You might think that it’s no big deal, but some common practices at nail salons don’t yield the prettiest nails or worse, might put you in danger of infections.
If you spot any of these 10 red flags, it’s your cue to change a nail salon.
1. Unhygienic tools
It’s expected that the tools that go near your hands and feet are sterile, especially when they’ve been used on other people (eww).
Most nail salons use a sterilizing machine on top of alcohol to ensure that all bacteria is killed before the tools are used. But if you don’t spot one (they usually look like toasters), it might be wise to take your business elsewhere.
2. Dirty workstations
We can’t stress enough the importance of cleanliness when you’re at a nail salon, where you’ll be at risk of staph infection when you have broken skin.
Dirty work-stations are an absolute no-no. Some salons are tight on space, but there’s really no reason to eat at the same spot where customers are getting their nails done.
3. Using the same nail file
Nail files come in different grits which serve diffferent functions like shaping and smoothing – you wouldn’t use the same nail file for everything just like you wouldn’t use the same makeup brush for your foundation, blusher, and lipstick.
4. Filing the wrong way
We’ve all heard that nail filing should be in one direction, but that’s not necessarily true.
The right way to file nails is to start from the outer corners towards the centre, wihch prevents nails from splitting. filing back and forth creates micro tears and will cause nails to split and chip.
5. Roughing up the nails
Some manicurists file the top of the nail to etch it so that nail polish stays on longer, but that’s really just damaging your nail.
Proper nail prep should include a coat of good base coat to prime the surface for colour to go on.
6. Manhandling your cuticles
Cuticles should always be softened before being gently pushed back with an orange stick. It’s usually not necessary to snip them away, but doing so does allow painted nails to look more even when they grow out.
Manicurists should be very careful when cutting is involved – the skin around the area is quite thin and can bleed if they’re not careful.
7. Painting when the nail is not clean
Ever wondered why some manicures don’t last quite as long?
That’s because the manicurist didn’t start out with clean nails before the colour goes on. The culprit could be something as insignificant as a piece of fibre from the cotton pad that was used to remove nail polish from your previous manicure, or lotion that was used for your hand massage.
8. Using acetone to thin out nail polish
Sure, there are products that thin out drying nail polishes, but any addition to the formula alters its integrity and staying power.
If this is your only gripe with your current nail salon, the best way around it is to bring your own nail polish.
9. Improper removal of gel nails
Gel nails last really long, but this also means that they’re pretty hard to remove.
The proper way to do it is to cover them in acetone-soaked cotton pads and aluminium foil and wait for them to dissolve, but some impatient manicurists will not think twice about scraping, filing, or picking at them. Your nails should never feel like they’re being brutally tortured.
10. Gross pedicure tubs
Soaking your feet in a tub of hot water really takes the strain away after a few hours of shopping, but have you ever wondered how clean the tub is?
It’s a good idea to observe if the nail therapists rinse and wash the tub after they’ve drained the water away.
Now imagine if you’ve dipped your feet into a dirty tub when you have a cut or broken blister on your feet (yikes!).
By Singapore Women’s Weekly, 25 May 2016
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