Red Flags to Look Out for at Texas Nail Salons

Nail salons can be breeding grounds for some nasty germs and infections. NBC 5's Samantha Chatman walks you through what to look out for during your next salon visit.

There are plenty of salons across North Texas.

Susan Stanford with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation and her team of inspectors travel across the state to see which salons are up to code and which ones are in violation.

"By performing these inspections, we're making sure that the nail salons and any cosmetology salon or barber facility is meeting the required laws and rules that set out for the industry," said Stanford.

She said the first thing you should do when you walk through the door is check to make sure the salon is licensed.

It should be posted in plain sight, typically near the front desk.

"Every salon in Texas should have a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation license," she explained. "They can look for the last inspection report, and by looking at that report, they can see if the salon received any violations."

Next, do a walk-through of the entire salon.

"Is the garbage overflowing in the trashcan? Are there dirty towels lying on the floor? If the furniture is in disrepair, 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.

"Look closely at the individual pedicure and manicure stations. They should be tidy: no left over nails, spilled polish or filing dust," she said. "The different instruments that are used should be clean and sterilized for just for you. The foot spa bowl cleaned after the consumer that's before you."

Salons that aren't licensed or up to code could face thousands of dollars worth of fines and even be shut down.

"There are some salon owners that have become aggressive with our inspectors. That in itself is a violation," she explained.

Their job isn't easy. There are 40 inspectors to cover the entire state of Texas. 

"It's a team effort to keep people healthy when they're getting a manicure or pedicure," said Stanford. 

There are some things you can do before you even set foot in a salon:

  • Visit TDLR's website to find the 10 most common violations to look out for.
  • Check online reviews when selecting a new salon.
  • 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.
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