I came across an article in the New York Daily News this morning about a group of workers who are suing their boss for unfair wages, unpaid overtime, and poor working conditions. Which got me thinking about my own relationship with nail salons. In my 20’s I’d see the nail salon for a weekly dose of pampering, with extra attention paid to my feet, since I danced barefoot nearly every day as a professional African and Haitian dancer. But as I got older, I got busier, and the trips to the nail salon got a little less frequent. And with all the news of filthy salon tubs and dirty tools, I walked past many a nail shop, staring in with a bit of trepidation*.  I would much rather perform a thorough, non-rushed  pedicure in the comfort of my own home, where I have all my favorite products, clean sterile tools, and all the time I need.
But I still will, on occasion, go to a nail salon, and I’ve learned that it’s not always best to find the $20 special, because it may come at a price to the workers. Here are some things that I look out for to hopefully make sure that the salon is treating it’s employees right:
• Are the employees in a generally good mood?
• Do they engage with their boss, and shoot the breeze sometimes?
• Do the employees and the boss do chores together?
• Does your tech engage with you besides requesting your preferences?
These little things tell a whole lot about the type of employee in the shop, and if they are being treated fairly. Ladies, we all like a deal, but sometimes that $20 special is just not worth it. You never know what kind of organization or poor work practices you may be funding. Use your dollars wisely, and do business with reputable salons that not only offer you a deal, great service, but a solid and honest work environment for your nail technician.
*Thanks, Gregg Leakes