Six Signs of a Sketchy Nail Salon

Learn what to avoid when you step out for a manicure or pedicure.
By Genevieve James for

Six Signs of a Sketchy Nail Salon

There are loads of sketchy things that can potentially happen at a nail salon. We've all heard horror stories of weird infections from improperly-cleaned foot baths or shared tools. But one of the more under-the-radar infringements is when nail salons try to cheap out and use potentially-hazardous (but cheaper) products on their clients' nails.

Jenna Hipp, a “green” nail stylist in Hollywood, California for RGB nail polishes, shares six warning signs that a nail salon might be faking what they're really using:

  • Their prices are significantly discounted compared to nearby locations
  • They’re secretive about the brand of products they are using or the containers are smeared or old (which could mean they’re re-filling reputable companies’ containers with illegal product)
  • The product they’re using has poor adhesion, so that your natural nail must be excessively filed, usually with a drill
  • Excessive use of drills (this would be because the MMA acrylic is very hard and rigid)
  • There’s an unusually strong odor that’s sharp and sometimes fruity and you see that nail technicians are wearing masks to prevent inhalation
  • It takes a long time to soak off the acrylic nails, so a technician is using a pick and/or drilling it off; or removing them by forcing a nail tip between the natural nail and the enhancement.

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