How do you feel about your professional license? While there are some salons that skirt the rules, there are patrons more than ready to accept pain as being a part of beauty, willing to sacrifice the health of their natural nails to a fast and cheap service. How many people have sat in your chair missing chunks of nail plate, sporting a bacterial infection, or making you cringe with horror stories from salons they’ve visited?
With things as they stand now, these salons are supposedly licensed with licensed professionals working in them. They are allowed to continue to operate and thrive without being inspected or validated by the very boards we are all funding with renewal fees to protect our clients. This means a large part of the population is more concerned with service speed and cost than the quality of the nails, or the licensure and education of the nail professional. Does it matter to the people who come to you that you have a license? Truly, does it? Ask them.
At the end of the day, consumer education is going to make or break us all. We can hold our licensure sacred; however, if we do not sway the very people that take it for granted then it lacks the value we place on it. Using the same arguments when our licensing is threatened that just anyone will start to offer services with no schooling is not getting us anywhere. Even with licensure, that is happening!
Kitchen haircuts, dining room nails, off-the-books massages — they are all happening even with a system for licensure in place. Perhaps instead of rehashing the arguments, we should target the people we actually care about — our clients. These are the people who need to understand how to choose a safe salon, how licensure can at least filter some of the poor service quality, and how to ask about disinfection procedures and post-school education.
Do you educate the client in your chair every time she comes to visit? Do you share your educational experiences or share helpful facts and tips on your social media? Perhaps we should band together in an effort to create a grassroots movement in which we make the license mean something. We should share facts and information with clients to help them understand that not all services are created equal.
Waiting for the government, state boards, or schools to do anything hasn’t gotten anyone very far. Enough complaining about all of it and saying things would be different if this and if that. Stand up. Stand up for yourself, stand up for the safety of your salon patrons, and stand up for this industry that we alone believe in with our hearts, our dedication, and our lives.
My commitment to you is to create something you can share on your social media or print and post in the salon once a week for the next 12 weeks. Let’s use #IAMLICENSED and make a dent in recognition of the value a professionally licensed, well-educated nail professional has to offer the world!
Here’s the week 1 post:
Nails should not require a Tylenol or a Band-Aid. Sore, red, swollen skin around your nails following a service could be an indicator of something gone wrong. Make sure your nail professional can show a current license with her name on it and explain disinfection procedures to you. Make sure she uses new or clean tools and files every visit and finishes a pain-free service every time! #IAMLICENSED
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