Going with the Pros - Salon Manicures
Most women regard a professional manicure or pedicure as a special treat.
Even if you can’t afford to visit a salon weekly or monthly, don’t be afraid to schedule an appointment occasionally. Trust us, the salon will be happy for the business, and even irregular visits can be both fun and instructive for you.
Often a good nail technician will not only make your nails attractive for the present, but also teach you the essentials of maintaining the look between appointments.
Salons, however, are not especially well regulated for sanitation and hygiene.
Sure, government standards have been established, but day-to-day enforcement of them is lax in most places, and next to nonexistent in others. As a result, you can’t assume that a particular business is clean and safe just because it’s listed under "Salons” in the phonebook.
And, while a good nail salon poses virtually no health risks for its clients, an unclean one can expose you to everything from mild bacterial and fungal infections of the nails, to extremely dangerous diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.
What to Look for in a Manicure Salon
Since you have to be your own watchdog, it’s important to recognize how a salon with sound sanitary practices is run.
When you visit, here’s what you should see: Clean towels and a container of EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)-registered, hospital-grade disinfectant (for storing metal tools) on every nail technician’s table.
Very few states require complete submersion of metal implements, but the better salons will do so anyhow. Thorough washing and disinfection of all tools after every use.
Make sure the washing is done with hot, soapy water (not just a rinse), and that disinfectant is applied not only to the working portions of implements but to the handles as well. In addition, emery boards should be discarded after every use to prevent transmission of yeast or bacterial infections from one client’s nails to the next.
Cleaning and disinfection of work tables and other nearby surfaces after every manicure or pedicure. Washing of hands by both the technician and the client just prior to treatment. Hands should be washed with sanitizing foam, not ordinary bar soap.
A smoke-free environment. Many nail-care products are highly flammable, so smoking—even by clients—should not be permitted.
An overwhelming smell of nail polish or polish remover, incidentally, signals inadequate ventilation and an increased fire hazards