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September 15, 2022
The nail salon.
A hallowed place for many—and one that we came to miss greatly during the most intense parts of the pandemic when we really weren’t leaving our homes. Perhaps you mastered some version of at-home gel removal and manicures but now you’re happy to return to a place where a professional is taking care of business.
(And if you love to do your nails at home, much of this advice about manicure tools will apply to you too!)
While many factors—like location, cost of services, and ambience—may weigh into the nail salon you choose, safety and cleanliness must be near the top of the list, as well.
It’s always important to take note of (or ask about) the safety practices employed by your salon to prevent the spread of bacteria and other microbes.
First, it’s helpful to understand a few of the key terms that are factors in the hygiene practices of someplace like a nail salon.
Now, we can get into more specifics about what to look out for when picking a spot for your manicure or pedicure.
First impressions count big time here. When you walk in, ask yourself a few questions.
You want to make sure that everything used on your hands or feet is being sanitized and disinfected properly. And it’s absolutely fine to ask about how this is done if you’re not clear. Don’t be embarrassed!
Now, sometimes salons use one-time use products, meaning they are only used on one client and then thrown away—or given to the client to take home. This can often include items such as emery boards, orange sticks, pumices, buffers, and toe separators. If items like this are being reused, there may be a cleanliness issue.
If you are concerned about the salon adhering to disinfecting guidelines and want to take your health into your own hands, consider bringing your own stainless steel tools and sanitizing them at home by cleaning them in hot, soapy water, boiling, and then drying and storing them in a dry place. Also, make sure that you never visit a salon if you have an open wound or any active infections in the area where you are receiving your service, as this could put you at risk for developing a skin or nail infection. Last (but not least), never ignore abnormalities that appear after a salon service. If you are concerned about an issue—be it an allergy to a product or a possible infection—then seek care from a board-certified dermatologist immediately.
Obviously being eco-conscious and caring about the environment and sustainability are important factors in making decisions about where you spend your money in all parts of modern life—and that includes your nails and nail care.
Items that the manufacturer designs to be disposed of after one use on a single client are called “disposable” or “single-use”. Reusing these items is considered an unsanitary, improper and unprofessional practice. Some additional examples of disposable items are cotton balls, gauze pads, wooden implements, disposable towels, toe separators, tissues, wooden sticks, and certain abrasive files and buffers. Items damaged during the cleaning and disinfecting process are considered single-use and must be discarded after every client.
While one-time use products are a way for nail salons to stay hygienic, and efficient, they aren’t always the best for the planet Earth as they create more waste. This is yet another reason that bringing your own tools from home can be a great idea. A file like the new Dr. Dana Precision Glass Nail File is non-porous and naturally hygienic, making it a great option. Plus, it helps reduce snags by creating a smooth nail edge. If you do bring your own tools, just be sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to properly clean any items after each use.