First, I want to say that I am not going to put the salon or the nail tech specifically on blast in this blog post. This isn’t a drama blog! I just want to share my first experience back to the nail salon in case any of you are nervous about doing the same.
I booked my usual gel manicure and regular pedicure. When I arrived, the salon was almost completely empty with customers which I actually appreciated! The manager of the salon was scrubbing the whole place down top to bottom; it was really nice to see. Every nail tech wore masks but only some wore gloves.
My pedicure nail tech wore both his mask and gloves. He did a great job painting my toes and massaging my legs (my favorite part); business as usual! He even suggested I get my fingernails prepped for my gel manicure at the same time in order to get in and out if there quickly. As I went on my lunch break, I loved the idea! My only issue with my pedi was that he applied too thick of a coat on my big toes so only hours after coming home, my nails smudged; such a bummer!
The nail tech working on my fingernails wore a mask but not gloves. He was very nice and asked all of the usual questions: what shape, what color, what length? I answered all three and off he went removing polish and buffing my nails.
As I was sitting in the pedicure massage chair waiting to move from my toes to my hands, I looked across the room and saw my fingernail tech blow his nose. No biggie, everyone’s nose runs! But, he didn’t wash his hands after he blew his nose. I gave him the benefit of the doubt thinking he would certainly wash them once I came over. Nope!
I was escorted to my new seat - where I would be getting my gel manicure - and I waited a moment to give the tech my hands. I stopped and said, “Excuse me, can you please wash your hands?“ He looked at me a little funny. So, I stated, “I saw you blow your nose. Can you please wash your hands?” His was response was, “Oh...yeah.”
I totally get that it may be a force of habit in your own home not to wash your hands immediately after blowing your nose, but at work...when everyone is on high-alert regarding COVID-19...I was appalled.
My gel manicure did end up chipping one day (!!) after I got it done which was both surprising and incredibly disappointing. The only good thing about that was the manager let me redeem a birthday coupon (from March) since we were on lock-down when I received it. So, I didn't pay full-price for messed up toes or my wonky nails.
My biggest take-away is that the salon experience won’t be what it was only four months ago. Make sure you speak up if you are uncomfortable with how your services are being handled. I am positive the man who did my fingernails meant no harm to me in his choice to not wash his hands right away. But, I also would have been happy to walk right out of he refused to do so after I asked.
I will go back to the nail salon again! Maybe not the same one, truthfully, but I think I am emotionally ready to venture out more often.
Have you been back to the nail salon yet? If you're in Chicago, where did you have a positive experience back? Let me know!