you want a specific service at a specific interval, you would more likely want to find a salon that will pre-book you or give you what is called a “standing appointment.”
There is a price level for everyone. If you don’t want or need the latest, cutting-edge technology for your simple trim or manicure, then you might choose to look for a salon that offers more affordable prices.
If you desire some of the new Brazilian hair treatments or “shellac” nail polish, then be prepared to pay more.
Other things that might add to the price are whether or not a beverage is offered, valet parking, multiple technicians that specialize in a single aspect of your service and other amenities.
The single most important factor to consider is the way you feel during and after your services—does this salon or spa make you feel good? Do they really listen? Do they give you the level of service you are asking and willing to pay for? If not, move on.
If you are uncomfortable with any part of your experience, do not be afraid to ask for an explanation or an adjustment of the service (not necessarily the price.) The owner of a successful business will be always be happy to make sure you are completely satisfied.