With the range of products and services offered in nail salons, there’s been some recent news reports that indicate an increasing concern over the use of chemicals and toxin levels.
“Some salon owners and technicians have been forced to cut down on more expensive masks or ventilation systems because they’re not making as much money on services like nail removal, which is quite labour intensive and requires supplies,” says Kristen Gale, CEO and founder of The Ten Spot. “And it’s these services that are actually causing the most amount of issues and health risks.”
As mask mandates are coming to an end across Canada, many clients are excited to get back
to what was once a “normal” in-salon service. However it’s important to respect all clients’ comfort levels while ensuring a safe salon environment for everyone.
“One of the things that’s always been noticeable for me is the smell you encounter when walking into a nail salon, and that’s because of the harsh chemicals,” says Gale. “It’s for this reason that we focused on natural nails for the first decade and a half of our existence.”
While the salon chain recently made the decision to bring in gel polishes (hard gel and soft gel), Gale says it’s due to the recent changes in product technology and formulation. “They don’t have the same harsh chemicals they once did and they don’t require the same removal process.”
The amount of chemicals and toxin levels in nail salons will vary depending on the quality of products used and the types of services offered. According to Bruna Dicecca, owner of Ritual Hair Skin Beauty in Toronto, they’ve chosen to not offer any nail extensions, powder or dip services to reduce the use of chemicals. “Artificial nails create more chemicals and toxins,” says Dicecca, adding that it’s the application and removal of acrylic nails that can create excess particles and fumes in the air.
“To shape it or completely remove it, you have to use a drill, which makes the fine, almost fibreglass- like particles spread in the air,” says Gale.
While the answer may not be as simple as “stop offering those services,” salon owners can take a few steps to improve their overall environment. “I would suggest proper ventilation,” says Gale. “Wearing n95 masks and gloves and thoroughly cleaning the areas is also crucial because the particles easily spread everywhere and people end up breathing them in.”
DID YOU KNOW?
GREEN CIRCLE SALONS OFFER A PPE RECOVERY INITIATIVE, A PROGRAM THAT SAFELY DISPOSES OF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT TO REDUCE THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT!
Since the start of the pandemic, more salons have been using single-use files and buffers to eliminate multi-use products and the constant need for sanitizing tools.
As salon owners look for ways to maintain a healthy and safe environment for their nail techs and clients, they should also keep in mind that these changes should mean a price increase for clients. “I believe with the use of proper protective equipment (PPE), we will see an increase in pricing,” says Dicecca. “Clients should know that they’re paying for value, safety and peace of mind.”
“Before the pandemic, clients were more willing to pay a little less for services at a cheaper place,” says Gale. “But now, clients aren’t going to take any risks and will pay more.”
SALON OWNERS SHOULD CONSIDER THE CONTINUED USE OF ADDITIONAL PPE, SUCH AS GLOVES AND MASKS, AMONG NAIL TECHS TO DECREASE THE INHALATION OF CHEMICALS.