I love getting my nails done…and if a salon offers any other feel-good services, such as paraffin dips or aromatherapy pedicures, I’m even happier. Nail salons are a refuge for me. I can disappear from the stresses of the world and re-emerge looking and feeling better.

That’s why my predicament is so bothersome to me. You see, I am stuck choosing between a few costly salons and the several discount salons that are in my neighborhood. I often end up doing my own nails when I would love to leave them in a experienced nail technician’s hands.

The costly salons are either in hair salons or day spas (sometimes with one technician at a portable station). It’s not that I mind paying $16 or more every once in awhile. But these salons are usually booked weeks in advance, so unless I commit to a standing appointment (an impossibility with my schedule), I am left to take my pick from the discount salons that encourage walk-in customers.

At discount salons, I often reel as though I am on an assembly line. Twice, a nail technician whom I’d been going to for several months passed me on to another nail technician to complete my service so that she could take a walk-in customer for an acrylic service. Also, many of these salons may have a television blaring or playing loud music, neither of which allow me to relax and enjoy my services.

What I would love to see is an alternative: A mid-range salon that allows walk-in clients and offers a complete range of nail, waxing, spa treatments, and perhaps something a little more adventurous, like mehndi body art. I would also like the salon to have a relaxing, quiet ambiance—no radio, no television, and no pop music please! A CD player and classical or new age music are small investments that can make a salon feel like a spa and greatly increase the comfort and pleasure of its clientele. Believe me, if such a salon existed and my time and money were limitless. I would be in such a salon just about every day!

Nina Lenart is a publicist for American International industries and fives in West Hollywood Calif.

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