Is Your Nail Salon Safe?

When we visit a nail salon we go for some pampering and relaxation. The last thing we want to think about with our manicures and pedicures is illness. But if we don’t take care we could leave the salon with much more than pretty nails. Contracting fungal infections or hepatitis B or C are real threats if proper hygiene is not practiced by salon owners and employees. Heps B and C are spread by blood to blood contact so sterilization of tools is vital.

There are certain things you should look for and know before giving a nail salon your business You are the best judge of which establishments to frequent and the ones which thresholds should never be crossed. Use your instinct! If you walk in and employees are eating at their nail stations, garbage is spilling over onto the floor or you observe a nail tech go from one client to another without washing her hands or sanitizing her instruments then that is NOT the place for you. Even if you’ve already sat down and something you see sends up a red flag it’s your right to walk out.

Look for credentials
You wouldn’t want a ‘doctor’ whose never been to med school operating on you. Well the same principle applies. A person with no training or experience should not be using clippers or razors on your hands and feet! When you enter the salon look for a diploma or certification. If there is nothing on display don’t feel intimidated to ask about qualifications. If it’s your first visit ask how and where the instruments are sterilized. Unsterilized tools are breeding ground for infection. Manicure stations and pedicure tubs must be sanitized with disinfectant after each client.

Do your homework
Word of mouth is still the best recommendation. Ask your girlfriends where they have had the best salon experience. If there is a new place you want to try, visit the website first to check what the interior looks like. Good sites will offer 360⋆ photos for viewing. Read some reviews of other peoples experiences.

Take your own products
If you have a favourite polish colour take it with you or buy a set that includes base and top coats as well. That way you are sure you’re the only one using them. If the salon does not use disposable pedi flops take along your own. Some salons give you a personal nail kit that you re-use each visit. These usually include an emery board, buffer and cuticle stick. You may also want to invest in your own nail and cuticle clippers.

Ultra Violet nail dryers are found in many salons these days. Keep in mind that the UV rays in these dryers can be harmful to your skin just like the rays you absorb from the sun. So it is just as important to protect your skin as if it were exposed to natural sunlight. No one wants perfect nails and wrinkled hands! Speaking from experience, the UV dryers do give nail lacquer a fast-dry and glossy shine. But don’t use them too often, and when you do make sure to cover the backs of your hands and tops of your feet with sunscreen. Some aestheticians opt out of using the UV dryers altogether. Jane B. of Pretty Nails in Toronto does not have one in her salon because she says that ” the polish dries better in natural air than under the dryer.”

Keeping in line with nail health why not try some of the good-for-you polishes. There are now several brands of organic or non-toxic lacquers on the market. These are mostly found in health food stores or environmentally conscious salons. This holiday season paint your nails festive with Come to Bed Red or Knees Up from butter LONDON or Suncoat’s Hot Scarlet or Midnight Purple. Both lines tout their products as formaldehyde and toluene free with most of Suncoat’s colours being vegan. Check online to find retailers where these products are sold.

So when you’re next off to the nail salon keep these tips in mind, and you’ll have a safe as well as a fun visit.

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Tags: festive, Health, nail infection, nail polish, nail safety, nail salon, pretty nails, safe nail salon

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