What is a Safe Salon®?

There is a Safe Salon Certification Program, written and trademarked by Janet McCormick and Karen Hodges–experts in aseptic practices in the salon.

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Karen Hodges and Janet McCormick

McCormick’s background in dentistry highlighted the lack of sanitation and disinfection in salons and spas when she changed careers in the ’80s.  She began teaching and writing articles and books about safety practices. One of her students, Hodges learned to work aseptically from the beginning of her 18-year career. She observed two interesting facts in her years providing beauty services:

  1. Her clients NEVER one time complained or even commented on the fact that she wears gloves–even for facials.
  2. Most of her standing appointments were filled with those in the medical field–she had doctors, nurses and health-care givers as clients.

Together, McCormick and Hodges have  created an online educational platform called Nailcare Academy and their programs have their basis is the principles of a “Safe Salon.”  Their students learn:

  • How to give safe, healthful pedicure services to those with diabetes, PAD, autoimmune disorders and other chronic health concerns
  • How to recognize various diseases, disorders and conditions of the feet and lower legs and understand their implications for your health — whether or not a pedicure should proceed…and whether you should be referred to a physician.
  • How to protect you and others from the potential for infection transfer by using obviously safe procedures throughout

What are some of these “obviously safe” things to look for?

  • Safety equipment in use by the technicians (gloves, eye wear, masks, clean aprons or smocks, etc.)
  • All implements used in your services are either disposed of or are stainless steel implements that have been taken from an unopened pouch that has been processed at high heat–you will be able to tell from looking at the pouch
  • Products are dispensed in a sanitary manner…lifted from containers with clean or new spatulas (no fingers!) never re-used or returned to the containers, etc.
  • Pedicure tubs are not just “spritzed with an unlabelled spray” and wiped out…they are run through a disinfection cycle between each client
  • The technician washes her hands (and if a manicure, has you wash yours, as well) before donning gloves, and observes proper “glove etiquette”…meaning not touching every surface around her then laying her hands on your skin.

Though they are rare and hard to find, the nail technicians that observe these safe practices are in salons with more joining the ranks weekly. You have to do your homework to find them, and they may not be down the street on your corner, but their care and training will be exactly what you need for safe healthy cosmetic foot care.

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