If you have a trusted nail salon where you frequent, congratulations! But if your favourite salon is unfortunately full booked (and you are in urgent need to glam up your digits) or if you are intending to try out a new salon, make sure you don’t miss out these 5 essential steps. Not unless you have an immunity against all infections.
In today’s digital age, it is not difficult to do a quick check on what others have to say about a salon prior to you visiting. Granted, there could always be the suspicious 5 stars, or the unreasonable rants from over picky consumers, so all reviews need to be taken with a pinch of salt. But look out for mentions of unhygienic or unprofessional practices, especially if there is more than one such mention by different people.
Alternatively check if the salon has any hygiene accreditation from professional organisations such as Japan-Asia Nails & Eye Beauty Association (JANEA) in Asia.
Do you feel well? If you feel under the weather on the day of your scheduled nail appointment, consider postponing. A lower immunity makes you more prone to contracting any fungal or other nail/skin infection that could be lurking. And if you have an open wound on your hand or feet, we would suggest that you definitely put off the appointment. Should you have an important event and really need to groom your nails, just give it a neat trim and buff/polish at home. And this check applies regardless whether you are visiting the new salon or your regular trusted one.
At the salon, do a visual scan of the environment and you might be able to spot some telltale signs. How is the salon in terms of overall cleanliness and neatness? Are the nail technicians in uniform and wearing gloves? Is there proper sterilization equipment? While waiting for your turn, did you see the nail techs bringing the earlier customer’s used tools for sterilisation, and how did they clean the footbath?
Very often, we feel embarrassed to question salons about their hygiene practices, worried that they may be offended by our “mistrust”. To counter that, remind yourself that it is your own health potentially at risk, and any infection could have serious and long-term implications. Our sixth sense is often quite accurate, so if you ever feel uncomfortable for some reason, voice out your doubt or concern politely. The professional salons will listen and confidently clarify or address your questions. If they try to give you any “iffy” answers, you may want to re-consider your choice.
Dermatologists are often not the biggest fans of manicure/pedicures services, and their consistent advice is for the nail patrons to bring their personal kits, like THE NAIL EDITION PRO CLASSIC so patrons do not need to use the common salon tools, wherever possible. Besides the regular tools like nail clippers and cuticle nippers, it is also prudent not to share tools like the pterygium cleaner and nailfiles.
Some nail technicians may put up a resistance claiming that they are more accustomed to using their own tools at the salon. If you had brought professional-grade tools, don’t be pressured since nail technicians are trained to handle all kinds of professional nail tools. However if you had brought the regular manicure kit, then respect the nail technicians’ decision since those are meant for home use. For a proper nail session, nail technicians would need to use salon-grade tools that are full sized for smooth and safe handling.
Nail infections at salons are rare but it can still happen…to anyone
And the incidence of fungal or other nail infections is really in our own hands. Don’t assume that nothing will go wrong because it has been all right all these while. A greater awareness and sensitivity towards the potential risks propels more manicure lovers to take extra steps like those above to ensure they have enjoyable and safe nail sessions. This in turn gives pressure to the nail salon community to treat nail hygiene and safety as a top priority in their practices.
So remember to follow the 2 golden rules - 1. Choose to patronise only trusted nail salons and 2. To bring your personal nail kit. After your nail session, request the salon to sterilise your personal nail tools the same way they would for their common salon tools since they would have the right equipment to do so. Even though your personal tools are your own, it would still be necessary to make sure they are properly maintained for hygiene purpose.
Getting regular pampering sessions for your hand and feet really should be just that. Squeaky-clean nails, beautifully polished, throw in the hand/leg massages. Enjoy beautiful nails with peace of mind. It’s in our hands.
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