In 2000, when news broke about the potential dangers of whirlpool spas, many salon owners were horrified to hear of the sanitation shortcuts happening within the industry. Today, conscientious techs find creative ways to let every client know of their pledge to provide safe services — every time.
- January 4, 2013
Opened in direct response to the lack of sanitary salons available to the Queen Village neighborhood of Philadelphia, Lacquer Lounge broke into the market with a confession for being obsessed with cleanliness and a promise to set new health and safety standards for nail and skin care. Understanding many clients research online before choosing the salon, owner Lisa McElhone educates clients through the salon website and Facebook. The salon website details the sanitations steps that are taken for each service, plus provides links to articles about what clients should look for in a safe salon.
Lacquer Lounge guarantees:
> All hands are washed and disinfected pre-service.
> All surfaces — manicure tables, pedicure stations, and counters — are cleaned throughout the day with a germicidal cleaner that kills bacteria and stops the spread of germs.
> Only disinfectable nail files and file abrasives are used.
> All stainless steel tools are sterilized in an autoclave and sealed in disposable sterilization pouches.
> Each Footsie Bath liner is single-use, guaranteeing the safety of the client.
Dashing Diva, New York City
When Dashing Diva first launched, it took extra measures to protect the health and well-being of its clients. “Dashing Diva was one of the first to use autoclaving for their tools. This is the same method used by doctors’ offices and other medical facilities to sterilize instruments. And though more common now, instead of using whirlpools for pedicures, services were performed in ceramic sinks, then cleaned using hospital-grade disinfectant after each pedicure,” explains marketing director Anna Lee.
Lee says special services were developed with hygiene in mind. For example, Dashing Diva introduced a paraffin method that consisted of single-use individual mitts and booties containing paraffin wax. Customers simply inserted their hands and feet into heated, individually sealed mitts and booties. No more dipping hands and feet into a common pool of wax that others had used.
Dashing Diva guarantees:
> Employees sanitize their hands and yours.
> Metal tools are autoclaved.
> Files and buffers come in individually sealed sanitation pouches.
> No razors or reusable foot files are used.
> Sinks and tabletops are constantly disinfected.
> Pedi sinks do not have whirlpools and do not harbor bacteria.
L. Spa, Sarasota, Fla.
L. Spa nail specialists pride themselves on their standards of cleanliness. They work as a team to let every client know what they do and why they do it. Signs by the pedi booth answer the unspoken question of why the spa is equipped with sinks instead of whirlpool baths.
L. Spa guarantees:
> All organic Pure Fiji products are dispensed into coconut and ceramic bowls, which are cleaned after each client.
> All nail files and buffers are sanitizable.
> Foot files have steel handles with single-use replacement file pads.
> Foot baths have no jets, which gives the client the safest environment against bacteria.
> All implements are washed, then placed in an implement box with an EPA-registered disinfectant solution.
> The entire area of the work space is disinfected.
> Towels are washed with bleach.
> Tubs are washed to remove residue, then sprayed with a disinfectant spray.
Blossom Beauty Lounge, Redondo Beach, Calif.
“At Blossom, we take pride in knowing we do everything possible to offer our clients 100% cleanliness,” says manager Kay Murphy. The salon promise: to practice “the most intensive sanitizing and disinfected procedures” is stated on its website, Facebook page, and business cards. In addition, clients are walked through the salon while a staff member explains all the steps that are taken to protect the client.
> All files, buffers, sanding disks (for feet instead of pumice), toe dividers, and desk liners are disposable.
> Pedi tubs are jetless, and after every pedicure the magnetic propeller is removed, opened, scrubbed with soap and water, and then switched out with an alternate one that has been soaked in Barbicide.
> Pedi tub is washed with a bleach-based antibacterial cleanser, brushed out, and rinsed.
> Spa chairs are disinfected with spray or antibacterial wipes.
> Pedi tub liners are disposed of after every client.
> All non-disposable instruments are washed with soap and water and soaked in Barbicide.
> Desks, as well as UV/LED lamps, are wiped down with antibacterial wipes
Panache Nail Salon, Stanwood, Wash.
Candice Everest schedules 15-30 minutes on a client’s first appointment to understand the medical history of each new client and to explain her salon’s sanitation policy. During this time, Everest explains what she does (uses Footsie Baths instead of a whirlpool tub) and doesn’t do (cut cuticles off to remove them) to ensure the client’s visit is as sanitary and safe as possible. Clients are able to hear her commitment to them, plus the one-on-one consult allows clients to talk with Everest about any concerns they have.
Everest educates clients not only in person, but also through her website.
> All salon materials and equipment have been sanitized for each individual guest.
> Each Footsie Bath liner is disposed of and replaced after every client.
> Implements and service supplies are placed in individually covered “clean” set-up trays, so they never get touched after being sanitized until the service is performed.
> Files and nail brushes are disposed of after each client, or clients may take them home.
> Angelfeet file is used for callus smoothing, as there is no risk of the file texture coming off in the skin.
> Lotions and scrubs are placed in individual containers to eliminate contamination of the back bar supplies.
> Salon towels are washed in a 3.5-hour sanitizing wash cycle to ensure cleanliness. Towels that don’t come out 100% clean are discarded.
Fill 413 Nail Studio, Cedarburg, Wis.
Owner Annette Calvillo posts a sign in her work area to let clients know they’re protected. She also educates them through her Facebook page; plus, she will use her website (under construction) as an education platform. She is careful not only about surfaces and implements but also about products that touch the clients’ skin. “I use 100% shea butter, 100% pure essential oils, unscented massage oil that is paraben-free, nut-free, gluten-free, and vegan,” says Calvillo. “Being healthy and safe is important to me and my business.”
Fill 413 guarantees:
> Only disposable single-use files, toe separators, and flip-flops are used.
> Stainless steel implements are disinfected in EPA-approved, hospital-grade disinfectant.
> Towel warmer contains a UV sterilizer.
> Towels are laundered in bleach.
> Waterless hand sanitizer contains 70% alcohol.
> Paraffin is ladled into disposable plastic liners.
> First aid kit and instructions are accessible at manicure and pedicure station.
> All trash receptacles are covered.