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Getting Nailed: The Big Dangers of Getting Your Nails Done

Walking through the local Westfield shopping centre recently, got me thinking about the proliferation of shops with little attractive Asian ladies, soaking, filing, scraping, pumicing, shaping, painting.

Nail Bars. A mushrooming industry in recent years, and they must be making inroads into the more upmarket and expensive beauty salons.

It appears that this industry is largely unregulated, and even though RTO’s are available in this country who run Cert 11, and Cert 111 in Nail Technology and Beauty Therapy, it seems that few of these cut-price shops employ accredited technicians.

There can be a hidden cost to nail beauty. Industry spokespeople state that we should beware of cheap salons with low paid, poorly trained ” technicians ” and questionable safety practices.

Choice Magazine, and The Australian Professional Fingernail Association have expressed concern about the lack of regulation of nail salons.

There are very real dangers to having your nails done by untrained personnel.

The APFA receive about 15 complaints per month about nail salon hygiene and quality. A spokeswoman said you should check if the nail technician is fully qualified with Cert 1 or 2 from a registered institution.

The salon should clean each implement between customers and preferably sterilized with an autoclave.

The risk from poor hygiene practices and dirty implements can range from fungal and bacterial infections to Hepatitis C.

Another very real hazard is from nail bars using cheap imported products containing MMA. This is a substance banned in the US, Canada and New Zealand, but still may be used here in nail bars instead of the safer but more expensive EMA.

If things go wrong after a nail treatment you have little legal recourse. It is very much a buyer beware scenario.

So, the only safeguards you can take:

  • If it seems too cheap, you should probably go to a more reliable salon.
  • Ask for documentation that the technician is trained.
  • If it does not appear clean, walk out.
  • Do not let them use any product from unmarked or unlabelled containers ( ask if they use MMA )

Does the salon carry professional indemnity insurance?