How often do you get a pedicure? Once a month? Once every few months? Twice a month? Do you ever thing about the cleanliness of the salon you're in? If they clean the pedicure tubs and tools? I know I do, of course I'm in this business so it's more than a massage and painted toe nails.
I can honestly say that I have never been to one of the walk in type pedicure salons. I have been a professional esthetician for so long that I have always supported my fellow estheticians. For the longest time I would argue that these salon's are nasty without any personal experience. Well, I finally decided to go to several around my town to have the walk in salon experience so I would have a better argument behind me as to why you should go to professional estheticians. I learned quite a bit..
If you happen to live in the South Davis County(Utah) area I am more than happy to give you the name of the salon's privately.
My first stop was at one of the most popular pedicure/nail salon's in Bountiful. It is always busy. It is a packed house! Now, I should say that for those of you that don't know me I have no problem speaking my mind about things but at the same time I do not like attention on me. This will explain why I didn't speak up at times that I should have... When you walk into the salon right away you can the dirty, not quite clean atmosphere.. The pedicure started out just fine.. When my pedicurist got to the part where she uses the pumice stone to scrub away my dry skin it was complete filthy from the person before me! I could see the grime on it. Now, remember I don't like attention on me.. I closed my eyes, put my head back and when it was over went home and bleached my feet. Literally. I wish I would have said something looking back. It was revolting.
Second place is inside Walmart in Centerville. I made appointments for myself and my two daughters for the exact same pedicure the only exception was my oldest daughter was to get a manicure as well since it was her birthday. We all waited for 30-45 minutes to get started. They then took one of my daughters- The Birthday Girl and got to work on her. They came back to get my other daughter and myself and sat us down several seats away from her, so much for a group pedicure.. All started out fine. Pedicure tools came out of sterilized bags(good sign? hmmmm..).. All of a sudden my daughter yelps and bursts into tears.. The girl was using the cuticle pusher pushed a bit too aggressively.. Thankfully my daughter survived the attack on the cuticles.. Within 20 minutes myself and my youngest were done- keep in mind they took my oldest daughter 15 minutes before us. By the time we were done with ours they had yet to start on her manicure. Remember the sterilized bags that the tools were in? While we were waiting I watch one of the employee's rinse the tools off, dry them and then place them in the bag! I died! Remember the rushed pedicures? Well, our two nail techs had to hurry up to start on my daughters manicure.. Once we were all done and out of the salon my daughter told me that her nail tech was sexually explicit with her conversation during her service! WTF?? Not proper conversation to have with a client let alone a teenage client! Needless to say, we haven't gone back.
Third stop is the nail salon by Smiths Marketplace. I made my appointment for myself and my two daughters again. This place looks and feels clean. Our pedicures started on time, however there was only one nail tech. She was going back and forth doing our service. I was not able to see if the tools were properly cleaned from previous clients but watching her clean out the tubs for us is a clue as to how clean the tools are. She emptied the dirty water from previous clients, sprayed the tubs with who knows what and rinsed the tub out and then filled up our water. This is not how it should be done to get the tub sanitary. My daughter has gone back to this nail salon without me and the nail tech always asks her to go get cash to pay her even though they are able to run debit cards- inconveniencing your client for what ever reason is pretty lame.. Now, I do understand that these women are probably not paid a fair wage but asking your clients to go get another form of payment when you accept a variety of payments is poor customer service.
Fourth place is in Salt Lake. Once again I was with my two girls. They started us on time, rinsed the tubs out without a proper cleansing and were talking so much amongst themselves that it was very hard to have a conversation amongst ourselves. At one point one of the girls tells my youngest daughter that she shouldn't have pedicures because her feet were ticklish. Hmmm, ok... We are more than happy to go someplace else where ticklish feet are accepted. This same girl, after her and her co-workers were talking so much says to us "we aren't talking about you!!" Uh... didn't think you were but we do now! Now, I am paying attention to everything they are doing because I am going to these salon's for a purpose. As I watch her paint my toenails she skips the top coat. When I asked her if she could please put one one she starts to argue with me and all heads in the salon turn towards me... UGH! Attention on me... Never mind, I'll just do it myself when I get home.
Fifth place is in Salt Lake City and a friend referred me. It's in a converted house, feels clean and in the back of the salon you can see the back room where they keep their backbar and tools. You can also see them scrub the tools properly for the next client. They have been awarded "Best of the Beehive" three years in a row and for good reason. Their prices are about $5 more for the basic pedicure and their concept is "..not sacrificing cleanliness or ambience in order to enjoy a competitively priced pedicure...". I made an appointment for my two sister's, our mother and myself. They got started on our pedicures immediately as well as finished them at the same time. We all received the exact same pedicure. They new when to be quiet and let us have our conversation without jumping in and being a part of the conversation or having conversation with each other. One other thing-- they give you your disposable tools, when you reschedule your appointment and bring back your disposables they take $2 off your service. They drain the water from the tub, rinse it and spray a barbacide during your service. This process did not bother me or take away from our service as they were doing it during times that a product needed to sit for a minute. And I would much rather them clean the tubs properly than not. I've been back several time since, with my girls, with friends, by myself.. And unless you have a special request all the pedicures have been the same pedicure and this is a good thing. Consistent service is a proper service. I keep thinking of a negative and can't seem to find one. I love this place. It's Nailed Boutique...
All of these places except Nailed Boutique did not properly clean their tools or tub. I mean, I have fungus free feet but I don't know if the person before me does.. Disinfect properly, people! Just a simple rinse off and they just rinsed the tools as well. Tools should be scrub with an anti-bacterial soap, placed in a disinfectant solution for the proper amount of time. The tubs should be rinsed thoroughly and spray enough of the disinfectant solution so it stays wet for the proper amount of time according to directions. If you notice that your nail tech's are not doing this there is a chance of infections. Talking amongst themselves is unprofessional as it takes away from the client's service. When you pay for a service that is your time! Not the employee's time to carry on..
I'm a big fan of employee's giving the exact same service. Every spa that I have worked at trained you on giving the exact same facials, pedicures, ect. Of course at times there are exceptions but employees should be doing the exact same thing, follow the same steps. One pedicure that is 20 minutes while another nail tech gives a 35 minute pedicure is unacceptable. One of the reasons that you want your employee's to give the same service is if they refer someone- that referral will get exactly what she expects. As well as if you have a double pedicure one isn't getting a mediocre service while another is getting the bomb.com service.
Starting the service promptly.. Now.. We all run late at times. But not because we scheduled someone else in your time slot(ok.. that has happened as well.. But it's an over site not the norm!) That is unprofessional for a service provider to do.
I'm sure there are extremely nasty spa's. But they are the exception to the rule. And every business can improve their customer service skills but there are major benefits paying a bit more for your pedicure. The end result might be the same- your toes groomed, feet massaged and toes painted.. But what is learking around that you can't see? Personally, I would rather pay more for my pedicures and keep my toes free from fungus!
I am going to add a link to what is going down in New York City regarding nail salon's. If it's happening in NY I imagine it is happening in Utah.. Be careful what businesses we support. You could possibly be supporting a business owner that is paying little to nothing to his employees.. #themoreyouknow