Q&A

Why do you choose not to wear a mask when filing acrylics or gels?

Q.

We all know our lungs deserve a break from the dust produced when filing acrylics or gels — especially when using an electric file. But for a variety of reasons most of us choose not to wear a mask for protection. We asked techs who don’t wear masks to tell us why not.

A.

I truly do understand the health benefits to techs who wear masks — especially long term — but I find them very awkward and uncomfortable. As a health benefit and courtesy to my clients, I will wear one when I am fighting a cold. Also we have great ventilation in our salon that eliminates the fumes and odors. – DEBBIE BREW, jenniffer & co, Mentor, Ohio

I do not wear a mask, but believe it would be far healthier to wear one because of the dust. I always hear clients making comments in a negative way about “other salons” that “wear those masks.” I know they wrongfully think that it’s because of some dangerous fumes, so I’m afraid to give the wrong impression. It’s probably silly though. I know my clients respect me, and it’s my job to educate them properly. – JESSICA MAHLER, Painted Red Nails, Osterville, Mass.

We do not wear masks in my salon because we only do gels and we have Partigon Dust Vacuum systems attached to our nail machines. Because gel dust is so fine, 95% of it gets sucked up into the holding canister and the other 5% falls to the table. It is amazing how our dust situation has improved. We used to have to wash the walls by our desks every second day, but we haven’t had to do that in the four months since we’ve been using them. – CARRIE KOHUCH, About U Salon, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

I don’t wear one, mainly because I feel like I am suffocating. I do have a ventilation system to suck out the fumes. I guess I should worry about the dust, but I don’t. Whenever I see the salons that use them I always feel like they have “toxic” products and if the techs aren’t breathing in the air, the clients shouldn’t either. – FAITH GLIONNA, Cuticles Salon, Indialantic, Fla.

I do not wear a mask mainly because I do not like to breathe inside of one. They make the air I breathe in feel warm or hot and I do not like it. I feel like I am not getting enough air in them. I do have a WTAC to suck away the dust so I am not breathing it, nor is my client. – LAURA CAMPOS, Southern Accents Salon, Gainesville, Fla.

I do not wear a mask. It seemed to have a negative connotation with my customers. I have also never used an e-file either, so I don’t really need a mask. I think it’s important to sculpt with your brush, not your file, so I don’t tend to file so much that dust is a huge issue. – HEATHER REYNOSA-DAVIS, New York Moon Boutique and Salon, Grand Junction, Colo.

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