Salon-Chic Nails Or A DIY Mani-Pedi?

The Pros and Cons of Getting Your Nails Done in a Salon vs. Painting Them Yourself

By: Tarah Maurice

Receiving a manicure and pedicure is one of the best ways to keep our nails looking beautiful and healthy. This is very important to women as well as men since we use our hands all day, whether we’re doing work at home or in the office. Nail care should be a part of every person’s grooming routine for several reasons:  

Caring for your nails is a healthy habit as it prevents dry skin, softens rough edges and reduces the tendency of obtaining ingrown toenails and fingernails. The ones who care about the appearance of their fingernails have two options: they can either go to a professional nail salon or do it themselves.

An advantage of getting your nails done in a salon is that most manicure services are performed by highly trained individuals. It may take a longer time for you to fix a nail problem, if you try and treat your own nails.  Since it’s the responsibility of the professional manicurist to provide you with quality service, you can be sure of walking out of the salon with beautifully shaped and polished nails.  

Having your nails tended to at a salon also provides you with the benefit of extra pampering services such as hand cleansing, moisturizing and a gentle massage, as well as shaping, trimming and buffing of the nail beds to a smooth finish.

Many salons have a relaxing environment that promotes total wellness. A professional manicure includes a thorough cleaning and lotions designed to exfoliate your skin. Any grime will be removed as will dead skin cells, keeping your hands smooth and reducing any appearance of wrinkles.

In addition to exfoliating, moisturizers and cuticle treatments are massaged into the skin in a professional mani-pedi.  This massage action is not only incredibly relaxing, but it also helps to improve blood circulation to your extremities.

Unfortunately, a disadvantage is that the best salons in the area have long wait times before you can even get an appointment. While you may need to get your nails done immediately, you may not be able to get an appointment until weeks later.

There’s also the wait-time to factor in when you finally arrive at the salon. You are at the mercy of other customers because if they’re late for their appointments, the technician will be late doing your nails. Many people also fear that salon tools are not properly sterilized, so proper health standards are a concern as well.

Like most businesses, nail salons won’t turn away paying customers, which means that people who are sick, have nail infections or foot fungus are being worked on next to you instead of being referred to an appropriate medical professional.

No matter which salon you go to, there is always a risk of infection. Nail salon tools like pumice stones, emery boards, nail buffers and foam toe separators need to be swapped out after each use to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Some salons will try to keep certain added costs a secret. The business will try and up-charge you for “nail strengtheners or base coats” and won’t tell you until it’s time to check out.  

An advantage for doing your nails yourself is that it’s more affordable. Depending on the salon, you may save more by doing an at-home manicure. You can also change the look of your nails anytime you want to without having to call and make an appointment.

Using your weak hand for skilled tasks also exercises your brain and keeps it healthy by challenging it to learn something new. When taking care of your own nails, you can take as long as you’d like to relax and pamper yourself.  Finally, doing the procedure at home rather than at a salon is more sanitary. At home, there is less of a chance of getting a nail infection, as well as any type of bacteria from spreading. You’ll be the only one using your soaking pan, your tools and your nail polish.

A disadvantage to the at-home process however, is if you’ve never given yourself a manicure, the first several times can be a long and tedious procedure. When doing it yourself, you can’t really exfoliate as well as you want.

Also, when you want your nails to look good right before a special event, taking the time to do it yourself can be stressful. Another disadvantage is that most people have a dominant hand. When using the tools in your dominant hand, your nails may look great. When using the alternate hand though, you may find the process doesn’t go as smoothly. You must practice doing your nails regularly in order to achieve a professional look at home.
Whichever process you choose, make a decision that works better for you, as long as you are taking care of your nails. After all, nothing looks better than clean and well-maintained nails.

Categories: Lifestyles

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