I received a notice from the state Department of Licensing
warning consumers this summer to choose nail salons carefully. As
DOL Director Liz Luce put it, “Pedicures and manicures can be a
wonderful experience if salons are property cleaning and
disinfecting their equipment, tools, implements and foot spas. A
trip to the nail salon shouldn’t end with a trip to the doctor’s
office for an infection.”
It seems like everywhere I turn lately, there’s a nail salon. I called DOL and asked how many there are in Kitsap.
Spokeswoman Christine Anthony told me there are 391 active nail salons in Kitsap County. I had no idea there were that many. Those are just the licensed ones. DOL has no way of counting the unlicensed salons.
I asked if DOL had records of violations for any Kitsap salons.
DOL gave me two.
In January 2010, Star Nails and Spa of Bainbridge Island, owned by Hung Viet Nguyen, was fined $500 for violating safety and sanitation rules.
In February 2011, Nail Art of Bremerton, owned by Trung Q. Huynh, also was fined $500 for violating safety and sanitation rules.
The statement from DOL suggests salon customers look at the shop owner’s licenses to make sure they’re current. Check the salon for overall cleanliness. Make sure there aren’t hair or nail clippings on the floor, and that work surfaces and towels are clean.
Check to see if the operator has allowed residue to accumulate on tools, and ask if the foot spa has been sanitized and disinfected before you put your feet in.
And be sure the operator washes hands between clients.
I contacted an economist at the state Department of Employment Security to see what kind of contribution all these salons are making to the local workforce. Most appear to be just one- or two-person shops, so probably not much, the economist told me.
— Rachel Pritchett, business reporter