While I must admit that indulging in a manicure/pedicure is definitely a vital and adored part of my personal grooming; I do so with extreme prudence and caution. I am extremely particular when choosing a nail salon; I look for cleanliness of the facility, the skill of the technician and instrument care all before committing to a salon. I shop around, especially when I move or start to see the standards of my current salon start to slip.
First I scope out the nail salon before I actually have any service performed. Just by stopping into the salon and asking if you may make an apt you can have a quick glance around the salon and work stations without committing to a service. Also, don’t be shy in asking questions.
After your quick overview, if you feel comfortable then make an appointment. I always start with a regular manicure. This is the most minimal treatment and you will able to have the best view of their practices. At any time if you feel like the salon is unclean or not practicing good care, it is your right to stop the treatment and tell the manicure technician that you wish not to continue.
What determines a salon as being clean? First off, I am very critical of the appearance of the salon in general. Look for floor surfaces that can be easily cleaned of any debris like nail clippings. Rugs will trap dust and nail clippings rather than a wood or tile floor that can be mopped at the end of each day. Are the chairs in good condition? If the equipment looks old and uncared for that is a clue to their diligence in general. I even look at the ceiling, evidence of leaks or stains is just poor maintenance and if they aren’t concerned with appearance in front of the customer, how concerned could they be with guidelines behind the scenes?!?!
Bottles should be labeled, work stations wiped down clean of any dust, dirt or grime. I think a salon that implements a dress code or uniform gives a professional appearance and will be an extra clue that the owner or manager is on top of the daily activities of the staff.
The instruments used for a manicure/ pedicure only need to be disinfected. They should not come in contact with blood so sterilization for the most part is not needed. Emory boards and buffers are not to be used on more than one patron. How many nail salons follow this guide line? Those instruments trap nail dust and dead skin, gross! I would not want to share that with anyone. Next time you are on the subway just think that you may share the same nail salon as some of these folks. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask for new instruments. Sure it may seem pushy and high maintenance but then think about the subway crowd again and ask for the new nail file! If you tip well at the end of the service all demands will be forgiven.
I will list the New York State requirements below. The instruments do not need to be sterilized but they do need to be disinfected. I will explain the difference. A lot of times the nail tech will simply spray the instruments with the disinfectant that is not enough. Take a read at what is expected from the CDC and the Health department.
These are the NYS guidelines for Nail Salons:
– Infection control procedures that protect the provider and client.
– Hand washing is required of all nail care clients and providers prior to a nail service being performed.
– Tables and beds used for personal services shall be sanitized/cleaned between each client.
– All implements that may abrade or clip superficial skin shall be immersed in an EPA- approved disinfectant for at least 10 minutes and disinfected after each use.
– Porous manicuring and waxing implements such as emery boards, block buffers and waxing sticks and other implements that cannot be disinfected shall not be used for more than one person.
– Gloves shall be worn by operators performing waxing or extractions.
– Disposable supplies such as cotton, sponge applicators and paper products shall never be used for more than one person.
– Disposable towels and paper table coverings shall only be used as a single-use item.
– Other tools used to provide services shall be cleaned, then disinfected after each client, using an EPA-approved disinfectant. These tools include but are not limited to scissors, razors, clippers, combs, brushes, capes and bowls.
Whats the difference between disinfection and sterilization?
Disinfection and sterilization are essential for ensuring that instruments do not transmit infections to patrons. Because sterilization of all patient-care items is not necessary, health-care policies must identify, primarily on the basis of the items' intended use, whether cleaning, disinfection, or sterilization is indicated.
– Sterilization describes a process that destroys or eliminates all forms of microbial life. When chemicals are used to destroy all forms of microbiologic life, they can be called chemical sterilants. These same germicides used for shorter exposure periods also can be part of the disinfection process.
– Disinfection describes a process that eliminates many or all microorganisms, except bacterial spores, on inanimate objects. Unlike sterilization, disinfection does not kill spores. A few disinfectants will kill spores with prolonged exposure times (3–12 hours)·
– Cleaning is the removal of visible soil from objects and surfaces and normally is accomplished manually or mechanically using water with detergents. Thorough cleaning is essential before high-level disinfection and sterilization because materials that remain on the surfaces of instruments interfere with the effectiveness of these processes.
– Antiseptics are germicides applied to living tissue and skin; disinfectants are antimicrobials applied only to inanimate objects. In general, antiseptics are used only on the skin and not for surface disinfection, and disinfectants are not used for skin antisepsis because they can injure skin and other tissues.
Shout out your favorite nail salon and location in the comments below we would love to spread the word on salons that are doing it right!
My favorite is La Toue in Bay Ridge Brooklyn @ 8208 3rd Avenue… Tell them you heard about it from Head to Toe!