Lately, there have been some disturbing reports on spas regarding sterility, cleanliness and proper service procedures. It's frightening to imagine all the issues that could arise from non-sterilized tools or a dirty pedicure station; nail fungus, athletes foot, impetigo, plantar warts, flesh eating disease or even hepatitis, the list goes on. Now, more than ever, people are feeling the stress of finding someone they can trust to perform their services but how do you know where to start? Here are 5 things to consider when looking for that great "go-to" esthetician.
If you walk by a sign and it says "mani & pedi $30" and then you walk into a mid to high end salon/spa and see "mani & pedi $80", stop and consider why there is such a dramatic difference in price. For the moment let's ignore the skill requirements and just talk basics. Let's assume that 50% of the cost is labor, both salons have product costs (nail polish, polish remover, cotton pads etc) and assuming the brands are comparable that should cost the same amount. If they both provide the same service and the end result appears similar, why is one so much more?
- Sterilization - From washing tables and pedicure basins, to cleaning tools, sterilization is by far the most important and expensive cost portion of your service. One spa may be sacrificing cleanliness in order to keep costs down. Another may charge more but they would rather know everything is safe and clean than put your health at risk to save money.
- Salary - Staff should receive fair pay for their hard work. Period.
2. Education and Experience
Did you know that Estheticians and Nail Technicians in the Province of Manitoba are required to complete a college program? We then apply as an apprenticeship where we are required to complete a certain number of training hours before taking an exam that we need to pass to become a fully licensed service provider? It is ILLEGAL in Manitoba to work in a spa or salon without being at one of these stages. Why is this so important? Our job is more than just painting nails. It's skin health, nail health, it's understanding basic anatomy. It's understanding that every body is different and finding safe and effective ways to make sure you get the most out of your service. At the end of the day, this is really what you're paying for. The college diploma that says we have trained and studied for countless hours to know how to take care of you; keeping you beautiful, happy and healthy, no matter what.
It's not uncommon for companies to order cheaper, less expensive substitutes to keep down prices. Unfortunately, many substitutes can contain chemicals or irritants not designed for long term contact with the skin. It's another case of profit before quality and in the end no one wins. Again, question the price. If you feel like it's too low, you're probably right.
You have a right to inform your service provider of any discomfort or issues you may be having. If you don't feel comfortable discussing more personal topics (regarding health or comfort) your technician will not be able to adjust your service to accommodate, leaving you with a, at best, lack lustre experience.
Naturally there are benefits to continuing to see the same person for your services, time after time. They get to know you physically: how your hair grows, how your nails grow, how re-active your skin is. They get to know you mentally: your job, your family dynamic, your overall stress levels. They learn how you like to have things done so that every visit becomes a comfortable routine. A bond forms and you begin to trust them. You trust that they will do their best to keep you happy and healthy and to show their appreciation for you, your technician will often go above and beyond to ensure that your experience is the very best it can be.
At The Loft Spa, our focus is placed on you; ensuring that you are not only happy with your service but your entire experience. We not only want to encourage you come again, but we hope you will suggest us to your friends and family. Check out our full spa menu here.
About the author
Sarah is an esthetician and make-up artist at The Loft in Winnipeg.