How to Choose a Safe Nail Salon

Last Updated on December 29, 2017 by Ellen Christian

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As much as I love doing my own nails, I also enjoy being pampered at the nail salon occasionally. I always worry about the safety of the salon I choose. I’ve heard such horror stories about people getting infections and salons being closed for unsafe practices.

How to choose a safe nail salon

How to Choose a Safe Nail Salon

Last year, one of the salons in our area was shut down for health reasons. I had been there once before and never noticed anything obviously wrong so it really made me start to wonder how to choose a safe nail salon. What exactly should I be looking for?

It’s entirely possible that the nail salon offers services other than just manicures and pedicures. Some nail salons are also day spas and offer massages, wraps and saunas. Before you make an appointment visit the spa and ask them about their safety and cleaning policies. If you see anything that concerns you, choose a different salon. A nail salon should have clean towels and sandals for each guest.

Check with your local health department or the state’s attorney general to verify the spa you’re considering is properly licensed. Each salon employee should display their license near their workstation. You can also check with the local Better Business Bureau to see whether or not there have been any complaints against the nail salon.  Search for online reviews and see if previous clients have been satisfied.

While visiting the salon, watch to see if the foot baths are being emptied and sanitized between pedicures. Check with them to see how often they change the filters in their foot baths. Tools should be sanitized between uses.  Are the technicians wearing gloves? Wearing gloves is a great way to stop the transfer of bacteria.

Look down and around. Have they cleaned up from the guest before you? Are there dirty tools on their table? Clippings from their mani / pedi? Is the floor clean? What does the restroom look like?

A reputable salon should be completely comfortable answering your questions about their procedures. If anything at all makes you uncomfortable, it’s a sign you should go somewhere else.

How to choose a safe nail salon

12 thoughts on “How to Choose a Safe Nail Salon”

  1. I need a pedicure soon! I will be looking for the tips you had here! I never really thought about it really, but you are right you need clean! 

  2. These are great tips. I always make sure I go to a nail salon that has good customer ratings and a clean look. There have been too many horror stories of people getting fungi and infections. 

  3. Interesting, I was just hearing recently about a piece in the NYT called “The Price of Nice Nails” about how many nail salons are also exploiting their employees as well. You are so right that it’s important to think about where you’re going. Great topic to bring up and discuss!

  4. These are great tips! It can seem awkward to ask these questions. However, it’s best to know it’s clean and enjoy your pedicure!

  5. I’m really cautious about having my nails done outside my home, especially after I had a patient over 10 years ago who had to have major anti fungal meds via IV, due to a nail salon giving her an infected thumb nail that was fungal.

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