Nail salon secrets and confessions

Have you ever looked at the human body and wondered why we have certain features? There’s a high chance that you might have done the same with your fingernails and toenails, because what do they really do? Sure, they allow us to play guitar, pop our pimples and give our back a good scratch, but they just kinda sit there and do their thing. While experts have confirmed that these nails stem back to our days as primates before evolution gave us avocado lattes and Emojis, we still like to take care of our nails as we would any other part of our body. You know, unless you’re trying to break the world record attempt for the longest nails in the world! Because of this, nail salons across the world welcome new customers every single day who wish to get their nails seen to.


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In fact, NAILS Magazine stated that the American nail business was worth a whopping $7.47 billion in 2012 alone, and it’s believed that this number has just increased as the years have gone by. Do you get your nails done? Perhaps you have your monthly manicure, perhaps you get your pedicure ready for your beach vacation, or maybe you just like to get your nails professionally filed, so you don’t accidentally take out your own eye. These nail salons will do absolutely anything for you and your nails and will do so in the speediest and cheapest of manners. However, have you ever wondered why these places are so cheap and so quick? These are the nail salon secrets and confessions that might make you rethink your next appointment…

It’s all about the cuticles

We love cuticle care just as much as we love E! Network, and it can be pretty easy to ask your nail salon to remove those pesky cuticles to show off what your nails really have to offer. Because you don’t need cuticles, right? Well, you kinda do! Cuticles form a barrier between your skin and your nails, and also act as a protector from bacteria and infection – which means they’re kind of a big deal. Although they might not look too pretty, it is actually important that you don’t remove them completely. All nail salons should know this and automatically push your cuticles down instead of removing them, but there are others who just aren’t clued up, so it’s down to you to make them aware.

It’s best to shell out

With so many things to pay for in our lives, shelling out a small fortune to have a manicure and a pedicure can seem pretty ridiculous. Instead, you find the cheapest salon around and let them do the job for half the price. You’re onto a winner! Unfortunately, a proper manicure should never be dirt cheap, because the cheaper the manicure… The higher chance you have of developing onycholysis. This condition is caused by poor and cheap maintenance of your nails, and can cause your fingernail to come away from your nail bed. To avoid shelling out even more in medical bills, it’s best to pay that little bit extra to ensure you’re getting the best treatment.

Nail polish can be dangerous

There are two types of people in the world; those who can’t bear to have bare nails, and those who don’t mind going au natural. If you’re the kind of person who loves to adorn their nails with all kinds of colors and patterns, you might want to think twice about your next coat. This is because nail polish can be dangerous if worn all of the time. In fact, experts suggest that you should only wear nail polish for three to four weeks at a time to prevent an allergic reaction.

Choose your routine wisely

When we know we’re going to have a pedicure, many of us quickly shave our legs before leaving the house to ensure we don’t give our pedicurist a prickly welcome. However, it seems as though this is one of the worst things you could possibly do! When you shave any area of your body, you leave small tears and rips in your skin. It’s incredibly easy for germs and bacteria to get in these tears, which means you’re more susceptible to infection. It’s best to go to the salon two days after shaving.

Find another way to dry

With a need for quick turnarounds and customer satisfaction, many nail salons use UV lamps to dry your nails in record time. You don’t have to sit around wafting your hands in every direction, and you definitely don’t have to wait for ages to go to the restroom. Unfortunately, it seems as though these UV lamps may not be the best addition to a nail salon. These UV rays can be harmful to your skin and often result in burns. If you can, try to find a salon that uses LED lamps instead.

They are not qualified for everything

It can often seem as though nail salon workers are the best at everything. They know just how to file your nails, they know exactly what colors work, and they provide you with the best vacation nails. Yet, they are not qualified for everything! If you have an ingrown nail, it’s always best to visit a doctor instead of a nail salon. To remove an ingrown toenail without the proper information or qualification could cause infection – and could even make the condition worse. Always seek medical attention for an ingrown toenail.

Check out the baths

One of the reasons we love going to the nail salon is so we can stick our feet in a warm bath and watch as the bubbles pop around us. It’s bliss. Yet, if you really knew what was going on in the water below, you might not want to stick your feet in there. These baths are a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria, and many nail salons do not clean them in between use. This means your feet could be swimming in the same water as someone else’s feet!

The heat doesn’t help

If you needed another reason to stop you from using the foot baths in a nail salon, we’ve got another one for you! While the heat of these baths can be incredibly relaxing, this hot water can actually cause your feet to become incredibly dry. With no proper moisturization or lotion on your feet, these baths can cause your heels to split, your skin to dry, and for cracks to appear. This can be both uncomfortable and unattractive – but you can avoid these conditions if you avoid the baths.

