7 Points of Etiquette for the Nail Salon ...


Following the correct etiquette for the nail salon makes you a good customer and also helps to make the visit a better and pleasant one. It’s not just about good manners, but also your attitude to the whole experience and the salon and its staff. Obviously manners and politeness play their part but here are other points of etiquette for the nail salon to be observed.

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Making and Keeping Appointments

Making and Keeping Appointments No matter what kind of appointment you are making, keep in mind that time has become a precious commodity - both yours and the person you’re making the appointment with. Etiquette for the nail salon is no different than etiquette anywhere else. Don’t intentionally treat others' time with disrespect. Nail technicians nearly all depend on their appointments to make a living, and when you don’t show up, it’s likely they don’t get paid. Some salons even charge you if you don’t show up. Technicians will usually understand if you have overscheduled yourself and can let them know as soon as you see you aren’t going to make it. The earlier the better, because there’s a chance that the tech can fill the vacancy with someone on a waiting list or with a walk-in customer.



Tipping It’s expected that you tip your nail technician. Tips vary by region and salon, but can be anywhere from 15 to 30 percent. In some salons, it’s expected that you also tip the owner, but that’s not common. If you happen to see one of the housekeepers (techs often clean their own location but sometimes the salon employs cleaners), it’s considered a kindness, but not a necessity, to tip them as well.


When you're calculating your tip, also consider the level of service you received. Did your technician go above and beyond? Were they exceptionally attentive or did they create an intricate design that you absolutely love? In such cases, showing your appreciation with a slightly larger tip can be a wonderful gesture. However, if your experience wasn't what you expected, reflecting this in your tip is also acceptable. It's always a good idea to have cash on hand as some salons don't allow tipping on credit cards. That said, always tip based on the cost of the service before any discounts or vouchers are applied.


Food and Drink

Food and Drink Each salon will have its own rules. Most don’t mind a drink. Some permit finger foods or sandwiches. However, some note that greasy foods will make the nails unsuitable to work on, and others note the safety hazards involved with eating while around several hazardous chemicals. If you are allowed to bring your own food or drinks, it’s imperative that it doesn’t produce a strong smell that will annoy the tech or other customers in the salon. Be considerate.


It's polite to ask before you unpack your snack. Even with an all-clear, opt for tidy treats that won't interrupt your pampering or someone else’s. Remember, a nail salon is not the place for a full meal. Stick to simple refreshments and sealable beverages to avoid spills. Always check ahead if you're planning to indulge in a little feast – salons often have their own policy, and it's just good manners to respect it.


Cell Phone Usage

Cell Phone Usage Again, rules differ by salon; some prohibit use except in emergencies, some allow texting, some don’t care if you use the phone. However, as much as phones have integrated into everyday life, it’s important that you and your tech communicate throughout the process. If you know ahead of time that you will need to take a call, let the tech know and ask to sit in the corner so you disturb as few people as possible. In all cases, be sure you keep your voice down. Some people come to salons to relax.


Understand that salons are shared spaces; everyone is there to enjoy a pampering session and break from their hectic lives. It's considerate to manage your screen brightness and mute any loud notifications, so it's less intrusive. For longer sessions, bring headphones and listen to audio or music quietly. If you must take a call, step outside if possible. Remember, your digital connections shouldn't disrupt the tranquil atmosphere others are seeking. Mutual respect goes a long way towards ensuring everyone's salon visit remains peaceful and enjoyable.


Expressing Unhappiness

Expressing Unhappiness The most important part of expressing any unhappiness is to remain calm and stick with the facts. Be sure your tech knows ahead of time exactly what you expect, and discuss if your expectations are different than the tech’s way of doing business. Stop the process immediately if it is not what you asked for instead of waiting until the service is complete. If the tech refuses your reasonable requests, and you haven’t unreasonably changed or added services at the last minute, ask calmly to speak to the manager or owner. Explain only the facts to the owner. If the tech simply isn’t a good match, tell the front desk and ask for a different tech next time.



Hygiene Be sure the salon uses a hospital grade sterilization system to prevent nail infections. If a tool is dropped in the floor, it’s okay to ask the tech not to use that tool again until it’s sterilized. If you prefer that they use your personal tools, be sure that they are as sterile and sharp as the ones at the salon. If you can, shower before you come in, because if you use hot water at the salon to wash your hands it may prevent the nail polish from fully drying. Don’t cut your own nails before you come in; you may cut them too short and they won’t be able to be properly shaped.


Bringing Children

Bringing Children It’s not a good idea to bring children to the salon for a number of reasons, the greatest of which is the toxic fumes the child could be breathing in. Small children, especially, can be loud and distracting and may be attracted to the colors and shapes of the nail polish bottles and other delicate items. It’s best to leave toddlers and babies at home altogether, but for older children, bring quiet toys to play with and consider letting the older children get manicures as well to keep them occupied.

Do you think there are other points of etiquette at the nail salon? What about the salon you use? Do they have any specific points of behavior or custom not covered here?

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Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

Children also make a lot of noise and it isn't fair if you try to relax after a loooong day at work and other women bring their children to the salon with them.

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