The Importance of Hygiene

Hygiene is a crucial aspect of a nail salon’s success, it is highly important to ensure that the safety of both, nail technicians and clients are prioritised at all times. Employees have a duty to uphold government regulations, guaranteeing that their salons are clean environments and by doing so, minimising any risks of cross-contamination, spreading of infections and long-term health problems for employees. Hygienic practises have also become a focal point during the current public health crisis, with all workers needing to do their part to ensure their respective communities stay as safe as possible.

In a salon, where similar procedures are being carried out on each client, employees must understand the risks of cross-contamination. Not sterilising equipment, desks and seats before moving between clients can spread germs, ultimately leading to infections. Furthermore, any wooden or ‘single-use’ tools should not be reused, and any metal tools should be thoroughly cleaned and then soaked in disinfectant before being used again. Fresh disposable paper towels should be laid on the desk for each service, and thrown away once finished.  It is key that employees stick to these rules, that way they can provide an effective yet safe service, which will satisfy their customers.

The tools are clean, and the risk of cross-contamination has been avoided, but arguably the most crucial stage of hygiene is whilst working on a client.

Nail salons are usually busy places with many clients being served each day, additionally, nail technicians have to work in close proximity to their clients. This close contact can pose a risk to both parties. If either the employee or client has: dirty hands; an infection; or an open wound this can create a breeding ground for germs and bacteria to multiply and spread. Employees are advised to wash their own hands regularly, to sanitise their client’s hands before working on them, and to avoid working on infected nails to minimise spread.

However, the risk is further increased by public health concerns, such as the current COVID19 pandemic as infected respiratory droplets can be released into the air via talking, coughing and sneezing within a 2 metre radius. It is now essential that nail technicians wear PPE at all times, increase the regularity of handwashing. Technicians must also avoid touching any personal possessions of clients to help further minimise the spread of COVID19.

Hygiene isn’t just important for clients. There are many factors which, if not dealt with appropriately, can have long-lasting negative impacts on the employees. Nail salons have lots of chemicals on-site, these range from chemicals in varnishes, to removers, and glues. Many of these products can produce vapours which linger in the air, sometimes accompanied by an odour, but sometimes not. This can fool employees as they may accidentally be breathing in extensive amounts of vapour without noticing. Although these chemicals aren’t usually harmful in short stints, long exposure to them without the necessary protection can cause health issues such as respiratory problems and skin conditions.  In addition to vapours, nail salons tend to have lots of dust in the air from filing nails down. This can be particularly problematic as the dust particles tend to be close to the nail technician’s face and can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. To ensure that the salon is as safe as possible for workers and clients, it is advised that employees wear face masks at all times to protect themselves from dust particles in the air. However, masks don’t protect fully against vapour and so a desktop extractor should be used to draw dust and vapours away from the technician’s immediate area.

If proper hygiene rules are adhered to, nail salons can be perfectly safe and this must be a salon’s aim. Clients who have a positive experience with no health problems afterwards will be clients that return and who may steadily build up a salon’s reputation. Likewise, nail technicians who feel safe in the workplace and don’t suffer long term health issues, will flourish, ideally have a long career and benefit the salon for years to come.

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