Monday, July 16, 2012

Is YOUR Shop "NSS"?

"NSS" is the politically-correct way to say "Chop Shop". It stands for "Non-Standard Salon". If you do some research, you'll find all sorts of information about why you should steer clear of these places.

My friend, Erin, originally posted a much longer version of this. I have borrowed this section with permission, and added my own notes in regards to Oregon's Rules & Regs, and the way *I* do business:

If you patronize a Shop that's dirty just because it's cheap and you like a great deal and love to save money, you're helping to keep dirty Shops in business. If you go to one of these places and get cut or get an infection and go back, you're making it okay to get cut or get an infection. If you continue to give these places money, you help a less than stellar business grow: It's that simple.

So, I'll break it down and make it super easy for you - call it me lookin' out for you: Here are some obvious, or not-so-obvious Signs that the Shop you're in might not have YOUR best Interests in mind:

Some things you might want to keep in mind for consideration while getting a Service are:

*Does the Shop clean their spa chairs thoroughly and deeply after each client with a disinfectant spray/cleaning tools (And, more importantly, do they let that "spray" circulate in the tub for 10 minutes)?

*Do you know if your Salon cleans and changes the filters on its spa chairs regularly?

*Do the techs take your tools out of a clean-looking disinfectant solution or autoclave/sterilizer before your service, or do they just pull random tools out of their jackets or drawers for use on you?

*Is your nail table dusty or dirty?

*Are they using clean towels for your service or are you putting your feet/hands on a (slightly) damp or dirty towel?

*Is the floor clean?

*Are your files and buffers brand-new or used (You can tell if they're used by the presence of a white "film")?

*Is your acrylic e-file sander bit new or "dusty"?

*Do your toe separators look new, or are they "curled" and worn?

*Does your tech wash his/her hands before and after every Service?

*Are the Salon's and tech's professional Licenses clearly and distinctively displayed?

*Does your tech eat during your Service or touch his/her face (nose, mouth, etc.)?

Simple things, but no amount of money is worth putting your health and safety at risk:

Good Nails Aren't Cheap. Cheap Nails Aren't Good.

A few things to note --
(1) Oregon approves use of disinfectable files & buffers if, AND ONLY IF, they are (a) labeled as such on the file/buffer itself, and (b) properly sanitized & disinfected according to state regulations.
(2) Oregon does not allow reuse of anything not labeled as sanitizible & disinfectible, including but not limited to: files & buffers not labeled as such, orangewood sticks, toe separators, etc.
(3) My own studio doesn't have the space for a fancy pedi chair... I use a dishwashing tub (that I S&D between every use, of course). Many of my clients have mentioned that they like that I use the tub, and not once have I had any complaints about it.
(4) My tile top is cleaned with a natural cleaner spray in between every client and my floor is swept between every client. (FTR - This is why I schedule 15m between clients.)
(5) My disinfectant solutions are mixed per instructions, and changed out, at minimum, once a week (more if needed; solutions shouldn't be cloudy or debris-filled).
(6) My floor is cleaned with a towel & cleaning spray at least once a week.
(7) I use clean towels with every client (and with gel polish services, you also get use of a SOFT LANDINGS table towel).
(8) I wash my own hands, & use sanitizer, before every client... and expect you to do so as well.
(9) My state certifications (Oregon doesn't have "licensing"; we get "certification"), price list, rules of my studio, and all my class certificates (five from CND, one from OPI -- so far) are all on display. Ask me anything. Seriously.
(10) Please, please, PLEASE!!! stop patronizing these shops. There's a reason they're "cheap". I will admit, compared to these places, I am "expensive", but I'm also well-educated. I do this because I love it, not to screw you for a buck. These places don't give a rat's @$$ about you, and will nickel-and-dime you every time.

Two more links for you:
What To Look For In A GOOD Nail Spa
Oregon Cosmetology Board


  1. This is such good info to share. Some people don't even know what should and should not be done. I am one of them. Even though I do my own nails I still need to know this info in case I ever do get a mani or pedi. Thanks for sharing.
    PS: Where in Oregon is your salon?

    1. Thanks, Nicole! I'm in SW Portland, in the GOOSE HOLLOW neighborhood.