1-Are they currently a Licensed Nail Technician Professional? Most nail techs will display their license in the salon. If you can’t see it, ask. They should be more than happy to show it to you. Why is this important? This means that they went to school, passed state board requirements, have been approved as knowledgeable enough to safely work with the chemicals used in the nail industry, and are up to date legally.
2- Are they currently registered as a business for the state and city they are working in? Why is this important? You don’t want to support someone who works under the table. Think about it: why would a business owner not go though the proper channels to get a local business license? A business license gives approval to offer services to the community and ensures the business pays city taxes on profits–those taxes go back into the community. Also, a Fire Department approval is a part of the process. The Salon should have a fire extinguisher and emergency exits that are clearly marked.
3-Do they have good reviews and customer satisfaction ratings online? Why is this important? If busy people have taken the time to post a review, take advantage of what they have to say. If it’s a bad review, look at their concerns. If it’s a good review, look at why. 5 stars or a stream of continuous positive feedback can be a good indicator you too will have a good experience.
4-Do you like what you see in their portfolio? Why is this important? The art you see here demonstrates a tech’s technique, skill, creativity, and understanding of current trends. It’s a quick way to check out what they have to offer, and you might just see something cool and new you’ve never seen before.
5-Do you know what you want? Are you looking for acrylic nails that are sculpted, do you like traditional French tips, are you a store-front only person, or do you like the personal interaction of an in-home salon? How far are you willing to drive to your salon?Does the salon offer in-home or mobile services? Do they speak a specific language that you enjoy speaking? What days are those salons open, what are their hours, do they allow children, etc.? Why is this important? The more you know what you want, the better the salon can answer questions and help you find a perfect fit. Also, it’s important to inform the salon of any allergies or medical conditions, including pregnancy, even if you don’t think it’s a big deal. This will help them customize treatments and services to you.
6- What is your budget? Why is this important? You don’t want to set yourself up for embarrassment or sticker shock because you didn’t take the time to check the prices of their services. Most salons will have a Services Menu posted on their wall, as a brochure, or on their website. Don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t see one. Also, find out early what forms of payment they accept–cash, checks, or credit cards.
7-Do they use professional nail tools with a high level of sanitation? Why is this important? You need to protect yourself from infection and disease. Sanitation is critical to your health and too many techs and salons take short cuts in this area to save time or money.bTools should be washed with soap under warm water, soaked for 10 min in a hospital-grade solution, then dried immediately. Some techs go the extra mile with 8 min of UV light sterilization. Products should have original labels from top industry name brands. These include CND-Creative Nail Design, OPI, HEMPZ, China Glaze, SPA, GIGI, ProLin, Salt Of the Earth, Prossage, MRX, and Beauty Secrets, just to name a few. Pedicure basins should be obviously clean, and files should be brand-new for each customer.
8- Is the nail tech committed to continued education and experience? Why is this important? They reflect commitment, passion, and quality. Most training schools will offer low prices because they are not experienced. However, someone who is experienced knows what they are doing, is already trained, and will charge what they are worth. The world of nails is constantly being re-created with new techniques, products, and services. You want someone who not only stays on top of the wave of change, but can surf it with continued education.
9-Does the nail tech have social and interpersonal skills that mesh well with your personality? Why is this important? For some, this aspect of finding a nail tech may be critical while for others, it’s not as vital. Are they friendly, warm, and welcoming? Do they make you feel like a VIP guest? Do they offer suggestions for your skin and nails, home care, and color choice? Do they listen to you? Did they provide the service you scheduled? Did they answer questions you had? Were you able to book your appointment in a reasonable amount of time? Did they go above and beyond in any way to ensure your experience was exceptional? Did they work outside of regular hours to accommodate you?
10-What other services or products are you looking for? Why is this important? We’re all looking for that one-stop-shop to take care of all our beauty needs. Is your nail tech located in a full-service salon? If not, do they have recommendations for trusted beauty professionals in the area? Does the salon offer a boutique on site? If so, what items are offered? What amenities are offered: bottled water, snacks, a cooloing or heating pack? Do the restrooms offer feminine hygiene products, cramp packs, etc.? Do they have a loyalty program offering free services or discounts? What specials or promotions do they have going on?
Once you answer the questions above and narrow down your choices, try one out. Take a pen and a paper with you and write down what you like, what could have been better, and what exceeded your expectations. I am sure using the above recommendations you will find a nail tech who is right for you.