Taking a moment to sit down and receive a manicure is like pampering yourself with a modern-day luxury. A hand massage, perfectly shaped and polished nails, and a glossy coat of nail polish can truly elevate your day. But with so many options available in the manicure game, how do you choose the right nail salon? Well, worry not! We’ve broken down the top things to consider when selecting a nail salon near you.
What’s the Difference?
To start off, let’s understand the differences between gel, shellac, acrylic, and powder nail polishes. Each type offers unique features, so it’s important to choose the one that suits your preferences and lifestyle.
The least expensive option, regular polish can be easily removed at home with acetone and lasts for about a week. It’s a great choice if you like to switch up your nail color frequently. Cost: $20-35.
Gel polish provides a natural and glossy appearance that lasts approximately 2 to 3 weeks, making it more durable than regular polish. However, it requires drying under a UV light and needs to be soaked in acetone or removed at the salon. Cost: $25-45.
Shellac polish is a hybrid between regular and gel polish, offering the benefit of lasting upwards of 1 month. Like gel polish, it is cured and hardened under a UV light. Cost: $35-45.
If you’re looking for artificial nails, acrylic nails are the most durable type of nail extensions. A layer of liquid and powder is applied over your natural nails, and an acrylic tip is attached. With proper care, acrylic nails can last for about 3 weeks, with fillings required to maintain any natural nail growth. Cost: $35-50 for a full set, $20-30 for fillings.
Dip powder nails provide color from a jar of pigmented powder instead of polish. They are highly durable and can last for 3 weeks or more. However, note that dip powder nails tend to make your nails appear thicker than regular polish. Cost: $45-50.
Remember, prices may vary depending on the salon, employee wages, and the products used.
Keeping It Clean
It’s essential to ensure that the nail salon you choose maintains proper cleanliness and sanitation practices. Here are a few key aspects to consider or discuss with your technician before your manicure:
- Look out for excessive dust, dirt, hair, and debris on the floors, baseboards, and walls.
- Check if the salon provides a hand washing station with hot and cold water, along with single-use liquid hand soap and towels.
- Ensure that all the products used have their original manufacturer label and ingredients list.
- Verify that the manicure equipment is properly cleaned using heat elements (autoclave), liquid sterilant, or both.
Yes, you can enjoy non-toxic nail polishes! These products, also known as 5-Free nail polishes, exclude five hazardous ingredients commonly used in nail polish manufacturing. Make sure your nail polish does not contain Toluene, DBP (Dibutyl Phthalate), Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde resin, and Camphor. Brands like OPI Infinite Shine, Butter London, and Jin Soon offer 5-Free nail polishes. In general, nail salons allow you to bring your own color for your manicure.
Extra Services and Safety
When visiting a nail salon, it’s important to consider the qualifications of your nail technician. Here are a couple of points to keep in mind:
- Aestheticians or cosmetology license holders are required to professionally wax any part of your body.
- Be cautious with add-on services like permanent makeup, microblading, eyebrow/lash tinting, and medical procedures like Botox. These services require additional training and licenses to perform.
- If you decide to get waxed at the nail salon, ensure that the wax container is covered, and any wooden sticks used are single-use and new. No double dipping!
Nail Salon Etiquette
Always remember to be on your best behavior when visiting a nail salon. Here are a few tips to make your experience enjoyable for everyone:
- Avoid talking too loudly or eating in the salon, as it can disturb others.
- Clearly communicate your desired nail length, shape, and color to your technician. Feel free to bring a picture for reference.
- If your nails chip or break within the specified time frame, contact the salon to inquire about their repair policy and schedule a fix.
- If you bring your child along and they occupy a chair or get their nails painted, expect to pay an additional fee of $10-20.
- Tipping is expected and appreciated in nail salons. While the exact amount may vary, a standard tip of 20% is customary.
Ready to find your perfect nail salon? Visit Ekilove for a list of reputable nail salons near you!