Getting your nails done is a great way to kick back and make yourself feel special. However, you’ll want to make sure you’re going to a reputable salon so that your experience will be as safe as possible. If you’re not sure exactly how to decide on a nail salon, take a look at these key questions to get started.

Are the Salon and Technician Licensed?

First and foremost, make sure that the nail salon you’re considering is properly licensed. If a salon isn’t thorough enough to make sure that they meet state-level requirements, then you don’t want them working on your nails. Failure to get properly licensed can indicate a serious lack of professionalism and skill. If the staff of a salon doesn’t adhere to industry standards and go through the training required to be licensed, you could be in jeopardy of getting shoddy work or even an infection. With so many sharp implements around your delicate skin, a manicure or pedicure can actually be quite dangerous if not handled properly.

In order to make sure you’re seeing a licensed professional, check the walls where most reputable salons display their credentials. If you don’t immediately see them, ask. Sometimes they’re simply stashed away in a folder. You can also call the health department to verify the salon’s credentials.

How Do They Sanitize Instruments?

Sanitization is extremely important in nail salons. Unclean sinks and instruments are breeding grounds for bacteria that can cause serious infections. Additionally, pushing back cuticles makes it more likely for bacteria exposure to become a problem. Before making your decision, you need to look into how a nail salon sanitizes instruments.

Licensed nail salons are generally required to use an autoclave or similar FDA-approved equipment that performs heat sterilization to clean their tools. When considering a nail salon for your new manicure establishment, verify that this is the case. The method uses a combination of temperature and pressure to kill all microbial life that might cling to salon implements, including fungus spores. This technique is far more effective than dunking them in some rubbing alcohol and calling it a day.

What Types of Footbaths Do They Use?

If you’ve been considering a pedicure, you’ll want to look into what types of footbaths the salon in question uses. Ideally, you’ll find a salon that uses pipe-free whirlpools. Pipe-free whirlpools are preferred because they use fans or propellers to stir up the water instead of jets. Water jets can be breeding grounds for bacteria and foot fungus, and they’re hard to keep clean. You don’t want to be sharing bacteria with the clients who were there before you. It’s also crucial that the salon uses liners in all footbaths. The technicians should routinely switch out the liners between clients.


Going to a salon and getting your nails done can be a real treat, but you should make sure you’re going to a good place. In order to be certain that you’re choosing a reputable, clean salon, always investigate their credentials and take a look at their certificates before making an appointment. Additionally, confirm that they use heat sterilization to clean reusable tools and employ pipe-free foot baths with disposable liners.
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