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A professional manicure or pedicure is always a lovely treat. Done well and it’s a relaxing indulgence and you look great afterwards!

However, choosing the right nail salon shouldn’t be left to chance. Get it wrong and the consequences can be very unhealthy indeed. Happily, your podiatrist can point you in the right direction.

Here are five things to look out for when choosing a nail salon.

1. Is the Price Too Good to Be True?

Don’t get carried away by the possibility of an amazing bargain. The old saying applies here: if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Cheap rates can indicate all sorts of problems, substandard and dangerous products and unsanitary premises for starters. This can also be a sign of very low wages, inexperienced staff and illegal working conditions.    

2. Are They Using Reputable Products and Brands?

Cheap products are often highly dangerous. Some products associated with acrylic nails can cause dermatitis, whilst the fumes may lead to respiratory infections. Issues such as nausea, headaches and dizziness are also common in these instances.

Cheap nail strengtheners may contain formaldehyde. This carcinogen is banned in EU countries but still finds its way into US products, so make sure you know where everything comes from. All products should be at least 3-free. This means they don’t include toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) or formaldehyde, all of which are highly toxic. If your salon uses 5-free products even better – this is 3-free and it doesn’t have formaldehyde resin or camphor.  

3. Health and Safety

Are the nail salon staff wearing clean and tidy clothes and appropriate protective gear like masks and gloves? If things look a little sloppy, there’s every possibility this applies to tools and equipment as well. These must be properly cleaned and maintained. If not, this is how fungal and bacterial infections take hold.

Are the premises clean and well organised? Don’t forget to check out the toilets. This all tells you something about the general attitude to safety and cleanliness. If you feel uncomfortable about anything, it’s best to walk away.

4. Plenty of Ventilation

Often the first thing you notice about a nail salon is the chemical smell. Sometimes you can spot this simply by walking past in the street. If that’s the case, it’s wise to be wary. If the smell is overpowering, inside and out, it means that ventilation is inadequate. It could also indicate that cheap, toxic products are being used.

This is extremely unhealthy. Not only will you (and the staff) be breathing in irritating fumes, but there’s also the issue of dust from nail filing. This will be inhaled and get into your eyes, with the potential for all sorts of irritation and infection. Indeed, this is as dangerous as toxic products.  

Good ventilation is essential, so fans or air conditioning should be working well. Open doors or windows are a good idea as well, weather permitting.  

5. Inexperienced Staff

Nail salons are notorious for staff exploitation. Cripplingly long hours, low pay and poor training are all too common. It’s not surprising that anti-slavery charities take a close interest in salons, particularly as there is very little regulation in the UK to control how they operate.

Good Advice at Feet By Pody

Keep your nails and everything else healthy at one of our London clinics. We can’t advise you about specific nail salons, but we can tell you how to keep your nails happy and healthy.

For treatment, maintenance or just a bit of advice, contact Feet By Pody today.