How to choose the right ventilation system for your salon

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Nail technicians are exposed to potentially hazardous chemicals every day. The dust and vapors generated from products are close to the breathing zone of you and your clients and can cause a variety of long-term health problems. While they aren’t lethal, they can irritate the delicate membranes of the eyes, nose and lungs. “This irritation may cause a burning or itching sensation, which is a warning sign that you need to reduce your exposure to that particular product before any serious damage is done,” says Jeff Cardarella, president of Modern Solutions Incorporated. Proper ventilation can remove any potential inhalation hazard and help ensure safe air quality. Don’t assume that your salon is exempt from these needs—ventilation is vital if you do any kind of nail enhancement services. Even if you only perform manicures and pedicures or your salon smells fresh and clean, you still must take the necessary precautions to properly ventilate your space.

Air Purifying Myths

Nail salons present unique ventilation requirements. The most common misconception is that ventilation is necessary to control odors within the salon, when in fact ventilation should be used to control vapors and dust. Another common mistake is thinking that just because something smells unpleasant, it’s harmful to breathe. Cardarella explains, “Sometimes vapors are readily apparent because of a distinctive odor, but if you can’t smell anything, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any vapors present.” Doug Schoon, chief scientific officer of CND and author of Nail Structure and Product Chemistry (Second Edition), states, “Odor doesn’t determine the safety of a chemical. Smells are vapors stimulating special odor-detecting cells in the nose. Use proper ventilation, and odors will disappear with the vapors.”

Keep in mind that general heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems (HVACs) designed for offices, schools and other nonindustrial settings are inadequate for keeping potentially hazardous substances at “safe” amounts in the air—this type of ventilation dilutes contaminants in the air, but does not completely remove them.

Effective Ventilation

To adequately protect both nail technicians and clients, local exhaust ventilation should be installed. Local exhaust ventilation captures and removes contaminants at their source before they reach the air you breathe. It protects the breathing zone and is preferable to have as close as possible to the source of emissions to keep them vented to the outside of the salon. Local exhaust systems can also be mounted on the wall or ceiling. Some use flexible hoses that can be placed near the breathing zone to increase usefulness. Any such systems must be professionally designed and installed to ensure effectiveness.

Your best ventilation bet—and the only one that should be used in a salon environment—is a commercial-grade, high-quality unit that utilizes a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter and activated charcoal. HEPA filters are very useful for filtering out fine dust particles, which are often microscopic and continually circulate in the air. Cardarella says, “These particles may not be visible to the naked eye, but can easily enter your respiratory system.”

But while HEPA filters are great for dust particles, they do not capture vapor molecules, which are thousands of times smaller than the tiniest dust particle. This is where activated charcoal (also called activated carbon) comes into play. A special process creates an extremely porous and super-absorbent material that captures vapors in tiny crevices. These units usually have several blower speeds; a higher speed rushes by too quickly for the activated charcoal to do its job, so choose a slower speed for more efficient absorption. Schoon says, “I recommend that the unit have a four-inch-thick bed of activated charcoal, which weighs a bit more than five pounds.”
The combination of activated charcoal and HEPA filters is ideal. Activated charcoal can work with an outdoor venting system or a portable air cleaner. Also, a HEPA prefilter is essential because dust can clog up the activated charcoal bed or filter, making it useless.

Finally, watch out for air cleaners that claim to remove odors using “ozone air”—otherwise called “pure air,” “activated or energized oxygen” or “triatomic air.” They wrongly suggest that ozone is a healthy or safe form of oxygen. Even in tiny amounts, ozone is a hazardous air contaminant and should be avoided.

Step-by-Step

To ensure that your salon is properly ventilated, follow these steps:

1. Assess the dimensions of the salon

First and foremost, you should know the volume of air that needs to be ventilated. Choose a system that fully ventilates the amount of square footage you want covered, including ceiling height. “Large salons usually need more than one unit. Several units will outperform one larger unit,” says Schoon. Outdoor venting is the preferred system, but if there is no convenient outside access for ducts or vents, then you’ll have to consider other options.

Assess your salon by asking these questions: What is the square footage of your salon? Do you have easy access to its exterior through a wall, window or roof? Do you need the system to be portable or permanently mounted? How many stations does the salon need to ventilate?

2. Flooring

This is also an important consideration —monomer, acetone and other product vapors migrate to the floor. Schoon says, “Carpeting is not appropriate for salons. It can become a big source of indoor air pollution and oftentimes traps dust and debris, which can later be released into the air.” If carpet is your only option, it needs to be shampooed regularly to prevent debris accumulation; old, soiled carpet should be removed completely.

3. Customize

Choose the system that works best for your salon. If you have access to the outside, try a flexible-tube local exhaust system linked to an outdoor venting system. With this type of system, you can link several stations into one exhaust system, which is very cost effective, even for one table.

