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July 6, 2021

The Nail Salon: Sanitized or Nah?

Helloooooo Queens, we hope you had an amazing weekend! Summer has ARRIVED with EXTRA HUMIDITY in the passenger seat!!!! We also wish she would’ve left the humidity at home, but y’all know how unpredictable Summer is. Can’t control that crazy gal– just gotta deal with whatever weather she brings. Thanks, Summer (but secretly we’re mad at u 4 the humidity)!!!!!! Anyway, we’re talking about Nail Salons today. With the season in full swing, Nail Salons are more packed than ever, which means Nail Techs are working as fast as they can, which can mean… oversights. It happens everywhere, right? The busier people get, the more on their plates, the more careless they can be. But, in a nail salon, it’s extremely important to look out for these signs of carelessness, cause you can get into contact with some nasty bacteria if you’re not careful. We asked our Instructors for tips on what to pay attention to. Here’s what they came up with.

1. Pedicure Slippers & Toe Separators:

This stuff has got to go in the trash! That’s not even us being clean freaks, either. The State of Pennsylvania made the rules, y’all, and this one is not always followed. Especially with pedicure materials, there can be a ton of bacteria present. Remember that blog post where we talked about acrylics on toenails!? Yeah. Your feet are a breeding ground for bacteria. Nail Techs know this, and should take every precaution possible to make sure that there is no possible transfer of bacteria from one client to the next. This means all pedicure slippers and toe separators should be THROWN AWAY! If you see your nail tech saving these or throwing them into a communal bin (that’s not the trash can), it’s likely they’re getting re-used. Keep an eye out!!!

2. Paraffin Wax:

Paraffin wax treatments are used to treat dry skin. Nail Techs will dip your hand or foot into the paraffin, wrap it, and let it sit in order to deeply moisturize the skin. It comes off easily in its shape, and once again y’all, it needs to be THROWN AWAY!! This might seem obvious to you, but you’d be surprised by the amount of this used wax that gets recycled and used again. On like, lots of pairs of feet!!!!! This is scary, no!? What a wonderful way to cut costs AND spread bacteria to all the clients! Unfortunately, many nail techs will use this cost-cutting method without worrying or warning about the amount of bacteria they’re spreading. So the responsibility is on YOU, Queens, to make sure you’re safe. If you see anyone saving the used wax or not immediately throwing it away, it’s likely that it’s getting reused. Keep. An. Eye. Out!!!

3. Emery Boards:

Okay, yes. Another disposable item that should be immediately disposed in front of your eyes. Did you know there were so many?? Emery boards can carry AND breed bacteria, along with other porous materials like buffers and pumice stones. All porous nail tools can actually be damaged or destroyed by disinfection or cleaning procedures. These should be THROWN AWAY after use!! They shouldn’t be soaking in anything. They shouldn’t have lines that show usage. They should be fresh and new!! Keep! An! Eye! Out!!!!!!!

4. Metal Tools:

Finally! Some tools that you don’t need to watch go in the trashcan. Unlike porous tools, metal tools CAN be reused. The disinfection and sanitization process does not destroy metal tools, and with the proper cleaning materials, you have nothing to worry about! However… proper sanitization requires a hospital-grade disinfectant, NOT a short bath in some random chemicals or a UV light. Tools need to soak in that hospital-grade stuff for at least ten minutes to be properly disinfected. Salons can also use an autoclave sterilizers, but UV Sterilizers are NOT effective for proper disinfection! Autoclave sterilizers usually cost upwards of $1,000– the best rated ones go for over $2,000. If you see a crockpot or toaster oven looking contraption, it’s probably an autoclave sterilizer. Our tip? Look up the make and model on your phone to make sure it’s not a UV sterilizer. KEEP AN EYE OUT!!!!!

5. Pedicure Bowls & Chairs:

You can look out for this while you’re waiting for your appointment, Queens! All you have to do is see it once to know how a salon is cleaning their pedicure chairs. Pedicure chairs AND bowls should be disinfected–you guessed it–with a hospital-grade disinfectant! And this doesn’t mean a quick spray down, which you might observe in most nail salons. The disinfectant is supposed to sit for at least 15 minutes between each pedicure to be able to fully do its job. When’s the last time you saw a pedicure chair sit 15 minutes to disinfect in a busy salon? Yeah. We don’t know either. KEEP! AN!! EYE!!! OUT!!!!!

So Queens, we know this information can make it a little harder to find a salon you feel comfortable and safe in. But we promise, it’s worth it. Part of finding a great nail tech is knowing that they’re doing what they need to in order to keep their clients safe. This means maintaining consistency in sanitation and disinfection procedures. And for our future nail techs, you know what to look out for in a potential workplace!

Have a great week, beautiful people!

Toodles <3

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