If you’ve had your nails pampered any time in the last couple of years, chances are you’ve been exposed to nail dipping powder in a salon. According to InStyle, the actual color of the manicure is the color of the powder the nails are dipped into. Dip powder is the latest trend in beauty, but customers are unaware of the health concerns and dangers that are associated with this technique. Her Campus UFL spoke with celebrity nail stylist Alyssa Adams to discuss the truth behind the fad and her opinion on the industry.
Adams owns Claws and Stilettos, located in Wesley Chapel, Florida. She has been published for her work and holds nearly 7,000 Instagram followers to date. Adams began her nail journey at a young age because she suffered from nail psoriasis. She dove into education and purchasing products to begin her career in the beauty world. Currently, she works out of a private loft and educates her clients and others on social media about proper nail treatments, which includes teaching the unknown side of dip powder nail products. “I really love educating my guests and the general public because I’m finding out people are usually too afraid to ask questions, or just don’t think about the possible negative outcomes,” Adams said. “Sanitation and education are really important, and if a tech isn’t passionate about always learning and always growing their knowledge, they shouldn’t be in the industry.”
Up until noticing the uproar from women online recently, I’ve never thought twice about opting for dip powder during my nail salon visits. Dip powder has become controversial in the news because of the repercussions that may evolve from the unsanitary nature of the product. Good Morning America talked to licensed nail technicians and discovered that it is wrong for nail stylists to use the same container of powder on multiple clients because it allows infections and germs to be easily transmitted among customers. Adams also added, “Techs in non-standard salons are mainly concerned with how quickly they can get each person in and out without much concern for educating the guest with products and procedures and allowing them to use that information in their decision making.” As an alternative, Adams suggests using Slickpour with conversion gels from Young Nails Inc. because it is a more sanitary service. The nail isn’t being placed into a communal tub of powder and the product has a gel base, so it will soak off in approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
In addition to the biological side effects of using dip powders, nail technicians can harm people’s nails if they don’t use their electronic files correctly. Instead of soaking off dip powder, salons are known for falling back on drilling nails as a quicker option of removal. “While acrylic powder and super glue resin can’t cause damage on its own, I have had guests come in from other shops with dip saying usually [salons] don’t soak off the product to remove it and that it is drilled down,” Adams said. “This is where all the damage is going to occur.” The reason for using the latter is due to the strong bond between acrylic powder and super glue. When salons focus on breezing customers through the shop instead of placing an emphasis on quality, they may feel it takes too long to soak dip powder off to break this chemical connection.
When it comes down to it, customers take partial responsibility in ensuring they are choosing to go to a properly trained salon. Personally, I try to read Yelp reviews before visits in an effort to learn about the real experiences of fellow clients. If you’re in a hurry and decide to pop into a random salon, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and question your nail technician, especially if that means making sure sanitation is a priority. “I encourage people to always ask, even if it seems dumb,” she said. “Always ask questions and always do research before choosing a professional to perform any service on you. I’ve even had nurses say they never even thought about how unsanitary a community pot was until I explained why I don’t offer that service.”
Dip powder has gone in waves from becoming a craze to an invitation for germs to manifest. When you go to the nail salon, next time maybe opt out of dip powder and try something new. Although long-lasting and quick, dip powder is not worth the complications involved.