IS YOUR NAIL SALON SAFE?
Its time for that manicure, and if you're planning to wear any of the seasons hottest shoes you'll need that pedicure too. Before you hand your hands & feet over make sure you're not setting yourself up for a serious clipping.
These are some helpful signs that a nail salon might not be living up to legal standards of sanitation.
* New! I wanted to put this on the top of my list. Because FLU season is in full swing. Its most important that you see your nail technician wash his/her hands before you get your nail service. You should be instructed as well to wash your hands before any nail service begins. If this is not happening, then your not protected. Colds/Flu Viruses are passed on very quickly from one person to another thru unclean hands.
If I might touch base on this a tad more, I have visited many
discount nail salons, and I seen something very disturbing to me,
many of them are using their own nails as tools, to push back your
cuticles, pry off nail extensions and pick away at nail glue that is caught under your nails. This is so unsanitary, and without proper hand washing in between clients, your nail service is just a disease waiting to happen.
***This is an excellent article that I happen to come across on unsanitary practices in salons. Unfortunately, it is not just happening in this area, it is right here in our neighborhood salons. Please take a moment and read this.
1. A jar of blue water at the manicure table - This may seem like a good thing, but the procedure of cleaning tools properly involves scrubbing them with soap and water, drying them, immersing them completely in a hospital and EPA grade fungicide/viruscide/barbicide for ten minutes, rinsing, drying and enclosing in a dry place. If they do not scrub off the tools before soaking them in a glass of disinfectant, that disinfectant has been contaminated and does more harm than good.
2. A speedy service - Time is precious and it may seem going to a quick place saves you time and maybe even money, but many places that offer fast services are making their money by turn around. The more they can 'turn and burn', the more money they make, so taking time out to sanitize tools the right way only defeats the purpose.
3. A file that has been used before - If your technician uses an emery board on you that does not look brand new, a law is being broken and your health is being compromised. A bacterium grows on those files and spreads from hand to hand. Demand a new file and ask to take it with you when you go.
4. A bargain - Of course you have heard there is no such thing as a free lunch; in this case it is usually true. The corners most shops cut in order to give you a deal are at your expense, not theirs. Some of things mentioned above, saving time by not cleaning things, re-using tools and supplies when they should be replacing them, and if you compare this cheaper service to a spa treatment you will find you're paying the same rate, about $1.00 per minute. You pay $10.00 for 10 minutes, $30.00 for 30 minutes. No savings really on the cheaper service, just a cheap service.
5. Pedicure Throne - You probably assume you’re safe because you go to an “up-scale” salon with “throne-like” pedicure chairs, but watch out, that makes you an accessible target for this hideous infection.
ASK YOUR TECHNICIAN HOW THEIR THRONE IS SANITIZED!
This disease can not be passed from person to person. Rather, humans become infected through their environment and in this case, nail salon foot baths happen to be the environmental breeding ground for this harmful bacteria. The throne-like chairs are the most difficult to clean, and portable foot baths are easier to clean in a sink. If not cleaned properly, your legs (and other parts) run the risk of contracting this infectious disease. When you’ve been waiting 20 minutes, it’s probably the last thing on your mind but make sure your foot bath is clean, or ask for a plain foot bath!
6. The 'Curio' Blade - This is an illegal tool that is often used to remove calluses quickly (another time saver at your expense). It slices off dead skin like a cheese slicer with a very sharp blade. Aside from the fact that your calluses need to remain where they are, for your own protection, (until you change your lifestyle), the risk of being cut too deeply by a dirty tool is one you should question. If a customer has Diabetes and gets a slice on the foot from a dirty (or even clean) blade, it could lead to losing that foot! It seems a big chance to take for a quick pedicure.
7. A Terrible Odor - If you're not in the market for artificial nails, exposing yourself to toxic fumes is not a healthy choice. Most acrylic nail chemicals are hard on your system as it is, but many of the “bargain" shops purchase a chemical that is legal to buy (Dentists use it), but not legal to use as a nail technician. However, it is much cheaper than the required products and makes a much harder enhancement. The chemical is called Liquid Methyl-Methacrylate (LMM) and is known to cause liver and kidney damage when inhaled and damage to The Central Nervous System if it gets into your blood stream (a risk to women who have acrylic nails).
8. Gritty files - Many shops use very abrasive nail files for one reason, to save time. These files bring down your nail much quicker than a fine grit and they work well on acrylic nails. Your nails are too fragile for this and if you ever notice your nails peeling or flaking after a manicure, this may be the reason. Please ask for an abrasive of 240-grit or higher to be used on your natural nails. If they do not have them or worse, don't know what you are talking about, it's best to find another place.
9. Cutting Your Cuticles - Nothing is harsher on your fingers than getting live, healthy, tissue cut off. Cutting your cuticles may look good for a day or two, but then anything from redness, pain, peeling to the re-growth of thick, ugly cuticles follows. Only dead skin should ever be removed and so often this is not what happens. There are healthy ways to remove this dead skin and have beautiful hands and a good nail tech can tell you how.
10. Formaldehyde, Toluene, and Dibutyl Phalate - Some of these chemicals are hard to avoid in the nail industry and so you try and at least keep them to a minimum. Many nail strengtheners have Formaldehyde which make your nails stronger for a while, but then start to make them brittle. Toluene's harm is still argued about, but best to be safe. DB is the most hazardous and has been known to cause Liver and Kidney damage as well as possible birth defects. Most nail polish lines have at least one, two or all three of these chemicals in them. They are at "safe" amounts, but in the case of DB, which is also found in most hair, skincare, perfumes and cosmetics, you could be getting an over-load. I say if you can avoid it, then do. Some nail lines I know don't carry any of these chemicals are: Seche, Urban Decay, and SpaRitual, Creative Nail, OPI.