YOU ARE ALWAYS AT RISK
Podiatrist Dr. Robert Spalding, author of "Death by Pedicure," states that "at this time, an estimated one million unsuspecting clients walk out of their chosen salon with infections -- bacterial, viral and fungal." And no matter which salon you go to, there is always a risk of infection. He claims that in his research "75 percent of salons in the United States are not following their own state protocols for disinfections," which includes not mixing their disinfectant solutions properly on a daily basis, not soaking their instruments appropriately, and using counterfeit products to reduce costs (for example Windex substituted for Barbicide), says the doctor. And the problem is that there is no way to really "verify an instrument has been properly soaked and sterilized," without watching the process.
NON-STANDARD SALONS DON'T TURN CUSTOMERS AWAY
Like most businesses, most nail salons won't turn away paying costumers. Which means that people who are sick, have nail infections or foot fungus are being worked on next to you instead of being referred to an appropriate medical professional. Dr. Spalding says that the greatest danger of the nail salon is "The transmission of infection from one client to another." And with "millions of people whose immune systems are compromised by diabetes, HIV, cancer, hepatitis and other infective organisms" booking services offered in nail salons, many are dangerously susceptible to infection, warns the doctor.
THEY SWAP AND DILUTE BOTTLES
In her long history as a nail technician, celebrity manicurist Jin Soon Choi, owner of Jin Soon Natural Hand and Foot Spas in New York City, says she has heard of many salons filling expensive lotion bottles with a cheap generic lotion. That way the salons can charge you more for the manicure by claiming to use prestige products, but in reality are just deceiving you. Similarly, she says that some salons will dilute nail polish bottles that have become clumpy from old age or from too much air exposure with nail polish remover. This action compromises the quality of the polish, which will make the formula chip easier once on your nails. To ensure the life of your color and to protect any possible germ spreading, tote your own bottles.
ALL COSTS ARE NOT INCLUDED
Some salons will try to keep certain added costs a secret, says Choi. They try and up charge you for "nail strengtheners or base coats" and won't tell you until it's time to check out, she says. A quality nail salon will include all costs in the advertised price of the service, says Choi. So make sure to ask if all costs are included before soaking your hands or feet.
THEY ARE'T TALKING ABOUT YOU
Some narcissists or paranoid customers might think that nail technicians are talking about them when they speak to each other in other languages across the room, but they aren't. Apparently they don't care to share with each other how lovely your nail beds are or how gross your big toe is. "In general, they mostly gossip about their family and friends and the shows they watched last night," says Choi.
NOT ALL DISINFECTANTS ARE 100% EFFECTIVE
"Some infective microorganisms are easy to kill [and] some are not," says the doctor. And unfortunately, he has seen "industry-wide confusion about the definition of the term 'sterilize.'" He says many nail techs think their instruments are sterilized, when, in fact, they "have no clue," because not all disinfectant solutions are powerful enough to kill all viruses. Therefore, when nail techs aren't informed of costumers' pre-existing medical conditions, they don't know how to properly disinfect for particular viruses. "These are medical situations," says the doctor, which manicure and pedicure-licensed technicians aren't trained for -- it's not in their job description and isn't their fault as they are "neither schooled nor licensed to work in the presence of blood or to maintain a surgically sterile environment," says the doctor.
WHEN YOU SHAVE MATTERS
You shouldn't shave before getting a pedicure, says Choi, as pedicurists do notcare if you have hair on your legs. Also, shaving your legs makes you more prone to infection as newly shaved legs have open pores (and often tiny nicks you can't see) that are susceptible to infectious diseases. So don't be wary of showing off some stubble at the salon, she says. Some tools can't be sanitizedYou can only put metal tools in the autoclave, says Choi. And as we stated before, only an autoclave kills a 100 percent of all bacteria and viruses. Nail salon tools like pumice stones, emery boards, nail buffers and foam toe separators need to be swapped out after each use to prevent the spread of bacteria. That's why you're best off bringing your own -- just in case the salon doesn't follow this practice. If you see any white residue on a nail file, it means it's been used on someone else.
FOOTBATHS ARE'T YOUR FRIEND
"Whirlpool footbaths," though seemingly safe, are filled with city water, which may or may not be free of microbes, says the doctor and are typically difficult to clean. Even though most nail salons disinfect their tubs, researchers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention typically find bacteria that could cause boils and rashes in most according to the "New York Times." And it's extremely hard to bust these salons with having microbe growth, as many times salons aren't linked to the infections because boils can take as long as four months after a pedicure to develop.
YOU DON'T NEED YOUR CALLUSES REMOVED
Many salons will try and talk you into callous removal, as it is usually an additional service and charge. But Skyy Hadley, celebrity manicurist and owner of the As "U" Wish Nail Spa, says it is not always necessary. "If you're an athlete then you should never remove your calluses as these actually help level your performance. If you are not an athlete, you should have your calluses removed with a deep soak and scrub once they become thick and uncomfortable," she says.
I only use high quality products and all products are American certified and safe. I carry all of the Material Safety Data Sheets on site to insure my customer's safety. I autoclave all of my instruments and use a special machine called a Valentino that eliminates the dust and smell from your nail experience. Each customer is treated with their own bottle of rose oil to take home and use for maintanence. MMA (chemical) FREE ESTABLISHMENT
I only use high quality products. I do not use MMA (a terrible chemical used in a lot of nail salons- it's illegal)
Then why should MMA not be used?
There are four main reasons:
* MMA nail products do not adhere well to the nail plate. To make these products adhere, nail technicians often shred up (etch) the surface of the nail. This thins the nail plate and makes it weaker.
* MMA creates the hardest and most rigid nail enhancements, which makes them very difficult to break. When jammed or caught, the overly filed and thinned natural nail plate will often break before the MMA enhancement, leading to serious nail damage.
* MMA is extremely difficult to remove. Since it will not dissolve in product removers, it is usually pried from the nail plate, creating still more damage.
* MMA....The FDA says don't use it! This is clearly the most important reason. The FDA bases their prohibition on the large number of consumer complaints resulting from the use of MMA nail enhancements in the late 70's and they continue to maintain this position today.
For these reasons, the Nail Manufacturers Council and the American Beauty Association have also taken a stance against the use of MMA liquid monomer as an ingredient in artificial nail liquids. Not because MMA is toxic, but because it is an unsuitable ingredient. Creative Nail Design (and Hooked on Nails) agrees with this position. MMA is a widely used monomer with a long history of safe use in medical and dental products. It is fine for making bulletproof windows and shatterproof eyeglasses. However, we believe that artificial nails should not only be beautiful, they should not damage the natural nail. They are enhancements, not replacements! We also believe it is the responsibility of all professional nail technicians to protect the health of their client's natural nails. A good place to start is by using responsibly formulated products and to learn safe and proper techniques. http://www.hooked-on-nails.com/mmaandyou.html