Beauty Features

Happy Hands

Organic nail salons are more than just a trend. Being conscious of what goes in and on our bodies is important to our health, and salons are taking note. One that takes customers’ well-being to heart (like Tints Nail Salon in Ladue) will offer five-free polishes, LED-only lights and industry-leading hygiene practices. Whatever salon you choose, here are five things to keep in mind before letting the paint dry!

just say no (to acrylics)
Your nails may look perfectly shaped and polished, but getting acrylic nails is a guaranteed way to fast track your natural nails to poor health. Acrylics contain resins and formaldehyde (yes, the same chemical they use to preserve dead bodies) and can be harmful to your health if inhaled in poorly ventilated salons. Not to mention, acrylics are
stiff and don’t allow for your natural nail to bend; nails should have flexibility. The stiffness of acrylics can cause onycholysis, separation of the natural nail from the nail bed. They may not last as long, but non-acrylic manicures will add longevity to your overall nail health.

it’s in the air
It’s no coincidence that a lot of nail salons smell like mini chemical factories. Salons are filled with chemicals, from bottles of acetone and adhesives to the actual nail polish. After an exposé was written in The New York Times about nail salons and their poor working conditions, the state implemented new laws that made sure every salon was properly ventilated. While there are still more changes to be made on a national level, some salons in St. Louis are making healthy strides. When you go to your next appointment, make sure there is proper ventilation. You’ll know from the lack of chemical odors.

Whether you’re getting your nails done at a salon or painting them at home, using five-free nail polish is essential. It’s all about what’s not in the bottle. Carcinogens like camphor, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene and formaldehyde resin are found in a lot of nail polishes. If your go-to salon doesn’t use a brand of five-free nail polish,
bring your own. It’s well worth it—beauty should never mean sacrificing your health. Check out five-free brands like Julep, RGB, Deborah Lippmann, K.Ferrara Color, Zoya and Cote for a wide range of safe colors and textures.

leading with LED
I’ll admit gel manicures are my guilty pleasure. And for many women, once you start, it’s really hard to stop. While a ‘healthy’ gel manicure may not exist, make sure the salon uses LED lights and not UV rays to set the gel. Just like a tanning bed or the sun, UV lights are hitting your skin and can increase your risk for cancer, among other not-so-pretty health issues.

natural nails
A great way to decipher a salon’s commitment to providing quality services is noticing what they don’t offer. It’s a safe bet that if a salon has removed acrylics from their services, they’re not playing around. Most likely, they’ve also gotten rid of other potentially harmful or risky products and treatments to make clients’ health a top priority.