The appearance of one’s establishment can be paramount to the success of your business. Consumers won’t necessary want to visit an establishment that is dark and dirty or looks cluttered. Consumers want to patronize establishments that are bright, cheery, beautiful, welcoming, relaxing and easy to navigate.
You never want to have dust, dirt or grime visible to your consumer. You also want to make sure that your establishment has good ventilation and smells fresh and clean. Stale air will give the impression that the store/salon is dirty or old.
This time we will discuss the proper cleaning procedures for Nail Salons since that is our focus this month, but some the same principles can apply to a beauty and barber store or hair salon. Nail salons are one of the most popular beauty vendors today. There has been an explosion since the 90’s in the nail industry and it continues to rocket in its popularity and ranking in the beauty industry. Nail technicians are now nail artists and are creating some of the most beautiful, creative works of art available. There is a cutthroat competition to be the best, hottest and most creative nail artist in your area and while there are enough women for all to have work, the competition is still fierce.
The nail salons that tend to be the most popular are bright, relaxing and attractively decorated. There are clean spaces and it’s easy to get to the stations, whether they be nail or pedicure.
As the nail salon owner, you need to make sure that your salon is a clean environment, you have a clean workstation, your employees’ appearance is clean and well-kept and that your sterilization practices are strictly followed. Each employee should be able and prepared to answer any questions a consumer may have about the procedures and how you ensure safety in your salon.
Your sterilization practices should be posted for all of your employees in plain sight to see and refer to when necessary. You must invest in the necessary equipment to ensure proper sterilization. Regardless of the equipment costs it is less than being sued. Create a “Good Practice Policy” which outlines what is expected from your nail technicians and what is acceptable to remain at your salon; include proper customer service etiquette, cleaning practices and procedures for services provided.
Some salons offer their customers a “preferred nail kit,” which is a set of instruments that the nail tech is accustomed to using, but is a set used only for you. It is kept in a pouch with the client’s name on it and is stored until their next appointment.
Here are some basic rules that you should always keep in mind.
1. Always clean both your hands and your clients’ hands or feet before every service. Cleaning hands reduces the risk of spreading germs from client to client.
2. All implements (including individual implements that a client may bring in or that are left in the salon), equipment, and materials that come in contact with a client must be clean and disinfected prior to servicing any client.
3. If any metal tool or hard piece of equipment comes into contact with blood, body fluid, infection, or an unhealthy condition, it must immediately be cleaned and disinfected. If a nail file or other porous item that comes into contact with blood, it must be disposed of immediately.
4. Store clean and disinfected tools in a clean container or lined drawer (labeled “disinfected”) and keep separate from soiled or used tools and files.
5. In addition to the disinfection protocol, you should keep records of the cleaning and disinfecting of tools and foot spas.
6. Sanitizing means “cleaning to remove all visible residue or debris,” but items must also be disinfected. Salon disinfectants include EPA-registered, hospital-level, liquid disinfectant products that are virucidal, bactericidal, and fungicidal; that are 10% bleach or that are 70% or higher isopropyl or ethyl alcohol.
7. Use clean towels and/or manicure mats for each client.
8. Products such as creams, lotions, scrubs, paraffin wax, masks and oils must always be used in a sanitary manner that prevents contamination. For example, paraffin and nail oils should not be applied with a brush (or spatula) that has touched the skin.
9. If blood or body fluid comes in contact with any salon surface the nail professional should put on protective, disposable gloves and clean it with an EPA-registered, hospital liquid disinfectant or a 10% bleach solution. In case of an accidental cut, clean with an antiseptic and bandage the cut.
Make a checklist that you can use to follow every day and it will become a part of your “Good Practice Policy” for your establishment.
Tabitha Odell has been providing exceptional consumer service to the health and beauty industry for more than a decade via Cosmetic Answers, LLC. Cosmetic Answers is the culmination of Tabitha’s extensive experience in risk management, claims management, litigation management, compliance and consumer relations in the health and beauty industry. Visit www.cosmeticanswers.net.