When it comes to getting your nails done in a salon, hygiene might not cross your mind. After all, this is something straightforward and thousands of people have their nails done every day, so what could possibly go wrong. Well, people have germs. Without being too gross, that is the bottom line. While there is technically no risk of bleeding and blood-borne viruses, hygiene actually is just as vital as if you were going to sit in a tattoo parlour and get inked. To keep costs down a lot of nail technicians do not observe hygiene practices, and some just do not think they are needed. Here are a few signs that should help you decide between having that manicure or running for the hills and never looking back.
What Does it Look Like
Ok, the most basic check possible. Is the salon clean and well looked after. Many technicians work from home but really should have a dedicated area. The kitchen table with the cat sleeping at one end and the dog by your feet might create a pleasant atmosphere, but you are not there for coffee and a chat with a mate. The area they work from, whether in a shop or at home should be clean and free from clutter.
Now, what does your lovely member of staff look like? Again they should be wearing some kinds of uniform over or instead of their regular outside clothes. A tracksuit covered in baby spit up might be endearing because this lovely lady is apparently trying to juggle home life with work but at the same time, what does this say about her overall cleanliness practices. Are the tools clean and well presented or are they scattered on the surface and regularly knocked on the floor?
While we are thinking about tools, there are two approaches that should be taken. Either files and buffers should be single use and disposed of after every customer, or they should have invested in an autoclave. There are millions of bacteria living under nails and on hands. The fact that smaller setups just use the same tools for each client is pretty grim when you think about it. You would be shocked at just how many little installations are unaware of this fact and believe that files and other tools can be used client after client without even a wipe down in between. Not something I fancy for my body really! Autoclaves are standard in hospitals, tattoo parlours and dentists etc. with perfect reason. Just washing something in antibacterial solution does not kill off all the dangerous bacteria. Tools should be sterilised and sealed into packets ready for each new customer.
If you cannot find evidence of these things, I really would suggest looking elsewhere. The risk might be lower than having your body pierced for example but why would you even take the chance. Reputable and professional salons will have all of this in place and won’t bat an eyelid if you question them.