Picture This: You walk into your dentist, you are asked to take a seat, you noticed a tray of implements ready to use, but they are clearly all sticky and slimy from the previous patient—not the pristine, sterilized set you are used to, fresh from the autoclave! What do you do?
Although there are similarities between nail world and the dental world—but that’s a different story altogether—don’t worry; I just wanted to get your attention. I think you all would agree that this is highly unacceptable, so why should your clients put up with a similar poor level of hygiene from their local salon or spa?
Now, I am not for one minute saying that all salons are like this, but there are some out there that leave a little to be desired when it comes to sanitation—and you know who these are… This could be due to lack of time, poor understanding of hygiene or even laziness, what ever the case or excuse—it is not acceptable!
Customers are increasingly concerned about contracting communicable diseases from salon environments—they need reassurance and they need it now! In a world where many of your competitors compete on price alone, having the best standards of hygiene creates a massive point of difference. If your regular customers do wander off like lost sheep into the wrong salon, the way they are treated and the hygienic standards will soon have them running back to you before you can say E. Coli or Botulism!
So, what can you do to ensure that you treat every client as an individual and give him or her a safe, hygienic service that they expect from you? Here are a few pointers you might like to implement (pardon the pun).
- Always sanitize both your hands and the clients’ hands/feet before a treatment. Use a non-drying formulation.
- Keep the salon clean, tidy and dust-free wipe down workstations, chairs and floors between clients with a suitable detergent.
- All metal tools/implements should be sterilized in an autoclave.
- Non-disposable nail implements should be rinsed with detergent and wiped or sprayed with an alcohol solution (sterilizer spray).
- Use a specific set of tools/implements for each client—let them take the nail file and birchwood stick home. The cost is minimal and the customer will be be getting an added value!
- All chemicals should be clearly marked and stored correctly according to the manufacture’s guidelines.
You must up your game when sterilization and sanitation is concerned. New guidelines will be enforced in the future—be ahead of the game not behind it.
For example, sterilization pouches are being used by many salon/spa as a way to meet the new vigorous sanitation standards. The sterilization pouches can be purchased in boxes of 200 at a nominal cost. This easy two-step procedure cost less than 10 cents per customer and sets your sanitation levels over and above every other salon and spa. Using these pouches is very simple just follow the steps below:
- Place the new birchwood stick, scrub brush and file into the pouch for each customer and seal the pouch. The items from this pouch should be given to each customer at no extra charge every single time they come to visit the salon or spa.
- Sanitize all metal implements with a liquid sanitizer and dry. Then place into an empty pouch and seal. Open the pouch in front of the client so the client sees the implements were sanitized.
Realize the added value that these small changes can bring.
You will stand out from the crowd, enabling you to be different from your competitor down the road. Remember, given the choice, a customer will always choose the nice, clean salon where they feel they are being looked after properly.
Oh, and don’t forget to look after your self too! Wash your hands regularly throughout the day with a conditioning anti-bacterial product and thoroughly dry them before the next treatment.
Remember: A clean, safe salon will encourage your clients to come back for more, resulting in a busier, more profitable salon that is a genuinely pleasant environment to be in. Don’t forget the old saying: “An unhappy customer will tell everyone; a happy customer will tell those who matter”.
Hygiene makes sense for the survival of your customer and the survival of your business.