Greensboro, NC -- Having your nails done is supposed to be a pampering experience. But before you zone out and stop paying attention-- pay attention!
All 14,000 salons in the state are inspected. But the requirement is only once a year. Which is why NC Board of Cosmetic Art Chief of Enforcement, Connie Wilder, says you need to make sure your nail salon is doing what it is supposed to.
Wilder took 2 Wants To Know on an inspection of a Greensboro salon. Every inspection is unannounced.
She opened up every drawer and every door in the place. "Inside the drawer I'm looking to see that all the instruments are cleaned, that there is no nail dust and the bottles are capped."
When your nail professional bring out the tools, they should be free of dust. Your table should be free of dust. Wilder says, after every person, the table should be wiped down.
Wilder, and every inspector, is armed with a Qtip. They use it to check each one of the drains in the footspas.
There is a whole list of points salons get or are deducted if they don't meet requirements:
3 points if the furniture isn't clean of nail dust
2 points off if your nail tech doesn't wash their hands before and after each client
10 points if they use a disposable implement on more than one person
Wilder says a nail file should never be used on more than one person. "The filings of nails are still on that file. The germs, the viruses whatever that previous person had is now being transferred to you."
And while no one likes to wait for a pedicure, every footspa must be cleaned and disinfected after each use and state regulations say that's at least a 10 minute process.
Connie says,"pay attention to what's going on. And if you don't like what you see, you have the choice of getting up and leaving."
Salons are graded just like restaurants and they have to display their grades right up front. The salon we saw inspected, NC Nail Spa, got an A.
Connie advises every customer to not only look at the big grade but to check out the four lines in the bottom left hand corner. Those lines give the last four inspection dates and the grades. That way you can see if your salon is consistent with their cleanliness.
2 Wants To Know is all about giving you information. Check out the grade of your salon by looking at the attached pdf. It shows all the salons in the state by order of city name.
So, now that you know this, will you be asking for a new nail file? How about fo r your nail professional to wash or sanitize their hands? If just the thought of that makes you squeamish, you're not alone.
We asked Rhonda McCarthy, a nail professional at Balance Day Spa in Greensboro, how to ask without sounding offensive.
"The client doesn't have to offend and say 'that file is dirty, I can see that it's clearly dirty'. What the client can say is, 'I would appreciate it if you would use a brand new file because i'm concerned with safety'. That says I understand where you are coming from but here is what I would prefer. It doesn't say to the professional that you're accusing them of being unsanitary, it says you're the kind of client that takes care of herself."
Rhonda also added that you should sanitize your hands before they service starts and have them do the same. Again, a simply comment about wanting to keep both of you healthy is enough to get the point across.