Manicures and pedicures are a little treat mums love to gift themselves from time to time. Aside from being obsessive about your nail colour, being pedantic about nail salon hygiene might seem like an overreaction.
You are, after all, getting a manicure and pedicure, not minor surgery (though at times it can feel that way!) But choosing the right salon is more important than you think.
Why? Going for the wrong salon can apparently pose a number of health risks.
The impact of poor nail salon hygiene on health
A new study out of Rutgers School of Public Health, which was published in the Journal of Chemical Health and Safety, found that over half of those who frequent nail and hair salons developed fungal, respiratory, and skin conditions.
After surveying 90 clients in the New Jersey area, researchers found that 52% of the participants experienced symptoms like skin rashes and nail disfigurement.
The study also shed light on unsanitary practices like improper cleaning or reusing manicure and pedicure tools. These can lead to an elevated risk of exposure to bacteria, fungi, virus, blood-borne disease (hepatitis B and C) and contact dermatitis.
Several studies collated by the CDC have explored the health risks that poor nail salon hygiene poses to its workers, but more research is needed to know the effect on clients.
“We found that although clients might be aware of some hazardous chemicals like formaldehyde, they often do not recognise the dangers posed by pathogens and environmental irritants,” lead study author Lindsey Milich told Science Daily.
Hopefully, with this new information, nail salon owners will consider hygiene as a top priority.
Nail Salon hygiene: 3 Important considerations
1. Ask your nail technician important questions
Based on the study, some nail technicians lack proper knowledge or training. So it’s important to ask them what their process is like.
When you book your appointment, you can also ask them questions related to their hygiene processes. For example, how and how often do they clean their equipment? Do they wear masks? What are the brands they use?
2. Note how the salon smells like
Your favourite salon’s design aesthetic might be kitschy and cosy, but visuals aren’t the only consideration.
If there is a strong odour, it could indicate that the place has poor ventilation.
If this is the case, then it puts clients and workers at risk of inhaling toxic irritants.
3. Take note of the little details
It is the little things that can often have a big impact on our health, so keep your eyes open to the details.
- Inspect everything. Do their washbasins look grimy?
- Take note of the overall cleanliness of the place. Make sure that even the nail polish bottles look new and well maintained.
- Check if your salon’s licenses are updated or renewed.
Remember, we must stay vigilant if we want to stay healthy for our family – and for ourselves. It does not matter if it’s for something as simple as getting our nails done. Health comes first.
Having enviable, pretty nails is just a bonus!