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Which Nail Shop?

Which_Nail_Shop_0Basic nail care is an important part of maintaining your general appearance, and fortunately it's not an overly difficult task. Fifteen or twenty minutes a week with nail file, emery board, and fingernail polish should be enough to keep your fingernails healthy, but it's also recommended that you see a professional manicurist every four to six weeks to keep you on track. The problem is, you can't afford to trust your nails to just anyone -- so how do you pick the right nail shop for you? After all, you don't want to end up with sore cuticles, badly-shaped nails, or worse -- a nasty infection from someone who doesn't take proper care of their tools.

While such a decision can derive partly from your personal tastes, there are other factors that should inform your selection. For example, selecting a nail shop to try out in the first place can be a hassle. If you're in a hurry, you can pick someone nearby out of the telephone book, then go and check them out. Otherwise, ask around among your friends and co-workers; they might be able to point you in the direction you're interested in. If the shop they suggest seems acceptable, then you need to start doing your homework. Yes, homework -- it's either that or risk the ends of your fingers rotting off. Your choice.

First of all, examine the shop itself. A business that deals with anything related to nail health should be well-lit and gleaming with cleanliness. Hygiene is overwhelmingly important in this business: that can't be stressed too often. Now, your chosen manicurist may work in a full-service beauty shop or in a one-purpose nail salon, but just be sure that the shop and her tools are nice and shiny. Don't be afraid to watch the manicurist work for a while; after all, you're basically interviewing her for a job. (We'll use the feminine pronoun, since 98% of all manicurists are women). Watch how she handles her tools. If you have to, ask how her tools are cleaned. All metal tools should be immersed in disinfectant immediately after use, and tools like emery boards and buffing blocks should be brand new for each and every client. Pedicure foot baths should be cleaned for each client. Also, be sure that each client gets a clear, new towel, whether for a pedicure or manicure. The reason for all this cleanliness to-do is because you want to avoid infection of any kind. Basic nail bed infections are bad enough, but fungal infections can be worse. Fungal infections of the nails are damnably difficult to get rid of, and they tend to come back even when you think you've beaten them. A shop that spreads infections like these will soon go out of business, and for good reason. Nail fungus (a.k.a. onychomycosis) is a nasty business that can lead to discolored and deformed nails, and it can even cause you to lose your nails.

Most good nail salons will also have a wide variety of nail colorings available, from basic lacquer to opalescent coatings. Check out their selection with a critical eye. This criterion is less important than most; in all fairness, you shouldn't dismiss a particular nail shop just because they don't have enough different nail polishes, at least if they're superior in all other ways. After all, you can bring in your own polishes if you need to.

As for the manicurist herself, she has to be legal, and that means she needs a license. A license not only indicates that she's been through serious training and knows how to handle your nails professionally, but that your state has recognized her competence at the trade. Her license should be posted prominently near her nail station. As she's preparing to get to work, be sure she knows how long you want your nails, and how you want them shaped; she needs to ask you whether you like them rounded, oval, or squared off. Watch closely as she works, and make sure she doesn't file your nails down one the sides -- that's just asking for splits or breaks, because you're weakening the nail.

A word, now, about cuticles, those bits of skin that grow down onto your nails. Some manicurists prefer to remove them altogether, but that's not a good idea; your cuticles, like most parts of your body, have a purpose, even if you can't immediately discern it. Cuticles help protect the nail bed (the "quick") from infection. It's not even a good idea to trim them, since they can grow back raggedly and tear in the process -- another invitation to infection. At most, your manicurist should soak them in cuticle softening oil and them push them gently back with an orangewood stick. Make sure she knows that cuticle removal is strictly a no-no, or you may find yourself suddenly cuticleless.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you are a business owner get listed at Best Personal Care Site, part of Localwin Network.
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