I can literally hear eyes rolling into the back of heads right now!.....here she goes again!....talking again about this Non-Standard whatsit!!!
I know, I know, at times I sound like a broken record and for my regular clients I am already speaking to the converted but every now and again I come across an unsuspecting newby who isn't aware of the dangers lurking in cheap, quick, unsanitary salons!
You know the places, the ones where you are out grabbing a spot of lunch on your lunch break and you see on the door how cheap a set of acrylic extensions are and....whats this!?....you don't need an appointment!!!.....and it only takes 45 minutes, you could be done and back in work within your lunch hour! You walk through the door as you're hit by the heady, strong smell of monomer liquid and you're ushered into a seat which had just been vacated a few seconds earlier opposite a masked, gloved "nail tech". The "nail tech" then proceeds to file your natural nails paper thin with an electric file and sticks plastic tips to the ends of your now sore nails. Acrylic liquid and powder is then taken from unlabelled containers and then piled on top at the speed of knots and your nails are once again subjected to a filing frenzy which burns a little but whats the saying....no pain no gain!!. The "nail tech" cuts your cuticle in a couple of places but its fine, its just a little paper cut right? hardly bleeds at all! and then you're whisked to the cash desk and out you go, on your way.
So whats so bad about that I hear you cry!?
Plenty is bad about that but the real question is where do I even begin to explain how dangerous these practices are.
So lets starts right from the beginning..... what is this Non-Standard whatsit?
Some may call them chop shops, Mcnails, Chinese or even the most offensive Chinky Shop, all of which you would never hear from a professional nail technician as this would be grossly unprofessional, offensive and also inaccurate.
Quite simply, a Non-Standard Salon is a salon which does not adhere to industry standards for service or sanitisation, no matter what the nationality of nail techs working there. When put like that it doesn't sound like the devil incarnate does it!? but you would be wrong. Sanitation is of the up most importance in any nail salon to help stop and prevent the spread of contagious pathogens such as bacteria, fungal spores, viruses and even HIV and Hepatitis C. Not so innocent now eh???
The practice of sanitising your nail station thoroughly between each client can not be done within a few seconds. Time must be allocated to sanitise your desk, LED lamp, light source, wash files with bacterial soap and sanitise with sanitisation spray unless they have been contaminated with blood and should be disposed of, change towels, soak and sanitise metal tools and wipe down any other hard surfaces around your nail station.
Not to observe these cleaning practices is putting not only the technicians health but also clients health in danger which is something no nail technician should ever be prepared to do.
The old saying...."no pain, no gain" does not have a place within a professional nail service, the treatment should not cause pain and should be completed as gently as possible to avoid discomfort. There is a reason professional nail technicians work on an appointment only basis, not only to have time to comply with sanitisation standards and to ensure no discomfort is felt throughout a service, but also to ensure we are able to service our repeat client base.
A good salon will also use professional branded products and be able to tell you exactly what is in the products they are using, taking the product directly from labelled containers, Material Safety Data Sheet or MSDS are readily available which explains what chemicals and compounds have been used to produce the product. A Non-Standard Salon will not be able to do this which leads me onto the use of MMA in Non-Standard Salons but this is a whole other nightmare which I will save for another day!!
Salons with a good reputation will ensure that their nail technicians are trained to the highest level possible and that their training is updated and continued throughout their career to ensure clients have the best possible services with highly trained staff, this unfortunately is not the case in Non-Standard Salons. Much has been made in the media in recent years of the sad practice of people trafficking involved with many Non-Standard Salons across the UK which is a practice that must be stamped out.
I hear what you're saying, but these places are so cheap! They are cheap for a reason, to get you through the door!!!
Never mind about your health, the lack of expertise or training, the lack of professional safe products or the fact you may just be lining the pockets of organised crime.
The only way to protect yourself is to become educated.... choose to use a local, professionally trained nail technician who can not only provide you with a beautiful set of nails but will also look after your health. Ask to see their qualifications for the service they are providing for you and ensure they have insurance to ensure you're in safe hands.
Ok, so now you know where the saying "Nice nails ain't cheap and cheap nails ain't nice" originates!.... I'll get back down off of my high horse now!
I may sound as though I am preaching but my only wish is for you to stay safe, we only get one body and is it really worth wrecking it for the sake of a cheap, quick manicure??
Until the next time.......