Salon Sanitation

Regulators, Not Consumers, Drive Sanitation Trends

Michael Megna, CEO and co-founder of Backscratchers Salon Systems, discusses salon sanitation issues and the trend toward disposable products.

NAILS recently caught up with Michael Megna, CEO and co-founder of Backscratchers Salon Systems and got his take on sanitation issues and the trend toward disposable products.

Is there a trend toward using disposable products in nail salons? If so, why?

Megna: Yes. With very real concerns about cross-contamination and changes in state sanitation laws, disposable items make sense for today’s salons. Advances in technology are also making it possible to manufacture many more disposable items, such as file abrasives and salon placemats.

What is pushing the trend?

Megna: While sanitation issues have been addressed in the mainstream media, we are finding that consumers are not demanding better sanitation as a result. What is pushing better sanitation are changes to state laws.

Does it seem like consumers are more aware of sanitation and disinfection issues?

Megna: Nail techs tell us that their clients are not demanding better sanitation or asking about their practices. We think there’s a general consumer awareness of these issues, but unless the nail tech promotes client awareness directly, by showing her customers what sanitation products and techniques she uses, her clients do not make much effort to ensure that a salon is safe.

What do you envision will be the future of disposable products?

Megna: Judging just from the increase in our SeptiFile Replaceable File System sales, we see it increasing exponentially. We’d like to see the industry as a whole try to develop disposable products that have a limited impact on the environment. Other industries, such as medicine, dentistry and food preparation, are also moving toward more disposable products and packaging, so we need to keep the environment in mind.

What new types of disposable products do you see being introduced to the market in the near future?

Megna: Not only will standard disposable items continue to be in demand, but we expect to see more disposable versions of implements and more single-use packaging of product.

What can salons do to compensate for the additional cost?

Megna: In some cases, disposable products are less expensive. However, replenishing salon supplies can put more financial pressure on technicians. It can drive up the price of salon services, and is likely to continue to do so. Since consumer awareness is such an important factor in sanitation, we recommend emphasizing the fact that salons must raise prices slightly to cover the additional costs of protecting their clients’ safety, or of complying with new state sanitation laws.

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