Another option is a ventilated nail table linked to an outdoor venting system. This is great for a salon that already has ventilated tables and can install ducts to the outside.

For portable ventilation solutions with no outside access, a flexible-tube local exhaust system vented through a HEPA filter with a three-to-four-inch-thick activated charcoal system works best. These systems are usually more costly than outdoor venting, but are most effective for a portable solution.

Or, you can use a nail table vented through a HEPA filter with a three-to-four-inch-thick activated charcoal filter system. This is perfect for a salon that has already invested in a ventilated nail table.

Another option is a commercial-grade, high quality HEPA filter/activated charcoal room air cleaner unit containing at least 18 pounds of activated charcoal. These are not as effective, but work well in conjunction with local exhaust systems. Used correctly, they will make a great improvement in air quality.

Installing an effective exhaust system with individual exhaust vents for each station is preferable. If possible, the exhaust should be vented outdoors in a manner that meets local building code requirements.

4. Maintain your system

Once you have selected your perfect system, don’t forget to maintain and clean it on a regular basis for it to run efficiently. A local HVAC specialist can ensure that your system is adequate for the space and keep it running properly.

An activated charcoal bed or filter should be replaced every three to four months with normal usage, depending on the thickness of the charcoal bed. “The thicker the bed, the longer you can go without changing it, but you shouldn’t go more than a year,” says Schoon. An activated charcoal bed is like a sponge—once it’s full, it cannot continue to absorb vapors. Also, completely saturated filters are a fire hazard since many of the absorbed vapors are flammable. Filters cannot be reused or cleaned.

5. Protect yourself as well as your spa pedicure chair

When filing or shaping nail enhancements, some technicians wear disposable masks to filter the air they breathe. Surgical masks help prevent the spread of germs, but not the inhalation of dust and vapors. Dust masks protect you from dust particles, but not against the inhalation of vapors. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) suggests wearing a dust mask with an N95 rating. This rating means it will block 95 percent of the tiniest dust particles that can be inhaled deeper into the lung. Also, wearing a mask with a one-way valve allows you to exhale easily, increases comfort and prevents moisture from accumulating and fogging eyewear.

6. Product use and storage

Keep nail products and dispenser bottles closed when they aren’t in use. NIOSH recommends using bottles with narrow throats and pump dispensers. Dappen dishes should be covered when not in use and should not have an opening greater than one inch. This will reduce evaporation and exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.

Do not use bulk containers when performing services. Instead, transfer products from large containers to smaller, properly labeled containers. Perform this task in a well-ventilated area, such as outside or near an open window or door and avoid skin contact.

Keep a metal trash can with a self-closing lid at every workstation to dispose of used wipes and paper towels as soon as possible. Believe it or not, the majority of odor in nail salons comes from the trash can.

Lastly, the tops of ventilated tables and other vents should be clear of any obstructions, including towels.

How to choose the right Pedicure Spa

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Pedicure is a cosmetic treatment that is given particularly to the feet and toenails. While a pedicure is generally given for cosmetic purposes, it can sometimes be administered for therapeutic purposes as well. A pedicure chair aids in the proper administering of the procedure to a client. If you run a spa or plan to run one in the future to offer pedicure to clients, you need to know how to choose the right spa pedicure chairs for your facility.

A good pedicure chair not only provides a pleasant experience for your clients during the procedure, but also aids you in administering the procedure correctly. Proper tools are always necessary for any kind of technician. Be it a doctor, an architect, a plumber, an electrician, or a beautician, the right tools are extremely important for the trade. Likewise, you need to have the right spa chair to take good care of your clients’ feet when they come for a pedicure treatment.

There are different types of pedicure chairs for spas. The most basic ones are ergonomic seats that come with a footrest. You can use a separate footbath bowl or tub to clean and bathe the clients’ feet. More advanced chairs come with an integrated footbath. Some of them also have water heating and auto filling features. These chairs fill the water in the bowl to the right level and heat the water, providing you more time to focus on other procedures, as the client gets ready for the pedicure.

The size and footprint of a pedicure chair is also an important factor that you need to consider. Especially when space is a constraint, you need to find chairs that have the appropriate dimensions to fit your room. Some pedicure chairs can be a little bulky, and you need to know in advance whether you have enough space to accommodate them or even bring them in through the doorway.

Spa pedicure chairs also come in a variety of shapes, colors and materials. It is important to choose your furniture to blend well with your spa’s décor. For instance, if you have predominantly wooden textures in your interiors, then you need to choose a chair that has wood textures on it. If your spa interiors are more trendy and futuristic, then fiberglass models with bright colors would suit them better.

Therefore, you need to know how to choose the right spa pedicure chairs that blend well with you décor, as well as provide you with the necessary assistance to give your clients a comfortable and refreshing pedicure experience.

