Manicures are so rewarding, so much fun and offer a kind of self-care that is really important. Whether you get your mani at home, in a DIY fashion, or in a salon, there are some things that can improve your experience, and the results.
The Professional Salon Mani
Every time you receive and pay for services from a nail salon, you are contributing toward a 6 billion dollar a year industry. What this may not be completely clear for you to realize is that your money is what keeps the industry afloat, and they will go to some great measures in order to keep your business–and keep you coming back. As with any business these days, cutting corners is always seen as a financially rewarding incentive. This should never go so far by any salon as to provide clientele with sub-par services, but consumers need to first understand how to identify the more deceptive of these, if and when they do happen. The salon services you receive should be delivered with at least a baseline of acceptability with regard to service, techniques and sanitation. File the following under the caveat of buyer beware.
The Shocking Truth
Who doesn’t want to make money? When it involves a compromise of integrity, there is a real problem. An alarming number of nail salon clients depart from their procedures with something extra–an infection, These can be viral, bacterial or fungal, and the risk remains possible no matter what salon you visit. According to statistics, as much as 75% of U.S. salons are not closely adhering to specific state sanitation regulations. Among the most commonly found are salons:
- Not adequately disinfecting their tools and instruments between clients.
- Using the same (mandated to be disposed of each time) on different clients. These include sanding attachments, files, buffers and brushes.
- Not using disinfectant solutions at the recommended full strength–as in watering down these products, which decreases or even nullifies its work.
- Interchanging sub-par or even different-use products with their own, by refilling jars and containers with these inferior (and potentially harmful) products.
- Not suitably disinfecting foot soak tubs used for pedicures.
Tragically, there is no way for you, the client, to be sure that any of the above infractions has been committed unless you have watched the entire process in action.
Come One, Come All
In salons across America, you would be hard-pressed to find a single one to ever turn away a ($$) customer, which means that the possibility of cross-contamination remains a reality. The biggest concern in the nail salon industry exists with regard to infected customers leaving behind their particular form of disease. While the healthier consumers may have resilient immune systems, there are millions of others with diabetes, cancer, hepatitis, HIV and more that lack the resistance to fight these infections.
The DIY Mani Tips
There are a number of ways to get more mileage out of your DIY manicure. Here are some of the best ones:
- Pre-polish: Before you apply base coat polish, first wipe down your nails with a cotton swab that’s soaked in white vinegar. Removes all possible barrier, from product buildup and skin oils in the nail bed for an improved adhesion.
- Say “No,” to the Soak: While they soak your nails at the salon to soften your cuticles, when you allow your nails to remain in water, they retain some of it and expand too. Later on, when the water is absorbed under the nail, they’ll shrink and cause the adhesion of your polish to become compromised. Whether it’s your DIY mani or one by a pro, request cuticle oil and not water, instead.
- Your Cuticles: Instead of cutting them, gently push them back using cuticle oil and an orange stick or pusher tool. Then, when applying polish, stay clear of the cuticle, to avoid polish getting underneath it, which can lift polish from the nail and lead to chipping – and polish the free edge of your nails, too.
- Baseline: Use a sticky basecoat. And apply two coats, not one.
- Topcoat: In addition to topcoat the day of your mani, apply other topcoat layers every 2-3 days.