INFORMATION ON NAIL SALONS
There are many different types of treatments that are offered by nail salons. There are nail extensions, acrylic, gel and fibreglass (these are all different and require different training). Nail art includes free hand, stencilling or air brushing intricate designs and patterns on to nails, nail piercing, transfers and jewellery, this is also sometimes offered for toenails as well.
Silk and Fibreglass Wraps
This is an old system and is rarely used nowadays. Pieces of silk or fibreglass are cut into shape and placed on the nails using resin. This sets quickly when an activator is used. The wraps are not particularly strong and the process is quite time consuming.
This is an overlay to the nail and not an extension. The gel is easy to apply gives strength to the nail and looks natural.
The problem with gel is it does not soak off in acetone and for this reason is not recommended for nail extensions but is fine for overlays.
A broken gel extension has to be filed off carefully by hand.
This was the first type of acrylic nail to come out over 25 years ago and although improvements have been made the basic concept is still the same. The acrylic sets in the air giving the technician time to apply the nail.
Most technicians use an electric drill to file sculptured nails. If the nail is over drilled it gets too hot and damage occurs to the nail bed, matrix or both (this can be permanent). The more skilled the technician the less filling is needed and the less uncomfortable the treatment is.
UV Cured Acrylic
This system has the look of a gel nail but is acrylic and so will soak off in acetone.
The acrylic does not set until it is placed under UV light and so can be handled more easily. This means the only light drilling is required. The other benefits are that they do not discolour in sunlight or crystallise when it is cold and it does not have any odour. UV is more expensive than sculptured.
Problems associated with Nail Salons and possible health risks.
Some nail salons use Methyl Methacrylate which is a potentially harmful compound used to make acrylic false nails. The compound can lead to nail disfigurement and infections and is cheap and nasty alternative to ethyl methacrylate used by 'reputable' salons.
Methyl Methacrylate is outlawed in the
As the compound does not bond well with the nail surface the nail must be drilled down in order to create a surface for the product to stick to. This can lead to permanent damage to the nail plate.
- Nail Disfigurement
- Rot on the nail plate
A Nail with an Infection.
The main hazards are inhalation, ingestion and skin contact with harmful chemicals and nail dust (both artificial and natural).
Spreading bacterial, viral and fungal infections. This includes potential exposure with serious infectious diseases such as Hepatitis B/C and HIV.
During nail treatments there is close contact between nail technician and client and the skin is sometimes broken (especially around the cuticle area).
What to look out for when using Nail Salons.
The salon should be clean and tidy with no evidence of dirty equipment.
The technician should have some type of protective clothing on.
Aftercare advice should be given either verbally or in leaflet form.
A medical history should be obtained from you in order to provide the best treatment. If this is not asked for you should let the technician know if you have suffered from any of the following problems/illnesses:
- A history of skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema or sensitive skin.
- A history of allergies.
- Poor skin or nail conditions.
- If you are undergoing radiation or chemotherapy treatment.
- If you have an existing medial condition e.g. infection, blood disease, heart disease, haemophilia
- If you have a history of skin cancer or have a condition which makes the skin photosensitive (UV curing equipment may not be used)
- If you are pregnant.
Always wash your hands before nail treatments and ask that the technician also wash their hands to reduce the risk of infection.
Good salons use safe practices and care about their clients (and their staffs) health and safety. Always ask questions when trying out a new salon and if you do not feel comfortable simply leave and find another salon- you are the customer!
For more information contact the health and safety team on 01903 737500 or email email@example.com