Find the quality pedicure chairs so that the clients need

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  1. When most people go to a spa or salon, they want to be able to relax. The atmosphere is just as important as the equipment. Many salon chairs also can massage the customer
  2. From the endless styles and types of pedicure chair, selecting the right salon furniture and salon equipment can be an exciting process. Each service in a salon or spa will require a specific piece of SPA SALON Equipment to perform that particular job. When setting up your nail salon, one of the most difficult things to do is to find the quality When most people go to a spa or salon, they want to be able to relax. The atmosphere is just as important as the equipment. Many salon chairs also can massage the customer
  3. From the endless styles and types of pedicure chair that every pedicure environment deserves in shapes and silhouettes that reflect the very latest in fashion trends.
    When most people go to a spa or salon, they want to be able to relax. The atmosphere is just as important as the equipment. Many salon chairs also can massage the customer, or provide heated seats to soothe the legs, shoulders, and back while the pedicure is being performed. The chairs should not be noisy and they should run smoother and quieter.
  4. Before any kind of hair cut shampooing is very important. Shampoo chair is used for the purpose and it is perfect for all client and especially those with long hair. This is very comfortable for both the client and the operator. It is extremely durable and built to last for many years. Shampoo unit is also designed for client comfort with a tilt adjustable bowl and self-adjusting seat. As the units are among the most important pieces of equipment in a hair salon, it is often best to invest in a piece that will last.
  5. Depending on the nature of the salon, style can also be an important consideration. In most of the shops shampoo units, backwash units, shampoo chairs and shampoo bowls are provided at discounted wholesale prices and backed up with a three year factory guarantee. You can also order fully customized shampoo units to best suit your salon’s needs. The design of shampoo unit allows a person to recline comfortably while resting his or her head over the edge of the sink, so that a hairdresser can wash the client’s hair properly and perfectly.

Things to Consider When Purchasing a Pedicure Spa Chair

Things to Consider When Purchasing a Pedicure Spa Chair

In a market littered with pedicure spa manufacturers, now more than ever it is extremely important to do your homework prior to purchasing a pedicure spa. Adding or replacing pedicure spas can cost $1,500 or upwards of $100,000 depending on the number of locations and type of salon or spa. Any way you look at it, purchasing a pedicure spa is a large expense and several key items should be considered prior to making your decision.

#1.  Quality – The pedicure spa industry is not unlike every other industry, you get what you pay for. There is no substitute for a pedicure spa built in the United States utilizing major components from United States suppliers. Remember, when you buy on price, you buy twice.

#2.  Customer Service – Every company in every industry has problems.  Its how a company handles those problems that set them apart from all the others. Make sure you work with a U.S. based company that views customer service as an integral part of their business.

#3.  Warranty – All manufactures claim to warranty their spa salon products, but do they really?  After you read the “fine print” or “exclusions” you may find a warranty is not a warranty at all. One major manufacturer’s warranty reads:  (for parts under warranty) “the customer shall bear all charges incurred for the shipment to it of a replacement spa or components or parts.” Make sure to read all warranties prior to making a decision.

Things to Consider When Purchasing a Pedicure Spa Chair 1

#4.  Design – Do you really want plastic pedicure spas that look exactly like the pedicure spas in the salon down the street? Set yourself apart from the competition! Look for a pedicure spa with an original and unique design.

9 Pedicure Safety Tips for People With Diabetes

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Summertime is beach and sandal weather, and that means your feet and toes are more frequently on display. Professional pedicures can help your toes look their best and pamper your feet, but too often poor sanitation practices, shared tools, and overzealous nail technicians can result in Client only received the pump without the kit. Before you schedule a pedicure, check with your physician to make sure it’s okay to have one. Once you have the green light, do your feet a favor and learn what to look for — and what to avoid — at nail salons. Taking a few basic precautions can significantly reduce infection risks and lead to a safer, more pleasant experience.

Know when to postpone a pedicure. If you currently have any infections, cuts, or open sores on your legs, feet, or toenails, skip the salon since these will make you even more vulnerable to problems. Instead, contact your physician for a referral to a podiatrist or other professional who is medically trained to care for feet.

Avoid shaving your legs for a day or two before your pedicure. Shaving can leave tiny nicks in your skin (even if you can’t see them) and increase the chance of infection. It’s fine to shave afterward.

