We have formally introduced ourselves to our client. We’ve exchanged pleasantries and welcomed them into our salon as we walk toward our station. At this point, most nail technicians will seat their client and begin the nail service. But, we’re different so we’re going to do one more step before we seat our guest. We‘ll be making a stop at the hand-washing station to have our client prepare for her nail service. We have the hand-washing station all set up, now it’s time to use it.
Let all clients know about our sanitation policy. “We have all of our clients wash their hands before any nail service will be performed and we wash our hands for you as well.” Tell them: “Here are the clean brushes.” Grab a clean brush and give it to them. Offer instruction. Tell clients, “Lather your hands with warm water and soap. Scrub briskly underneath your nails and at the cuticle. Rinse the soap off the brush and place it in the tall glass sanitizer.”
If there's a public restroom located down a hall or shared with other businesses, hand them a nail brush. Instruct clients to ”go to the restroom and lather your hands with warm water and soap. Scrub briskly underneath your nails and at the cuticle. Rinse the soap off the brush and bring the brush back to me.” Nail technicians are responsible for sanitizing nail brushes later.
It may sound ridiculous to give clients hand-washing instructions. We shouldn’t have to mention to lather their hands with warm water and soap. One would think in this day and age, adults would know to use soap when asked to wash their hands. Before our salon began giving instructions of how to scrub, clients didn’t know how to use the nail brush (or even what it was for) or they would simply clean their jewelry. Without instruction, we were shocked and surprised how many people just rinsed their finger tips, didn’t use soap, and called that a hand-washing. Give instructions. As easy as it sounds, most people don’t know how to wash their hands correctly. So, give direction and ask them to use soap. Think of that Petri dish Sandy mentioned in last week’s post; it’s for your protection.
Over time, clients will recognize that hand-washing is our policy and they must do it prior to natural and artificial nail services. Eventually, clients will arrive and check in and head over to the hand-washing station. They'll wash their hands and wait for you in the reception area. This way, they're ready to go and won’t waste time washing or primping in the restroom.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has these suggestions for hand-washing:
• Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.
• Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub them well; be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
• Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice.
• Rinse your hands well under running water.
• Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
The CDC also adds that clean hands save lives. Keeping hands clean through improved hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water.
The CDC has these suggestions for using hand sanitizers (Sanitizers are not effective when hands are visibly dirty.):
• Apply the product to the palm of one hand.
• Rub your hands together.
• Rub the product over all surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry.
If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands. Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs on them. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs. For more information, check out their website http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/.
As stated in my previous post, check your state’s laws for sanitation and follow them. Look them up online or call to verify and make sure you comply. Some states may require you to place clean nail brushes in a covered container or to label the nail brush container “clean.” Others may require specific sanitizing liquids or have sanitation standards for cleaning the nail brushes.
Make hand-washing a must before each nail service. You’ll have fewer sick days, take your salon’s reputation for sanitation to the next level, and you'll appreciate working on a clean pair of hands. This sanitation idea and more can be found on my audio CD “Building a Nail Department.” Available at http://www.summitsalon.com for $39, enter code “Jill” or call (800) 718-5949 and mention "Jill" when calling in your order. One more way to help you stand out above the rest and become the BEST!