Visiting a nail salon is quite often a pampering experience. When the amenities, services and nail technicians meet certain standards, the salon experience can be one of extreme indulgence. It's worth it to shop around for the salon that offers the best of all worlds.
Important Factors in Choosing a Nail Salon
The most important detail to focus on is the salon's attention to the health and safety of its clients. Nail services in particular have become increasingly notorious over the years; countless news reports detail bacteria-ridden footbaths and unsanitized tools that led to infections and, in extreme cases, even death. Without proper sanitation, salon equipment becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, which, in turn, can spread infections, viruses or fungus. Look for:
- Proper hand washing or sanitizing
- Surfaces disinfected between clients
- Use of fresh nail files and orangewood or birchwood sticks for each client
- Any metal instruments that are used should be thoroughly sanitized before use and between clients
- Clean towels for each client
Checking that the salon and nail technicians have proper licensing is also a good idea. Manicurists should also have appropriate state licensure.
A tranquil environment makes a big difference to the overall salon experience. While many nail salons are of the bare bones variety, others are beautifully decorated with spectacular water features, soft lighting or wall decorations, all of which contribute to a relaxing, soothing atmosphere. Naturally, the space should also be immaculately clean and flawlessly maintained. Some nail salons also play soft music in the background to enhance the mood. Typically, these types of features are found in salons that offer more than just nail services. If this type of ambience is important to you, seek out salons that also offer massage or facial services; typically, the attention to small details is far greater than it would be at a run-of-the-mill nail salon.
Nail salons should have a knowledgeable, friendly staff. You should be treated courteously and professionally at all times. Additionally, nail technicians should be thoroughly familiar with their craft and be able to address your nail health concerns comfortably. If you aren't confident that the technician knows exactly what he or she is talking about, continue to shop around.
Nail salon pricing varies widely. Basic services at walk-in salons are less expensive than upscale, full-service salons and specialty treatments. Traditional manicures and pedicures and polish changes are among the least expensive treatments.
Nail enhancements, intricate nail art, and specialty hand and foot treatments are generally higher in cost. Depending on the services you need, you may wish to purchase a package deal; these usually offer the best value for your money.
Look for a nail salon that's close to your home or work and that provides the services you need. Seek recommendations from beauty-conscious friends and relatives, and be sure to read consumer reviews online prior to visiting the establishment. You'll usually find the most helpful information via these detailed accounts.
Basic Nail Services
Basic services offered by typical nail salons include manicures and pedicures. Nail enhancements such as application of nail tips, acrylic nails, or gel nails are also offered at most salons. Polish changes and nail fills are usually standard, as well.
Full Service Salons
Full service nail spas or salons may offer a variety of other nail treatments in addition to the basics. These may include:
- Specialty manicures and pedicures
- Silk wraps and fills
- Sculpted nails
- Nail repair
- Nail art
- Nail decals or designs
- Air brushing
- Microdermabrasion hand/foot treatments
- Exfoliation and paraffin treatments
- Essential oil treatments
- Nail conditioning
Men's, Teen's, and Children's Services
Nail salons increasingly offer services for men. A male or sport manicure provides a man with well-groomed nails and adds to a professional appearance.
Teen manicures and nail treatments are also popular. Nail services for teen girls can help them look their best and give them confidence. It can also help them learn proper nail care.
Some spas and salons offer children's nail services, too. These are typically simpler and less costly. This can make for a fun mother-daughter outing or a special treat for a little girl.
Choosing Your Salon
Depending on your needs, you may well find just what you need from a no-frills walk-in establishment that specializes in inexpensive manicures and pedicures. If you're seeking speciality nail treatments, though, or really want to pamper yourself, take the time to find a nail salon that caters to your every need and really makes the experience worthwhile. Online reviews offer information on just about every facet of the salon, from the nail technicians' demeanors and skills to the salon's ambience. Finally, watch for special monthly coupons on your favorite services. It's always worth it to indulge - but it's so much more enjoyable if the service comes at a discount.