  1. Stick with a salon that is clean and practices impeccable sanitation. Tell the manager you have diabetes and ask about their sterilization procedures; reputable salons will be more than happy to show you how they operate. Foot baths should be cleaned and disinfected between customers. Clippers and other tools should be washed and sanitized in a disinfecting solution or a surgical autoclave, which uses pressurized steam to sterilize instruments.
  1. Better yet, invest in your own nail kit and bring it with you. Though it’s unlikely that you will get an infection from shared nail polish, play it safe and bring your own.
  2. Make a morning appointment. If you can, schedule your appointment early in the day, so that you are one of the first customers.
  3. Let your technician know you have diabetes before the pedicure, check with your physician to make sure it’s okay to have one. Once you have the green light, do your feet a favor and learn what to look for — and what to avoid — at nail salons. Taking a few basic precautions can significantly reduce infection risks and lead to a safer, more pleasant experience.
  4. Know when to postpone a pedicure. If you currently have any infections, cuts, or open sores on your legs, feet, or toenails, skip the salon since these will make you even more vulnerable to problems. Instead, contact your physician for a referral to a podiatrist or other professional who is medically trained to care for feet,
  5. Avoid shaving your legs for a day or two before your pedicure. Shaving can leave tiny nicks in your skin (even if you can’t see them) and increase the chair

5 Tips for your first mother-daughter pedicure

When you treat your daughter to her first pedicure , you want the experience to be filled with fun, not a recipe for disaster. To make certain your little girl’s first nail spa experience will shine as brightly as her pampered piggies, polish up on these five tips for your first mother-daughter pedicure.

5 Tips for your first mother-daughter pedicure

Find a kid-friendly nail salon

Not all nail salons and spas welcome youngsters with open arms. Be sure to call ahead and verify that the nail salon you’ve picked has experience with kiddies before booking your first mother-daughter pedicure.

Time it right

When pampering a youngster who still takes naps, cutting it too close to the time when she should be sailing off to dreamland may make for a cranky spa partner. Book your mother-daughter pedicure during the time of day she’s the cheeriest, whether that’s bright and early or just after her nap, so you can both get the most out of your bonding time.

Skip the tools

Kids often fear what they do not know, so your kiddo may not be keen on the idea of having a stranger use sharp, unfamiliar tools on her toes. “pedicure procedures like pushing cuticles back or applying scrubs to tender feet are not necessary for kids,” advises Jennifer Paige, owner of Plush Beauty Bar in West Hollywood. “At Plush Beauty Bar, we simply apply a quick-drying, non-toxic, water-based polish and if necessary, trim and shape the nail.”

Opt for kid-friendly products

When it comes to your child’s sensitive skin, choose kid-friendly nail products like Piggy Paint that are gentle on her tootsies. “Piggy Paint is specially formulated from God’s natural ingredients and dries to a hard, durable finish,” says Piggy Paint product manager Stacey Feagans. “There are no toxic chemicals; it’s free of formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, Bisphenol A, ethyl acetate and acetone.”

Make sure she’s ready

You may be eager to get your sweet girl into the nail salon for her first mother-daughter bonding experience over pedicures, but make sure your princess is ready for such an adventure. “There is no definitive age for a child’s first trip to the nail salon,” explains Paige. “Different kids have different abilities to sit still, so it really depends on the child.”

Dr. Fran Walfish, child and family psychotherapist, author of The Self-Aware Parent, urges parents to wait until your youngster is old enough to appreciate the special treat. “I think tweens are ready for the experience of a first time pedicure on ‘special’ occasions. We sadly are raising an entitled generation with growing narcissistic traits. Let’s wait and allow kids to be kids.”

Ready to put these five tips for first mother-daughter pedicures into play but not sure she’ll sit through the whole process? Try a do-it-yourself pamper and polish at home first. You may have to postpone her first trip to the nail spa, but you’ll be building memories that are just as fun!

Quality affordable pedicure chairs

Quality Affordable Pedicure Chairs

When in the market for a new affordable pedicure chairs you have to weigh your pros and cons. There are so many different manufacturers to choose from so it can be difficult. Usually comfort and reliability is what is most important, however those 2 factors often take a back seat to cost.  Luckily, Spa Salon US has over 800 pedicure chairs to choose from.

Some of the most popular and affordable pedicure chairs can be found in our LC collection. LC has been in business for over 20 years so they are no stranger to quality. They recently debuted new chairs which means they are always up to date when it comes to style and you will most likely always have parts available should your chair need to be serviced.

Another option would be to get a non-plumbing pedicure chair. That will save you money not only on the cost of your pedicure chair but it will also save you money on utility bills. If you are in the market for a zero plumbing pedicure chair, depending on which chair you choose you may be able to plumb the chair later when you decide to expand your business. That way you will be saving money now and in the future.

Those are just a couple of options you have especially when you have over 800 pedicure chairs to choose from. Always keep in mind that affordable does not mean cheap and it is always better to buy a brand new pedicure chair verses getting a used pedicure chair. Most times in that case, affordable is not always good. It is always best to spend an extra couple hundred dollars and purchase an affordable brand new pedicure chair that way you have a peace of mind when it comes to reliability.