In the midst of the hip Las Olas shopping district in Fort Lauderdale, you will find a nail salon unlike any other. Open for just year, New Wave is a unique foot and nail care salon that ironically prides itself on a waterless pedicure.

Salon Name: New Wave

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Owner’s Name: Tatiana Ponyatovskaya

Square Footage: 1,200

Years of Ownership: I (opened May 1, 1999)

Number of Nail Techs and Employees:

3 pedicure technicians, I nail technician

Specialties: waterless pedicure

Other Services: nail services, massage, facials, waxing, and makeup

Compensation Structure: employees (salary plus commission on retail)

Notes: Ponyatovskaya has recently begun to offer classes on New Wave’s waterless pedicure and the products that are used in all of its services.  

FROM RUSSIA, WITH LOVE: Tatiana Ponyatovskaya came to the United States from Russia via Europe, where she grew accustomed to receiving a certain type of pedicure. Once in the United States, she began looking for a foot and nail care salon with the same level of cleanliness and customization as the ones she had loved in Europe. Alas. She found none.

“When I moved here, I didn’t find the level of service that I was used to,” says Ponyatovskaya. “I wanted to expose Americans to the high standards of foot, leg, and nail care that I had found while living in Europe.”

So she took matters into her own hands and opened New Wave, the 1, that not only specializes in pedicures, but offers a variety of others services, including manicures, nail extensions, massages, facials, and waxing. And within this new salon, Ponyatovskaya is introducing America to Gehwol (which means “walk well” in German), an exclusive line of foot and leg care products from Germany.

New wave is equipped with two pedicure rooms, one facial room, and three manicure tables that run the length of the salon. Decorated in shades of purple, with Roman columns in the reception, the atmosphere is clean, yet elegant.

THE WATERFALLS PEDICURE: Offered in one of two private pedicure rooms that closely resemble a dentist’s office, the waterless pedicure is the specialty at New Wave. The “clean-room environment” is equipped with running water and state-of-the-art equipment, including a pneumatically controlled, ergonomically correct chair where clients sit, or even lie back, during their service. The pedicure specialist is able to adjust the chair so that the client’s feet are at a comfortable level and angle for both the client and the specialist.

For the waterless pedicure, the client’s feet are disinfected at the beginning of the service. All of the specialty drill bits and other stainless steel implements have been disinfected before service begins, and are placed on a stainless steel tray much like you would see in a dentist’s office. With the chair raised, the technician next determines the condition of the client’s feet. Once she has done this, a Gehwol product is chosen for the specific need of the client.

Instead of soaking the feet in water to soften, a callus softener is applied with gauze-like squares to the bottom of the feet, concentrating on tougher patches.

The chair is then lowered so the technician can trim the client’s toenails. Using a foot treatment drill, the pedicure specialist then pushes back and removes excess cuticle. A suction around the drill the sucks in the loosened, dead skin. After the cuticles are tended to, the technician shapes and smooths the nails with another bit. Then, with a cylindrical bit that has a coarseness like sandpaper, the bottoms of the feet are worked on until smooth and cleansed with a hot washcloth.

Ponyatovskaya developed this pedicure to decrease the chance of contamination through water. “By omitting the water and the water container, we are eliminating much of the risk of spreading germs,” she says.

The next step in the service depends on what condition the feet are in and what specific problem the pedicure specialist and the client decide to treat. The Gehwol line includes a variety of products, which are derived from natural plant extracts and contain specially formulated ingredients, and the products are designed to treat a variety of foot conditions, from calluses and dry, cracked skin to itchy, tired feet or feet with poor circulation. Depending on her foot care needs, the client then chooses from an assortment of creams, lotions, and salves and the technician massages it into the feet.


Before New wave opened last May, Ponyatovskaya had an instructor come over from Germany to teach her staff members all about the products and procedures they would be using. The training lasted two full weeks. Now, whenever she hires new technicians, they go through the same training from the current staff before they begin working at the salon.

Ponyatovskaya has been approached by other nail technicians who are interested in learning more about the waterless pedicure. “This demand brought about the idea of opening a school to give an opportunity to others, both to learn all the secrets of our technology, as well as to set up their own future businesses,” says Ponyatovskaya. So she has set up a training program at the salon that provides other technicians the opportunity to learn her European techniques and she provides them with all of the equipment and products that are necessary to learn the technology. And she is not worried about competition because her main concern is that consumers have a place where they can receive a quality, safe service.

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