Industry Hygiene – Nail and Beauty Salons

When you enter a nail salon you have visions of emerging with beautifully manicured nails, unfortunately this is not always the case!!!! The industry is not currently regulated enough, meaning many salons across the UK are not providing professional client care. Nail salon hygiene is vital to your health and safety.

The question you need to ask yourself is;

  • How do you know that the salon you have chosen is going to look after you?
  • How sure are you that you will leave with those beautiful nails and NOT a nasty fungal infection or damaged nails?

Public liability insurance should be something that all nail technicians and nail bars keep up to date, an accredited nail course certificate is required to be able to gain this. Due to many nail technicians being taught in house and receiving no accredited or recognised training and qualification the insurance is not always gained. This has a knock on affect on the hygiene standards that are being practiced in theses salons, it is an on going battle that is growing by the day, industry regulation is in desperate need to shut down these unhygienic salons!

It is important to know the credentials of the salon and staff that you entrust with your nails and your health.

Things to look out for:

1. Did your nail technician wash her hands before she sat down with you?

2. Did she carry out a client consultation, checking for contra-indications?

3. Did she have you wash your hands with an antibacterial soap or apply antibacterial hand gel or spray to your hands before beginning your service?

4. While you were observing, did you see your tech sanitizing her files and other implements or replacing them with new ones after her last client?

5. Is the manicure station clean of debris such as skin, nail filings/clippings and dust? The nail technician’s work area must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after every client.  Used towels must be replaced with clean ones, any disposable, single-use items (cotton balls, orange wood sticks, gauze, etc.) should be thrown out after use and replaced with new ones. If you are unsure, do not hesitate to ask. Remember, this is your health at risk.

6. Are any products (liquids, powders, etc.) on the manicure station left open or with no lids?

7. Is the floor of the salon clean?

8. Is the salon is well ventilated? Especially when using acrylic

9. Are the foot basins disinfected after each client when having a pedicure?

  1. Some salons require their staff to wear latex gloves when performing pedicures.  If this is something you would like to see, don’t be afraid to ask.
  2. Did she use a disinfectant on your feet before starting? This may be applied directly to the feet or it may be added to the water in the foot basin.
  3. Are all implements and tools being placed in trays after use and not on the floor?
  4. Do the therapists share files and implements? Each therapist should have their own set of files and implements and they should be sanitised or replaced between every client. Some salons will provide file bags for individual customers. These contain files, manicure brushes and buffers that are used on your nails only. They are cleaned before and after each use, then placed in a plastic bag with your name on it to be used again only at your next service.

Don’t take any chances. A salon with bad hygiene practices is a breeding ground for tinea, ringworm, fungus, wart viruses, yeast infections and many more. If you see anything going on that makes you uncomfortable… LEAVE!

Many salons will reduce their prices to draw new clients in but don’t be deceived by cheap prices, this often means they are cutting corners in other areas. They may use poor quality products, rush clients through their services and salon hygiene is overlooked to save time and money. In the long run you will not save money because eventually you will end up with an infection. Remember that a bad word gets around quicker than a good word!

So, save yourself the time, money and trouble, always follow good hygiene practice and ensure your training as a nail technician or therapist is kept up to date and any training is always with an accredited centre.