Salons and the Things To Look For In Them

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What to Look for in Salons

What to Expect in Salons

Beauty salons and tanning salons, we’ve all been in one or the other on a regular basis. I decided to become a manicurist 15 years ago when I got burnt out on the corporate world because I love beauty, I love what I do, I love being self employed, but most of all, I love doing something for someone else that makes them feel good.

I know Salons

I am a Master Technician for a company called CND; Creative Nail Design aka Solar Nail. This certification requires specific training by the company and I am a product field tester for them. Companies test products before they hit the market so I get to test a lot of what is coming and give my opinion on it.  I was also a runway makeup artist for a few years, but traveling started becoming involved so I quit.

Types of Salons
  • Walk in hair salon
  • Walk in nail salon
  • Day Spas
  • Full service family salon
  • Tanning salon
Things to pay attention to when shopping for a new salon

Most salons do not have a receptionist and when we get busy we can’t always stop and clean, but you should be able to tell the difference between the daily mess we make and a neglected salon.

  • Is the salon dirty? Look at the shampoo bowls, is the trash maintained, what condition is the bathroom in, are your shoes sticking to the floor?
  • Did a member of the staff smile and welcome you or did you stand there for a couple of minutes without being greeted?
  • As you wait for your turn, listen to the conversations and tone of voices around you. Is the staff getting along, are they working together, are the customers happy or are you hearing negative tones? Do they talk about salon business or coworkers in front of clients?
  • If you see hairdressers discussing the best color option or treatment for a client, be grateful. The girls I work with are a team and they work together as such. I too talk to other manicurists, sometimes I learn something and sometimes I teach something.
  • Look at the hairdressers hair. Is the color brassy, is it ratty or badly damaged? Leave.
  • Is the wax room clean and are there fresh linens on the table?
  • Is your service provider professional or is he/she talking about the hangover they woke up with that morning?
  • Are the makeup brushes clean or can you see makeup on them? We do have professional cleaners that will remove make up from the brushes. Ask them to use new sponges instead.
  • Can you see streaks on the top or bottom of the tanning bed, can you feel lotion on the frame? Ask them to clean it….again.

The Manicurist
It’s not the nail products that destroy your nails, it’s the manicurist. There are some things you need to consider when getting your nails done. I could write a book of horror stories I’ve heard and personally seen.

Chemicals – The chemicals in salons are very toxic and volatile and must be used in a responsible manner and using legal products are just as important for a reason. Some salons still use enhancement products made with MMA (methylmethacrylate). This is illegal in the USA, but really cannot be enforced because of state board limitations. Please click on the link and read the article.  Keep in mind that your skin will absorb some of what we put on it.

Why is MMA used? It makes your enhancements virtually indestructible. It has a distinctive smell and is a nightmare to remove. The chemicals I use are MMA free and the dust actually falls down to the towel as opposed to going airborne.

Have you walked into a nail salon and they are not wearing nails, but they are wearing a mask? Have you ever asked yourself why? Refer back to MMA.

Drills – Would you use a power sander to give yourself a facial? No? Then why would you let anyone use one on your fingers?

  • Have you ever been cut? Have you witnessed the manicurist sanitizing the drill bit or throwing the sanding band in the trash after she used it on you or did she set the drill aside? Think about that for a minute.
  • Have you felt the burn or do you have red rings on your nails?
  • Can you remove your enhancement and still have strength to your nails?
  • Can your enhancement be removed within 30 minutes without being torn or drilled off?
  • Can drills cause permanent damage? Yes.
  • What does the price include? If you are asked if you want something during your service, ask how much. Don’t take anything for granted.
  • Is their license visible?
  • Does the photo match the person?
  • Is the salon clean?
  • Can you communicate?
  • NEVER let anyone use a credo blade during your pedicure. We are not licensed in any state to use razor blades to cut your skin off.

Nail chemicals such as CND and OPI have come a long way over the years and no longer require scuffing or etching the natural nail. We only have to remove the shine before starting the enhancement process. The sole purpose of using drills is to get you out of the salon faster or the product is hard to file.

So how do you find a manicurist like me?

We are usually found in full service salons and spas. You can also go onto or and click on “find a salon.” Not just any salon can get on the companies’ websites. There are guild lines to be met so you have a pretty good chance of getting the service you deserve.

I hope you found something helpful and possibly given you something to think about. Where else can you get a quality hair or nail service included in your therapy session for one low price?


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  1. Thanks for this article unfortunately I had a pedicure gone bad. I went to a walk in type salon in a mall for a pedicure a few days before a Florida trip. The lady whom I could not understand, used one of them razor type things on my foot and I felt a little sharpness ( I live on pain killers so small pain goes unnoticed) then holy schmidt. She cut into my foot like you would not believe. The lady doing my daughters feet next to me quick jumped over and then sealed it with basically super glue. I was not overly concerned at first. I know Dr used similar tactics, but my concern was the infection possibilities. Not to mention I was not going to be able to walk in the sand as I had planned. They finished the pedicure best as they could. After I was home I looked at my foot and was in shock!! It was horrible! I wrote to them the next day (language barrier) I did not want to make too big of a deal because my daughter loves this place they do great service (for her) and she had never seen this older woman before. In the end they paid for my Dr visit the antibiotics and sent me a gift certificate…I gave it to my daughter. She paid the bill that day anyways. My Dr did not remove the glue he said it should be fine and I took the meds. It did heal rather quickly and as the dry crackly super glue came off I was relieved that the super glue made the blood spread and it really wasn’t very bad. I did find out that they told their people to never use them again. Someone at a different salon told to get a lawyer…but I was in the middle of my Workman’s Comp so my lawyer said you don’t want to look sue happy and/or advertise you are able to get pedicures but not work..that a whole nother issue. I would never tell anyone to go to him…

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