It’s not unreasonable to be concerned about sanitation when visiting a hair or nail salon. If it’s been a while since you’ve had your nails done at your local beauty emporium, prepare yourself with these important tips for a safe and healthy manicure.
Check Your Nails Before You Go
One of the most important things you can do to keep your manicure safe and healthy is check the condition of your nails before you book an appointment. If they’re cracked and dry, discolored, splitting, yellowing, or thickening, it could be because of an underlying health condition. That’s when you should make an appointment with your doctor and leave the manicure for the future. Never cover up damaged nails to hide them—get the underlying condition treated first.
Both the salon you choose and the technician who works on you should be licensed by your state and local authorities. If you don’t see a license on display, ask about it. Move on if the salon technician cannot prove current licensure.
Ask How Your Manicurist Sterilizes Tools (Or Bring Your Own)
Professional salons should be happy to show you how they sterilize their tools and to describe the process that keeps you safe when they use them. Many salons now allow patrons to bring their own tools. That way, you know where your tools have been, and the responsibility for keeping them clean and sanitized rests with you.
Research Your Manicure Type
There are many different types of manicures to choose from. Each has its own safety and health concerns. Dip powder manicures (or “SNS” manicures) have become very popular—but consider if the salon is reusing powder containers. Other fingers might have just dipped into your favorite color, and you can’t be sure if those fingers were clean. The same is true for nail polish bottles—was that brush just used on another patron and put right back in the bottle?
Gel manicures have their own safety concerns, not the least of which is the UV light used to cure and dry the nails. If you choose a gel manicure, take some safety precautions to protect your skin and nails from harm during and after the manicure. Traditional polish and many types of polish removers contain harsh chemicals which stress the nails. Do your research and know your products.
Leave Cuticles Alone
It’s common practice in nail salons for technicians to push cuticles back or even trim them. Say no. Your cuticles are the birthplace of your healthy nails, and they protect the nail-generating tissue beneath from damage and infection.
Keep these important tips for a safe and healthy manicure in mind even if you do your own nails at home. Attention to cleanliness, sterilization, and nail health will pay off. You’ll have a longer-lasting, more beautiful manicure and healthier nails underneath.