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25 Things Your Nail Salon Doesn't Want You to Know

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Manicures and pedicures have been a way to relax and unwind after a long week for decades, but at what cost? Sure, well-groomed fingernails and toenails are pleasing to look at, but depending on the salon you’re frequenting, there could be some serious unsanitary nail salon practices happening right under your nose (or toes). In order to protect your precious keratin coverings, we’re bringing you a list of nail salon facts and secrets to keep in mind during your next trip.

So you’ve had a long week and you’re ready to treat yourself. You head to the salon, grab a magazine, dip your feet into a foot bath 10,987 other pairs of feet have soaked in, and drift off into a pampered state of relaxation. What you don’t know is that four or five things could have gone wrong already. Did you notice the lack of certifications on the walls? Did they refill the water in your foot bath immediately after they drained the water from the last customer’s?

Now she’s headed for your calluses with a sharp tool and using a nail file that’s already dusty with someone else’s toenail dust. Gross. Does any of this sound familiar? If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable at the nail salon, follow your gut! There are a lot of potential problems like infection, disease, and mutilated nails. You don't want to leave the nail salon with a disease or infected nails,
 so avoid the situation all together by reading through this list of nail salon facts and secrets and decide whether or not you'll just be painting those nails at home from now on.

  • Many Salons Don't Follow Sanitization Protocol

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
    Research done by doctor Robert Spalding, the author of Death by Pedicure, claims that "75 percent of salons in the United States are not following their own state protocols for disinfections," meaning you’re pretty much at risk of walking out with an infection every time you get those nails did.
  • Don’t Shave Right Before a Pedi

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
    Who cares if you’re a hairy beast when you head into the salon! Shaving your legs opens up your hair follicles and can increase your risk of contracting an infection.
  • Make Sure They’re Not Charging for Extra Services

    Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY
    Jin Soon Choi, a New York Nail Salon owner, says that sometimes manicurists will try to tack on extra charges for things like nail strengtheners and base coats. Be aware of what they’re putting on your nails and don’t hesitate to refuse products that you don’t need.
  • They’re Probably Not Talking About You

    We’re all paranoid when it comes to thinking people are talking about us, even though most of the time they aren’t. For some reason, this paranoia has extended into nail salons, but why would a manicurist waste her time talking crap about you when she has family members and other interests to dish about? Lose the weird paranoia and relax into your infectious massage.