Be honest: How likely are you to go a random salon and let the stylist cut your hair without doing some serious research first? You should be just as picky when choosing a nail salon. Unfortunately, with run-of-the-mill nail salons on just about every corner, it can be difficult to sort the good from the bad, and one trip to a subpar location can wreck your nails beyond repair. Read on to find out the top five things to look out for during your next salon visit.
As relaxing as that massage chair may be, that jet-powered foot spa may be doing more harm than good. Think of it as a big, bubbly pool of germs and bacteria swirling around from the previous user. Unfortunately, unless the tech is taking the jets apart and cleaning them individually, it’s nearly impossible to get rid of all that bacteria. Your best bet? Opt for a pedicure with a standard foot basin.
Sanitizable v.s. Single-Use Tools
Some products, such as cotton pads, orangewood sticks and certain nail files cannot be sanitized and should be thrown out after use. Stainless steel implements, such as cuticle pushers and nail clippers can and should be reused. Ask your tech about the salon protocol for sanitization and don’t be afraid to ask him or her to open a fresh set of tools in front of you.
The saying rings true, “The nose knows.” If you’re practically choking on the smell of acrylic, you should probably rethink your visit. A proper ventilation system eliminates chemical odors, meaning you shouldn’t smell much of anything when you walk through the door. Frequent exposure to some of the ingredients found in polish, acrylic or polish remover can lead to nausea, skin irritation and long-term health effects. If you’re smelling chemical odors, then the employees are too, meaning the salon owner isn’t too concerned for his or her staff and clients. In short, this isn’t a place where you want to be.
Gel removal techniques
If you see any tech scraping away gel polish from a client’s nail, steer clear! Unfortunately, these are the salons that give gel polish a bad rap. Gel polish must be soaked off first, then it should easily remove from the nail without any harmful scraping, which will ultimately lead to nail damage.
Goopy, foul-smelling or watery polish
Don’t be afraid if you see a polish with a little separation. Now that most lacquers are 3-free, separation happens more frequently, but the formula can be mixed by simply rolling the bottle between your palms. If the polish has a weird smell, or seems super goopy, it’s probably too old and will not apply smoothly on the nail.