Preparation for our cover story on salon sanitation this month revealed just how confusing the issue is. Among the manufacturers themselves the debate continues about which methods of disinfection and which products are necessary to render salons clean and their clients safe. Many manufacturers believe that even the sanitation requirements determined by the state boards do not adequately address today’s salon sanitation issues. Media reports that scare clients away from salons and warn them of the dangers and infections that await them at their salon visit only add fuel to the fire. Caught in the middle of the swirl of confusing, and sometimes downright contradictory, information about how to disinfection the salon are professional nail technicians. It’s no wonder that many nail technicians simply opt to do nothing.
The Nail Manufacturers Council Safety and Standards committee has committed to creating a resource for the industry that will explain, in plain English, all federal sanitation – and safety-related regulations. This will be a valuable tool for nail technicians, who should also be very familiar with the specific regulations in their own state. At the very least, all nail salons should abide by the NMC’s easy-to-follow “Guidelines for Professional Salons,” which cover basic sanitation and safety. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to post the guidelines and use them as a marketing tool to distinguish your salon. The council even provides the guidelines on a poster – for only $3 to nail technicians.
All in all, regardless of whether the issue remains confusing or whether manufacturers can agree, most nail technicians are still not doing enough in the way of sanitation. (In all the salons I’ve been to I’ve never seen a nail technician dispose of a file or suggest that one be reserved for my use only.) Developing good sanitation procedures isn’t so difficult or expensive, but the health of your business really does depend on it.