For years now the media has been telling consumers that nail salons can be a dangerous place. The medical community has been echoing this message and advising wary salon-goers to bring their own tools and implements. The question is: Are consumers listening?

An informal polling of NAILS’ readers reveals that just a small percentage of clients take the precaution of bringing their own tools or purchasing them at the salon. For the most part, salons that stress their own sanitation practices have clients who feel comfortable with them. As you’ll read, we don’t mind if clients provide their own tools, but we still do everything in our power to make it unnecessary.

Linda Cusimano, My Place for Nails, Tulsa Okla.: I will gladly use whatever my clients want me to use on them, but because I supply each of my clients with their own personal client healthcare pack, it’s not an issue. By providing the packs myself, I have control over the quality of the tools in the package. It’s theirs even if they don’t want one. They have no choice. The cost is included in my service charge.

Jill Wright, Jill Wright Spa for Nails, Bowling Green, Ky.: None of my clients bring in their own tools; although printed on my salon menu is a paragraph offering them that option. They see me scrub and sanitize everything, so they feel secure. For my regular clients, I have individual manila envelopes with their files, buffers, orangewood sticks, toe separators, and nail brushes. But I wouldn’t be insulted if a new client wanted to bring her own tools.

Millie Haynam, Natural Beauty Salon, Twinsburg, Ohio: I had a client bring in implements once. She asked if I minded using the nippers she pulled out of her purse. I said, “No, not if you don’t mind if I disinfect them. I know my implements are disinfected properly, I don’t know if yours are. I disinfect implements for my safety as well as yours.” She never asked again.

Ruth Windsor, Visions Spa Salon, Novi, Mich.: None of my clients bring in their own tools because all of my implements are 100% washable and are disinfected. However, I do have a lot of clients who travel, and I have told them to carry their own tools.

Mary Metscaviz, Awesome Nails, Grayslake, III.: Never, in the eight years my salon has been open, has anyone ever asked to use her own implements. I think that speaks highly about our sanitation procedures. I clean and disinfect all my implements in front of each client, so they all know we use proper sanitation.

Cindy Wentzel, Nails at the Carriage House, Newmanstown, Pa.: My clients do not bring their own implements. My regular clients know that I practice a high level of sanitation and disinfection. I also throw away every file or give it to the client, which is state law in Pennsylvania. Even if I were to use the client’s own file, there’s no guarantee there’s no bacteria on it.

Faith Glionna, Cuticles Salon, Indialantic, Fla.: I’d estimate that of my 100 clients, five of them request their own tools. I will sell them an implement pack—this way I don’t have to work with inferior files, foot buffers, and nippers. It doesn’t offend me in the least. As I tell them, I use all the proper sanitary practices and products, and above all I don’t want to catch anything from anyone either.

Tiffany Greco, Hair Addix, Carlsbad, Calif.: None of my clients feel the need to bring their own implements, however, I would not be offended by this considering the fear that is surrounding our industry. It is our responsibility to be well-educated about and practice proper sanitation/disinfection to calm their fears. I also think is the best advertising angle for nail professionals right now. Anyone can discount a service to get people in the door, but promising proper sanitation makes for very loyal clientele.

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