Don’t take your calluses

Because nail salons offer both manicures and pedicures, it can be easy to believe that the salons offer services to all aspects of your feet – including your calluses. These hard lumps of skin are caused by incorrect footwear that rubs against the thin skin, hardening it and making it an eyesore. However, the workers in these nail salons are once again unqualified to remove these calluses. If done incorrectly, the calluses could become infected. Most of the time, you can actually treat your calluses at home with proper moisturization.

Quality over quantity

To save money, many nail salons will buy nail scissors and nail files in bulk. They might buy the cheapest file on the market, and they might just buy hundreds to ensure they never run out. Yet, if you want a top-quality manicure, it’s best to find somewhere that chooses quality over quantity. If your nail salon of choice uses a coarse nail file, this can actually damage your nails and make it more sensitive to breakages. Instead, you want to find a salon that uses glass files, or files that are not so coarse.

Cleanliness is important

Because you’re only getting your nails painted, you probably choose a nail salon that is closest to your house, and cheaper than its competitors. After all, it’s just a simple treatment, right? Well, not quite. With so many clients and germs around the place, nail salons can become extremely dirty and rife with bacteria. In fact, many nail salons around the world have been found to carry the likes of Hepatitis and HIV within their walls due to unsatisfactory sanitary conditions. It’s important that you choose a salon that is clean and sanitary.

Sterilization is important

While it can be easy to believe that your nails are clean and tidy, your nails can actually carry all kinds of bacteria that are not visible to the ‘naked’ eye. Because of this, nail salons will often deal with dozens of clients each day, using the same tools over and over again. Sadly, there are some nail salons who don’t sterilize their equipment in between clients. To know whether your nail salon does this or not, keep your eye out for a pot of blue liquid on their desks!

You might be more at risk

Although a trip to the nail salon may seem like a harmless day out, it seems there are some people in this world who are put at risk when they enter their doors. Most notably, those who have weakened immune systems should avoid going into these areas at all costs. Alongside this, those who are much older or those who suffer from HIV or diabetes should also consider arranging their appointment. This is because of the amount of bacteria in these salons, which you just can’t avoid when you’re in there.

They get their swap on

When you go to the nail salon, the hardest choice you have to make is what color you wish to go for, and which brand you want to use. Most of the time, we all wish we could spend a little extra on a posh brand – but this might change your mind! Supposedly, many nail salons around the world try to dupe their customers in their salons. When their expensive polishes run out, they simply fill the old bottles with cheaper brands so that the customer is none the wiser.

There might be hidden fees

When you see a poster in the window for a cheap manicure deal, there’s absolutely no way you could just walk past and not reap the benefits. So, you go inside and grab your manicure – only to find out that the price is much more expensive than you thought! This is because many nail salons add on hidden fees to your final bill. They may charge extra for a top coat or a base coat, or even a strengthener. Always confirm the full price of your manicure before sitting down.

Nail technicians don’t have it easy

If you’re the kind of person who likes to talk to their nail technician, you might be wondering whether they have the best job ever. After all, it’s easy work for good money, right? Unfortunately not. Many nail technicians don’t have it easy, as they work in a toxic work environment. Quite literally. Because many nail salons work on making a profit, they will often buy cheap cleaner, polish remover, and other chemicals that sterilize their tools. These chemicals can often give them intense headaches and make them feel incredibly unwell.

They’re not talking about you

Many nail salons are run by people who are not native to where you live, which means you may often hear them chatting in their own language. Of course, you don’t have a clue what they’re talking about, but the paranoid people among us always think that they are discussing the people in front of them and their awful nails. If this is you, you’ll be happy to know that they are not talking about you! At least not all of the time. Mostly, these nail technicians talk about their own lives.

Some tools can’t be cleaned

We’ve already learned that nail salons are supposed to place their tools into the sterilizing baths, and we’d like to hope that the nail salons we go to would do that. However, there are some tools that can’t be cleaned! Tools such as nail buffers, nail files, and pumice stones cannot be cleaned by sterilizing or cleaner, and simply have to be thrown away after each use. Of course, many nail salons don’t want to throw expensive items in the trash, so will use them again and again on different people…

They never turn people away

Nail salons rely on customers returning again and again to gain them any form of profit, which means they need as many people in their doors as possible. Because of this, many nail salons never turn people away, no matter what they are bringing along with them. Alongside all of the bacteria from their nails and their feet, many customers also bring their coughs, colds, and other illnesses into the salon with them. This just adds even more fuel to the fire of infection, and increases your odds of contracting this bacteria during your manicure.

There’s only one foolproof method

Sterilizing equipment is incredibly important if you work with people on a daily basis, but it seems there is only one foolproof method of sterilization – and many nail salons do not use it. While they do use the blue liquid to give them a little once-over, an Autoclave is the only way to fully ensure that their tools are free of bacteria. Surgeons use these Autoclaves to sterilize their own tools, which uses heat, steam and pressure to clean them off all bad bacteria. This means you can never be 100% sure your manicure is safe…

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