Reader to Reader: Do you visit other salons for “research” purposes?


Do you visit other salons for “research” purposes? If so, do you generally reveal that you work at a salon?


I check out other nail places while I get pedicures done. I like to see what the salon does, what it looks like, how much it charges, and the biggest thing I look for is sanitation habits. I wait until the end of the service to say I am a nail tech. - JENNY MEEK, Classy Nails by Jenny, Fletcher, Okla.

I have been to other nail salons for services, and yes I identified myself as a manicurist. For some reason that makes the techs nervous. When another nail tech comes to my studio, identified or unidentified, I give her what she is searching for with confidence — the best experience ever! It’s great to be a part of competitive research. It’s actually a compliment to your business when others visit. My suggestion is to know your craft, have a sharing heart, and watch your business grow to the next level by helping someone else in the nail industry. - RONIEKA PAGE-HOWELL, Abstract Nails & Wellness Studio, Carmel, Ind.

I used to have pedicures done, until I went to beauty school. Now that I’m better informed, I wish I was an inspector because I have seen salon practices that are illegal in Florida that could cost a nail tech her license. Some people get a knot in their tail feathers if you call them on something, but it’s my health so I’ll speak up. I also tell others what I have seen and hope it costs the salon business. I have no problem reporting anyone. - LIZA CATRON, Ritz Glitz Glamour, Jacksonville, Fla.

I’ve never personally been to another salon to have my nails done but I have had other techs come to me and they have mostly told me right off the bat that they are techs. It only bothers me when they try to tell me how to do my job. If you want it done your way, do it yourself; don’t go to someone else because you’re lazy. - RENEE ASH, Daybreak Salon and Spa, Woodhaven, Mich.

Absolutely! I always go to different salons to see how they’re decorated, how the nail techs do the services, and what products they use (and to see if I like those products enough to start purchasing them). I tend not to tell them I’m a nail tech because I notice I get treated differently. They either try too hard to get everything right (and go over time) or I get an eye roll and attitude like they are just waiting for me to tell them how to do their job. I do think it’s important to size up the competition to compare ourselves to them. I want to know if I need to raise the bar for my customers. - HEATHER HINKELMANN, Design Nails & Tanning, Neillsville, Wis.

I believe that as part of my professional development it is necessary to visit and have services from other salons. It provides me with new ideas and takeaways, whether the visits are positive experiences or not. It broadens my perspective on the industry and I benefit from my time with other technicians. I do ask them questions as I’m genuinely interested in their take on the services and protocols. However, I typically don’t announce that I work in the same industry as I don’t want them to filter their comments. For the most part, I get a nice service and some new information or just something to think about. - HOLLY SAVAGE, Simple Pleasures Day Spa, Quispamsis, New Brunswick, Canada

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