Feet often get neglected, especially in the winter months when thick socks, closed in shoes and tights are a necessity. Long days of constantly covered feet means that, by the time the warmer weather arrives, your feet look like they could easily feature in the next ‘Shrek’ movie.
When it comes to beauty and grooming many of us forget about our feet. Why is that? Is it the distance between brain and foot… ‘out of sight, out of mind’? Like the planet Pluto at the end of our solar system, our feet often miss out on the admiration given to closer, orbiting appendages like eyelashes, fingernails and the hair on our head.
For me, there is nothing better than a good, salon pedicure. The soaking… the scrubbing… the massage… aahh… it’s heaven. BUT (there’s always a ‘but’), there is more to a pedicure than just relaxation and pretty painted nails.
Technical aspects such as cutting and shaping the toe nail correctly, dealing with dry, cracked heals and trimming back long and messy cuticles are something best left to a skilled professional; however finding a good salon can be difficult when you are not sure what to look for. So Here Are 5 Things To Help You Find Your Foot Nirvana…
Top of my list is price… and not because I want a bargin. In fact, in regards to pedicures, this is one time you probably don’t want to find the cheapest in town. A good, professional pedicure involves time and skill. A basic pedicure will take around 30 minutes with soaking, cutting and shaping nails, scrub and massage. Add extra time if you need your cuticles trimmed and any calluses worked on (some salons offer blading which is great for thickened heals) or if you want a paraffin treatment for super skin hydration… in all up to 1 hour. Expect to pay a minimum of around $50.00 for a basic pedicure. Any less than that would make me question who is doing my treatment and what is being used.
Cleanliness of Salon
Secondly, have a good look at the salon if possible. A super busy or chaotic atmosphere would also have me questioning their level of sanitation as it takes time to clean and disinfect tools and spa chairs between clients. Check around to see if the pedicure chairs look clean, towels look fresh, nail polish bottles (which are often on display) look well maintained… just a general look around can give you a good impression of the hygiene levels.
This is important so listen up… Fungus and other bacterias love moist, confined environments and are not easyly killed with just a wipe of cleaning spray.
Pedicure spa chairs (those big comfy ones that have a mini spa tub for you to soak your feet in) are a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria. If the staff do not thoroughly clean the tub and run antiseptic/anti fungal solution through the tubs pipes for about 10 minutes between each client… Then there is a high risk you will go home with more than you bargained for. It’s not good enough for just the tub itself to be sprayed and wiped… The internal pipes that run the water in and out of the tub also need to be disinfected.
Plus the various utensils such as cuticle clippers, cuticle pushers and nail files should be sterilized if made from stainless steel or completely disposable if made from anything else. Don’t be afraid to ask a salon about their hygiene practices… It’s your right to know.
The gel polish craze is still in full swing and while this product delivers on its promises of long wearing, chip resistant, instantly dry, glossy finish… It’s the ‘no damage’ removal that is actually in question. In most cases, these gel polishes do cause some damage to the nails. Firstly, the mear fact that they need to be soaked off in pure acetone for a minimum of 10 minutes then scraped off the nail is enough warning that your nails may need rehab after removal of this product. Nails are often left dry and thin and can take weeks to recover. I myself have returned to using normal nail polish on my toes for this very fact and can vouch that when applied correctly and with good quality (not old and gluggy) polish, your old fashioned ‘nail enamel’ is still a winning choice.
Last but certainly not least is your ‘Nail Technician’. Your fully trained and qualified nail expert, proudly displaying their certification on the salon wall. If you don’t see it… Run! You think I’m being dramatic?
Toe nails that are cut incorrectly can lead to painful ingrown toenails and cuticles butchered by untrained nail techs can lead to infection and a costly trip to your doctor. Why would you chance it. I’m sure you wouldn’t go to an untrained doctor or dentist (who, by-the-way, always display their qualifications on the wall). Go ahead and check credentials… Your feet work really hard… They deserve the best!