Discount Salons??

I personally believe in professionalism and do not make a practice of bashing my competition but I do feel it is in the public's best interest to address the issue of discount salons. My decision to publish this section on my web site is my opinion and is based on clients that have come to me for help after experiencing damaging and dangerous practices at a discount salon. I have seen the damage, and need to express to the consumer how absolutely unprofessional and needless this is. I will not publish the locations of the salons but have to lump all discount salons into one category. I would like to believe that there are discount salon owners with morals that have the clients' interests at heart.

Over the last ten years, the Fox Valley area has seen the influx of a dangerous breed of nail salon. The average consumer often does not realize the dangers until after the damage is done. There are many concerns that affect the public's health and safety. Here are several concerns to be aware of:


All implements, manicure and pedicure bowls, and work surfaces MUST be sanitized. Clean towels should be used on each customer. Each employee and client should wash their hands prior to each service. This means a file, cuticle pusher or drill bit should NEVER be used from client to client. Cosmetic brushes should not be used to remove filing dust. Pedicure chair's basins need to be cleaned between each customer and filters cleaned and recorded on a chart which should be available for inspection. All implements, work surfaces, pedicure baths MUST be cleaned with a FDA hospital grade disinfectant.


Many discount salons use an electric filing system also known as a drill. Some technicians can use a drill safely but often this tool becomes a very dangerous implement. Drills can cause permanent damage to the nail plate. The damage often occurs when the technician files through the acrylic, gel or enhancement material and drives the drill bit into the client's nail plate.

If your technician is using a drill, here are a couple of danger signs.


There is no easy way to say this. It may be politically incorrect but "Speak English". The number one complaint from customers that have been to a discount salon is that they can't communicate properly.

Product Quality

In the nail industry, you get what you pay for!! In order for discount salons to give you that great deal they have to cut corners somewhere. A very good example is many years ago most "Discount Salons" used a product known as MMA to do nail enhancements. This product is very dangerous and was being used on customers without their knowledge. The reason discount salons used this product was to save money. At that time, the cost of a gallon of MMA was estimated at $15.00, compared to EMA ( the product that the nail industry deems safe) which costs $250.00 a gallon. Most states now have laws prohibiting salons from using MMA, but in the state of Illinois, nail salons are rarely inspected. I am told the only time a nail salon is inspected is if a complaint is placed against it.


New nail products are being developed everyday. Continuing education is vital to using products correctly. The state of Illinois even requires a nail technician to do 10 hours of education to renew their Nail Technology license every 2 years. As a Continuing Education provider I can tell you I seldom have an employee from a discount salon attend.

If you are presently being serviced by a Discount Salon and if any of the points that I made above hit a nerve, please seriously consider not returning. After all, it is your health at risk.

Shari Finger
Finger's Nail Studios, Inc.
Founder of Nail University