Nail-salon etiquette mistakes
Repeat after us: Pampering yourself is important. An easy way to do just that? Getting a manicure. Not only is it relatively affordable, but prettily painted nails can also put an extra pep in your step. Of course, the nail tech who does your manicure plays a large role in making you feel so good: From that wonderful hand massage to getting your cuticles in tip-top shape, their skills can make a huge difference. So, it only makes sense that you’d want to treat them really well.
But here’s the thing: Certain seemingly polite etiquette rules can actually make a nail tech’s job harder. Plus, while it’s important to be nice, you don’t have to try extra hard to make their life easier. “A manicure is your time off, so you should relax,” says Karina Medrano, a nail technician.
So what does that mean? It means there are certain polite habits that are totally a must. And then there are other moves you can (and should) skip so you can focus on your own relaxation. Since it can be hard to identify exactly what most people dislike, we turned to the pros to fill us in on polite moves that are actually etiquette mistakes at the nail salon.
Anticipating their next move
Over the course of your manicure, your nail tech will likely move your hands around a bit – turning them over to apply lotion and rotating each finger to paint your tips with the best nail polish. If you’ve had a number of manicures, you may even be able to anticipate what they’ll need you to do next and be tempted to save them from having to tell you how to move. Don’t do it. “Many times, clients position themselves in a way that seems to be helpful, but it’s the contrary,” says Medrano. You may make the wrong move and actually mess up their paint job, causing them to have to start over.
Do this instead: “It’s best to let your nail tech move you around,” says Medrano. “There is no need to tense up – just relax.” Put simply, wait for them to direct you. One way to make that easier is to pay attention to what’s going on. If you have headphones on and are listening to music or a podcast, keep it at a low enough volume that you can hear your technician if they need you to do something.
Keeping the conversation going
When you’re getting your nails done, you’re literally face to face with your manicurist. Because of this, you may feel like it’s your job to chat with them and keep them entertained. But there’s no need to rack your brain for conversation starters. This is a job, and there is zero expectation that you should keep your nail tech entertained, says Medrano. If you want to chat, no problem. If you don’t? Well, that’s OK too.
Do this instead: If you’d prefer quiet, Medrano says that it’s become totally normal to ask for a “silent appointment”. You can either let the salon know when you book your appointment or you can mention to your tech when you sit down that you are going to use the appointment to relax and have some quiet time.