Did our client recently sneeze or cough into her hand? Does she have a sick family member at home? Did she wash her hands after going to the restroom? Did she apply her makeup or lotion and have it underneath her nails? Did she just change a child’s diaper? Did she lick food off her fingers while eating lunch? Did she pick her nose on the way to her nail appointment? Do she use community phones or computers at work? Can we tell that she was digging in the dirt gardening? These are all common things that unfortunately take place every day. Sadly, too many times we have witnessed our clients do some of these things. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t make me want to shake their hand. Fortunately, there is a way around it and it’s as elementary as washing our hands.
My salon has implemented a sanitation policy. This means all clients must wash their hands prior to their nails services. We wash our hands for every client and we expect every client to wash their hands for us. This sets us apart from other salons and it’s professional. Very few salons have their clients wash their hands prior to providing nail services. Implementing this simple rule makes our salon bigger, better, and different. It makes us stand out and says that sanitation is top priority to us. Whenever we bring a new client to the hand-washing station, we explain our policy. They usually say “I’ve never done this; no one has made me wash my hands before. Wow, this is a good idea!”
My salon has a sink in the nail area to make it easy for clients to wash their hands and scrub their nails before their service. I realize that some salons don’t have a hand-washing station. So, go to the next best thing: the restroom. Just know that when a client goes to the restroom to scrub up, it adds more time. Because they’re in the restroom, they will primp their hair, put on lipstick, fix their clothes, or use the facilities. This is why we built a separate sink area for the hand washing station in the nail department.
I know a lot of salons use a hand sanitizer and I think it’s a great idea. However, most sanitizers contain a lot of alcohol. Alcohol can be very drying to the skin. If they have a hangnail or paper cut, it may sting and cause irritation. I keep a bottle of hand sanitizer at my station for when a client blows her nose, etc. If a hand sanitizer is your only form of sanitation, use it. But we believe strongly that there is nothing better than a thorough hand-washing. Plus, with sanitizer you don’t clean underneath their nails.
We have had many positive effects come out of this simple regimen. My nail technicians have had way fewer sick days. Think about it. We are less than two feet apart from our clients holding hands. This is the easiest way to contract germs. So now, every nail technician washes her hands for each client to lessen the spread of germs, illness, etc. Our client now knows right away that we are clean and we value taking care of our customers. It shows that we have service standards and we’ve taken those standards to the next level.
Tune in next week when I share with you how to set up your own hand-washing policy. One more way to help you stand out above the rest and become the BEST!