Secrets Every Nail Technician Doesn’t Want Us To Know

By Rylee 8 months ago

Pedicures can be deadly

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In 2006, a Texas woman went into a nail salon for what she thought was a harmless pedicure. She died a couple of days later. Cause of death? A skin infection from a small cut that she got at the saloon. I tell you this not to scare you but to ensure you’re extra cautious.

Credo blades are illegal

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How does your stylist trim your callus? It’s time to do some digging. If your nail technician uses the credo blade for that, you need to switch salons ASAP. This blade has an ill reputation for causing life-threatening issues. One Carolina woman nearly lost a limb to it.

Cuticles shouldn’t be trimmed

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Your cuticle is the layer of transparent skin at the top of the nail, where the nail meets the skin. Stop any nail stylist who wants to trim your cuticles. They might tell you that’s good for you, but cutting them removes protective tissue that keeps bacteria at bay.

Nail Polish is bad for your skin

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Have you noticed that your nail salonist always wears gloves? They might tell you that it’s because they don’t want to get any spills on them. But the truth is they’re protecting them from something worse. Certain chemicals they use may not be too good for your skin.

The salon air is toxic

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In the same breath, these chemicals aren’t just bad for your skin. You shouldn’t be inhaling them either, as they are biohazards that could cause you respiratory problems. That’s why your nail technician wears a respirator. It’s not only because they’re sick of the smell.

Salon products aren’t green

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Many nail salons claim to be green to sway more walk-ins. But are they really? Nail technicians use a variety of plastics and chemicals that can also have adverse effects on the environment. The key thing is to dispose of them properly, which any salon will claim to do.

Acrylic nails may be bad for you

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Acrylic nails are a hot suggestion by many nail technicians, understandably so, because they provide numerous design options and look natural. There’s a catch, though. Acrylics can be risky. In some individuals, it can lead to skin irritation and significant skin damage.

Some products attract extra changes

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On the service list, you saw the manicure was priced at $23. But your final total is a few bucks over. Is your nail technician stealing from you? Your nail stylist won’t be upfront with you about hidden charges, which come from extra products or “complimentary” services.

Not all colors are suitable

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If your nail technician lets you pick your favorite shade of nail polish and says nothing in the way of advice, he doesn’t want you to know that you might not have picked the right color. Some shades of polish may not go well with your skin tone or age.

They hate small talk

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It’s perfectly natural. That urge to talk to someone you’re sitting face-to-face with. Otherwise, the silence might get uncomfortable. But your nail technician doesn’t mind one bit. In fact, he prefers quiet so he can concentrate. He won’t tell you that, though.

Artificial nails harm your nails

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Long, glamorous nails give you that classy, diva look. Many people are consequently huge fans of artificial extensions or nails, but they are not all they’re hyped up to be. These extensions exert extra pressure on your natural nails and can damage them over time.

Tools aren’t always sanitized

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Now, onto the elephant in the room: is your nail technician as clean as he says? Just watch him work, and you’ll have your answers. Some nail stylists don’t sanitize shared tools as often as they should (after every use), and they don’t want you to know that.

The foot bath has bacteria

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Here’s an honestly scary fact that your nail technician will move mountains to bury - 97% of nail salon foot baths are bacteria-infested. This is according to findings by the Center for Disease Control, which tested bath water across nail salons in five large countries.

You can B.Y.O.N.K

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Did you know that you can bring your own nail kit (BYONK) to the salon? Yes. Your nail technician may not tell you about it if you don’t ask. Some salons have a policy against this, but, for the most part, many of them are happy to accommodate your request.

Nail polish may harm your baby

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Nail polish may adversely affect pregnancy. It’s not a sure fact, though, but the huge red flag here is the absence of safety data. Studies seem to suggest that some of the carcinogenic ingredients can pass through your skin and reach your unborn baby.

They are grossly underpaid

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Nail salon owners will vehemently resist allegations of paying their nail technicians below minimum wage. Yet, surveys show that most are on less than half the average wage in other industries. Your nail stylist may not tell you this because she wants to keep her job.

Nail techs are overworked

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To add salt to injury, your nail technician is likely overworked. The average nail salonist puts in a 10-hour shift, with many of them pulling even more hours. Why would your nail tech hide this from you? Because you may start to second-guess the quality of their work.

You reserve the right not to tip

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To show your appreciation, you should offer a 20% or 15% tip to your nail technician. But that’s only if you are happy with the work. If you’re not pleased with the service- perhaps the stylist didn’t observe your wishes or was rude – you don’t really have to tip her.

A weekly manicure is overkill

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How often should I get my nails done? Your nail guy may tell you that you need to come in once a week, possibly to keep his income flowing. There’s no problem with that. However, most experts recommend a two to three-week frequency as the sweet spot.

Breaks are necessary

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Even with a three-week wait period, you need to schedule sporadic breaks from regular manicures and pedicures. Otherwise, your nails could grow fragile. If you notice your nails are getting really thin or your cuticles are dry, you need to take a pause.

DIY kits work just fine

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Some nail stylists may go out of their way to discredit at-home DIY manicure kits or present an endless list of why it’s not worth it to do your nails at home. While it’s true that DIY kits are far from perfect, they’re not the villains they make them out to be.

Warm water increases injury risk

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It certainly feels heavenly to soak your feet in warm water, doesn’t it? But it may be doing you more harm than good. Doing so for too long can lead to dehydration and soften skin layers to the point of bleeding, which paves the way for nasty infections.

The law prohibits nail file reuse

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You may have noticed that some nail technicians use the same nail file for multiple clients. Whether they sanitize it or not, this shouldn’t happen at all. The law requires that your nail stylist use a new file for each client and dispose of the old one right after use.

The same goes for porous materials

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I’m talking buffers, pumice stones, wooden tools, and everything porous. Like nail files, the law also mandates the single-use of these materials. Besides observing legislation, this reuse puts you at a higher risk of contracting fungus and other health problems.

There’s such a thing as a wrong file

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Did you know nail files come in varying grits, like sandpaper? That’s right. Some are ultra-fine, others are coarse, and each type suits a particular nail. Your nail tech might not want you to know this because he’s already stocked up on generic files.

They’re not filing the right way

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The file’s new. Check. It’s also the right grit. Double check. But is your nail stylist using it correctly? Most technicians will file back and forth, which actually damages your nail. The correct way to do it involves filing from the outside corners and working your way in.

Etching is bad for your nail

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It’s common for nail salonists to etch your nails under the guise of it being good for improving polish grip. That’s a load of baloney. It actually hurts your nails. The next time your technician asks to prep your nails this way, politely ask that they clean them instead.

Acetone doesn’t remove lotion

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Hand massages are the highlight of any manicure, right? Leftover lotion, though, can spoil your pending paint job. Dabbing remover on your nail using the trademark cotton orange stick does not remove oil but adds even more harmful deposits that cause peeling.

They thin out nail polish

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While it’s not exactly a secret that your nail salon thins out especially thick polish with acetone/alcohol, they may not tell you that thinning nail polish has its downsides. Doing so disrupts the chemistry, causing bubbles and affecting the quality of the finish.

Nail polish shouldn’t stay on for too long

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Another one for your nail tech’s big book of secrets is that you shouldn’t leave the nail polish on for more than a couple of days. When you do, the polish can sip into the top layers, given that your nail is porous, eventually causing it to dry out and become brittle.