If you're one of the thousands of men and women who visit salons in North Texas every day, you likely know there are plenty of places to choose from. But what should you look for when you walk through the doors?
Susan Stanford, an inspector with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, travels across the state making sure cosmetology businesses adhere to state laws. She shared a few tips with NBC 5 Responds about what customers should watch out for.
The first thing you should do when you walk through the door is look for the salon's license, which should be posted in plain site. Typically, they can be found near the front desk.
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“Every salon in Texas should have a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation license," Stanford said. "They can look for the last inspection report, and by looking at that report, they can see if the salon received any violations.”
Stanford recommends doing a walk-through of the entire salon, looking for things like overflowing trash, dirty towels on the floor or furniture in disrepair. If the salon isn't clean or maintained, it's probably not a place you'll want to stay.
“I wouldn't want that type of thing to be in my home. So I don't want it in a salon that I'm having services performed in,” Stanford said.
Also, look closely at the individual pedicure and manicure stations. They should be tidy with no left over nails, spilled polish or filing dust.
“The different implements that are used should be clean and sterilized for just you. The foot spa bowl cleaned after the consumer that's before you. It's supposed to be cleaned between every user,” Stanford explained.
Salons that aren't licensed or up to code could face fines of several thousands of dollars or even be shut down.
Inspections are challenging and, with only 29 inspectors to cover the entire state, the job isn't easy.
“There are some salon owners that have become aggressive with our inspectors -- that in itself is a violation," Stanford said. “It's a team effort to keep people healthy when they're getting a manicure or pedicure."
Stanford said as long as the population of Texas continues to grow, the number of cosmetology salons will also continue to climb.
There are some things you can do before you even set foot in a salon:
• You can visit TDLR’s website to find the most common violations to look out for.
• You should also check online reviews when selecting a new salon.
• And if you have any cuts, an infection or a rash, it's advised that you pass on the salon until you're fully healed to keep everyone safe.