Nail Salon Guide: how to get the most out of your visit

In today’s world of instant gratification, choosing a nail salon is often based on its proximity and service menu that’s affordable and quick. But are you paying attention to the surroundings and getting the most value for what you pay? Basing your manicure on the incredibly low price can leave you at risk for anything from a poorly done manicure to a severe infection.

Here’s how to get the most out of your visit

Check if the tools are properly sanitised and disinfected

According to the State Board, tools must be sterilised with a hospital-grade sanitizer to prevent any infection and spread of skin diseases. Make sure that the tools are well cleaned with an autoclave to take the best measures of sanitation.

What are the differences between and autoclave and a typical steriliser?

UV light sterilisers are usually seen in most nail salons. However, they are not effective. You can almost compare the UV light steriliser as if you left the tools out in the sun to dry. With an autoclave or dry heat steriliser, it is a medical grade tool that is used in medical offices that can reach the ideal temperature to kill all forms of bacteria. The autoclave is considered as the highest level of sterilisation. They don’t have any lighting inside and are sealed with the pouch.

What are single-use items?

Single-use items are anything that cannot be sanitised and reused. Therefore, items such as pumice bars, buffers and nail files are considered as single-use items. However, many salons reuse the items.

What are some red flags to stay away from?

The best and quickest way to judge a salon is by their pedicure bowls. Always check if the salon uses separate foot baths. Spa chairs with built-in bowls are extremely hard to clean properly after each use and bacteria are known to thrive in the pipes.

Don’t be shy to ask how the tools are cleaned. Find out if the salon uses an autoclave or a hospital-grade sanitizer. Many salons tend to skip the sanitization steps entirely and use cheap cleaning products are autoclave pouches that never even enter the actual machine.

Another trick is to ask if you can keep your single-use items after the service. If they are hesitant, consider this a huge red flag.

What are the differences between regular manicures, gel, and acrylic?

Regular manicures are done with lacquers. Gel manicures are longer-lasting colour formulas that are placed on your natural nails with the aid of a UV or LED lamp. Hard gels and acrylics are artificial nails that are extended from your natural nail bed to add length and thickness.

Acrylic services must be maintained by a professional nail tech at least every two weeks as hard gels are lighter and much fragile when compared to acrylic nails.

How long should manicures last?

A regular polished manicure should usually last around three to five days before it starts to chip. However, this also depends on your lifestyle and habits. Gel manicures will last two weeks, depending on the natural condition of your nail. Acrylic nails last as long as three weeks and must be maintained every two weeks to remove any lifting or damage.

How long your manicure last depends on the polish or gel you use and the pH balance of your nails. All brands use different formulations for their polish. Staying in power of your manicure will depend on the condition of your nail bed. A brittle nail bed will be more prone to chipping instantly while a thick nail bed will have long-lasting polishing results. The drier your nails are, the longer the gel and polish will last. If you have oily nails, your polish will have a harder time to stick and stay on.

It is important to keep in mind that everyone’s nails are different and how long the actual manicure lasts will depend on the daily habits and condition of the nails.

What happens if your manicure chips too fast?

If you find your polish chipping quicker than expected, feel free to let the salon know. Not only should they know what the right brand for your nail bed is, but they will also know how to fix the problem. Salons are always looking for great feedback on the names they hold in their shop. This is because they want to offer the best to their clients for repeat returns.

Never hesitate to let your salon know if there’s a problem that you feel needs addressing. A professional salon should be aware how to be open to their customers and provide solutions on how to fix their issues with their services. Keep in mind that not all nails are the same and products are specifically designed for different nail types.

Got any questions on what to look for when visiting your nail salon? Feel free to let us a comment below!

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