Hands On Tips For Manicures And Pedicures

January 21, 2011


The winter doldrums inspires dreams of open toed shoes, and bare footed saunters through the surf and sand.  Which in turn prompts many of us to get out of our winter funk by scurrying out to the nearest beauty salon to get a matching manicure and pedicure.  Before you pamper yourself from head to toe, check out your beauty salon carefully, and make sure that it is clean, licensed, and safe.  Vanity does not have to come at a price.
Always Pamper With Care – Outbreaks of skin infections among nail salon patrons are not out of the norm.  This should not scare you away from getting a manicure or pedicure, but it should give you pause, and induce you to always pamper yourself with concerted care.  Before you opt to have your toes and nails manicured, and adorned with the trendiest color, perform the white glove test, and scrutinize your surroundings for cleanliness.  You should make sure that there is adequate ventilation.  You should never be bowled over by the release of noxious fumes created by artificial nail products, nail polish, or other chemicals.  An overpowering odor can also warn that the salon is using methyl methacrylate (MMA) which is an inexpensive ingredient sometimes found in artificial nail products that can cause adverse reactions in some individuals.  The Food And Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning against using this product.  Be sure to ask whether your manicurist is using MMA.  If a salon is offering very inexpensive acrylic nails, this may be a red flag that they are using MMA.  You also want to make sure that clean towels and implements are used on each client.  Be leery of a salon that touts “low-low” prices.  If there is any question that the shop is not clean or safe, or if there is the suspicion that lower-quality products are being used, let your tootsies do the walking.  If it costs you your health, beauty is no bargain.
Foot The Bill Safely – Before you get gussied up, make sure that your manicurist has thoroughly washed his or her hands.  Before working on your nails, your manicurist should put a clean towel on the workstation, and provide you with a fresh bowl of soapy water to soak your nails.  All bottles and containers should be clearly labeled with a listing of ingredients.  All clippers, nail-care tools, instruments, utensils and appliances should be sanitized immediately after each use, and maintained in sanitary conditions at all times.  Soiled instruments should never be kept together with clean instruments.  Don’t be shy about inquiring how the salon sterilizes its’ instruments, autoclaving (heat sterilization) is preferable.  Any equipment that cannot be adequately disinfected, such as nail buffers, emery boards, toe separators, and orange sticks, should give you pause.  You might want to consider bringing your own manicure and pedicure equipment with you to ensure that the instruments will not be used on anyone else but you.  Before you dip your toes in a footbath for your pedicure, make sure that the water is changed, and the tubs are wiped down and disinfected between customers.  Also inquire how often the filters are replaced and disinfected.  If you are diabetic or have other medical conditions, speak with your doctor before you go to the salon.  If the skin around your nail becomes painful, red, or inflamed, seek medical attention immediately.  Manicures and pedicures should not be painful, or costly to your beauty or health.

Check The Salon From Head To Toe – Most states have laws that require that nail salons and manicurists be licensed. Look to see that the licenses of the salon and manicurist are posted in a conspicuous location.  Take matters in your own hands, and check to see if a particular salon or manicurist is licensed and in good standing.  Your can contact the Pennsylvania State Board of Cosmetology at 1-717-783-7130.

Consumer Tip:  Tax season is fast approaching, and The Internal Revenue Service has toll-free numbers to provide you with tax information.  If you have not yet received your tax refund, you should call the IRS Refund Hotline at: 1-800-829-1954.  If you have tax questions about small businesses, corporations, partnerships, and estate taxes, of if you need to apply for an “employer identification number,” contact the IRS Business and Specialty Tax-Line at: 1-800-829-4933.  If you have general questions pertaining to your taxes, contact the IRS Tax Help-Line at: 1-800-829-1040.

Please send your consumer and legal questions to Elisha Hoffman Abrams, Esq. at elisha.abrams@gmail.com, or write to 2401 Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 1C-46, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Tel: 215-765-4828, Web Address: www.legallyinformed.com.

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