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A Bad Nail Salon Experience. Is It Fixable?

Updated on October 14, 2015

I have never had long, pretty nails. I bit them badly until I was in my 40's then I found a product at Walgreens whose number one ingredient was formaldehyde. That worked really well but the nails would still break off right at the quick so I would have to cut them and start all over again. Not to mention wondering about the formaldehyde....

You nails will grow a quarter of an inch a month, on average. So that meant a four month wait to get the edge of my nails over my fingertips.

Then finally just three years ago I found out about getting a manicure and solar nails from a nail salon. It is beautiful! A pink powder that gets applied to your natural nail bed then wet with a liquid setter and is painted onto your nail with a paint brush. Next the nail artist takes a metal curved tip that just fits your nail and scrapes the pink off to show the white moon shape of your nail.Then the white powder goes on the same way, softly placed just so then painted on and set just so.

Every three weeks or so I would go back, the nail artist would take her dremel tool and gently smooth the part closest to my cuticle where you could see the nail had grown out, then all she had to do was add a little of the pink powder and I was good for another few weeks!

When my nails grew out so long that the white moon shape extended beyond my fingertips then the nail artist would take all of the acrylic off, first with a soak for about 3 minutes in pure acetone then with the dremel and the soft acrylic would just roll right off. Then, a lovely manicure and the new solar (or acrylic) nail would go right back on.

The manicure always starts with a long cleaning, shaping and cutting of my nails, then when the new pink and white pwoders go on it is assured it goes onto a clean nail bed.

I have never had it go any differently, not from one nail salon to another,whether in Alabama or in Arizona.


Until New Year's Eve, 2010!

Yesterday I went to my favourite nail salon, just a few blocks from our apartment. I love going there, the owners are great, the work is exceptional, clean and fast.

But I knew I was in trouble from the first.

The owner was speaking to my nail artist, she even hit him lightly on his hands and kept talking rapidly, gesturing with her hands. She kept oming bak to check on us. The young man was obviously just learning, he was wasting a lot of product, wiping it off on the paper towel, getting it all over his fingers and then onto my fingers!

He put the white powder on first then tried to use the curved metal tool to wipe it back towards my cuticle. But he either had not chosen the proper size to fit my nail or he had not guite the knack of it or both; for all that happened was the white powder streaked onto the nail towards my cuticle. He would try to scrape it off with another paintbrush or with his fingernail to no avail.

I know what you are thinking. Why didn't I say something then? I did actually. The nail salon owner came over, consulted, gestured and went back to her own customer.

I got there at 11:30 in the morning and finally out at 1:20 in the afternoon! My nails were not cut, just filed a bit, the sides of every nail showing real nails on its edges and no manicure on top of everything else!

I left, vowing never to return. Then I got to thinking, is this the right thing for me to do? Or, should I return and say what I should have said, loudly and adamantly, yesterday?

Should I go back, say that I did not want to get anyone in trouble and I really did NOT want to have to seek out another nail salon but that I was not happy with the job I got yesterday and could the owner please fix them?



So I am still here, it is the first day of a brand new year and I am still not happy with my nails.

I could wait two weeks, go back to the salon I like, as if nothing were wrong, get the whole thing re-done and forget it.

I could get up right now and walk the few blocks and go get them fixed to my satisfaction.

I could forget all about it and find another salon I like just as well.

I could cut my nails and shape them myself, very carefully, as they are already set and will likely cut crookedly.



Great! Just My Luck!

So, I went for the walk, wondering the whole time what would the owner say?

That she didn't know me?

That there was no way she could redo them?

That they were fine what was the matter with me?

I mean, really, Bethard, did you think they would take you out back and shoot you?

Well, probably not. Probably....

At any rate, it's a moot question now...the shop was closed.

So; this second day of the new year, 2011, I went to the nail salon I had used before finding my current nail salon...no one remembered me but everyone working there had to come and look and comment on my nails.

There was a lot Tsk-ing and a lot of effort to convince me to return.

Which I will, they fixed the problem and I am ready to face my next work week knowing my hands are presentable!

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    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 7 years ago from Tucson, Az

      silly isn't it?

    • profile image

      eqeq 7 years ago

      So, I went for the walk, wondering the whole time what would the owner say?

      That she didn't know me?

      That there was no way she could redo them?

      That they were fine what was the matter with me?

      I mean, really, Bethard, did you think they would take you out back and shoot you?

      Well, probably not. Probably....

      At any rate, it's a moot question now...the shop was closed.

      So; this second day of the new year,2011, I went to the nail salon I had used before finding my current nail salon...no one remembered me but everyone working there had to come and look and comment on my nails.

      There was a lot Tsk-ing and a lot of effort to convince me to return.

      Which I will, they fixed the problem and I am ready to face my next work week knowing my hands are presentable!

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 7 years ago from Tucson, Az

      hello anisetta!!! oh hello my dear Ive just missed you so!!

      yea I love having strong nails/have to keep them short of course but wouldn't go back to brittle broken at the cuticle nails now for anything!! Ive never had a lot of pain from a nail salon just kids "just learning" like this time and had to go find another salon..Ive never tried to "take them off" myself...I always let the salon girls decide if its time to start all over then I have to soak in some solution that will just peel the hard acrylic right off with the dremel

      oh well the price of vanity isn't it?

      much love to you ani!!

      barbara b

    • anisetta profile image

      anisetta 7 years ago

      Wow! I had that type of nails done long, long ago. I got so much pain every time they had to refill, and torture when I decided to take them off. It was so bad that I decided to never ever do anything to my nails. Not even color polish. I opt for clear polish, and only in rare ocassions I choose french manicure, light pink, or dark red. The truth is that I do not like to take time to do my nails, so clear polish does not show so much when it is coming off :)

      But I do love to see pretty nails on other people!

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