5 signs you should avoid a nail salon

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We’ve all heard the nail salon horror stories –  from fungal infections to cuticle scars and everything in between. If you want to minimise the risk of becoming the main character in someone else’s gross-out story, there are a few signs you should look out for before booking in your next appointment. Jennifer Taylor, Head of Beauty at the Australasian College Broadway gives us 5 signs your local nail spa is doing it dirty.

Sign 1 –Jars and bumbags

“Many nail bars have their nail files, scissors, exfoliators and other tools placed throughout the salon in jars or vases and although this may look pretty, it is actually a breeding ground for germs. Nail files should be disposed of after every client, not just wiped and left in a container,” says Jennifer.

“Some nail technicians wear a bumbag or tool belt with all their implements zipped up, which is also extremely unhygienic. The tools that are stored in here are generally gathering dust, grime and bacteria in the bag.

“Metal tools must be autoclave sterilised, which means they should come in sealed and dated pouches. It is also considered best-practice in the industry to open the pouch in front of the client, so you can feel assured the equipment is safe.”

Sign 2 – The other clients

“This may seem like common sense, but if you walk into an appointment and the client before you has a toe fungus, it’s best to just walk out. Nail technicians should not do manicures or pedicures on any clients with signs of an infection, because it becomes far too easy for this to spread!”

Sign 3 – Something smells

“Reputable salons should operate by the code that no food cooking or preparation is permitted in the salon at any time. So, if you can smell or see an operator’s lunch, it’s a good sign to leave,” Jennifer says.


Sign 4 – There are razors

“The dangers of using callous removers or razors to scrape hard skin from the heels of your feet has recently become an industry hot-topic and it’s now legislated that this practice is banned from salons. Not only will razoring increase risk of infection, but when done incorrectly, it can take off too much skin, which could leave you with difficulty walking and permanent scarring. If you see an operator using these blade implements, be afraid…and leave quickly.”

Sign 5 – You’re not left waiting

“If you’ve arrived for your appointment in time to see the previous client, take the time to watch how the salon cleans up. The water from the footbaths should be drained; the bath washed; and the entire area, including the chair, should be wiped with disinfectant. The technician should also wash their hands and if they wear gloves and a mask, it’s a good sign! Some footbaths will require more time to clean than others, especially those with lots of nooks and crannies.”

The Australasian College Broadway is Australia’s benchmark in hair, beauty and make-up education, with thousands of students passing through its doors every year. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, The College offers a diverse range of courses and has just launched a Bachelor of Applied Health Science (Clinical Aesthetics).

Do you have any nail salon horror stories?

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