What Is a Nail Art Salon?

Wanda Marie Thibodeaux

A nail art salon is a salon that specializes in applying artistic designs to the nail surface for clients. These specialized salons may be located in separate buildings but also are located within larger shopping centers such as malls. The idea with these salons is that the surface of the nail provides a canvas upon which a nail technician can create a beautiful image that compliments the client's overall appearance and personal style. The general experience of visiting a nail art salon is similar to that of going to a regular nail salon, however.

Many nail art salons provide basic services like putting on a new coat of nail polish.
Many nail art salons provide basic services like putting on a new coat of nail polish.

Most nail art salons often provide the same basic services found in traditional salons. For instance, they might provide a manicure, applying hand cream, removing old polish, trimming cuticles, applying cuticle oil and putting on a new coat of polish. They also can provide consultations for clients about what look might be best or how to care for nails properly. These services often are necessary for the technician to provide long-lasting, durable artwork on the nail. In some cases, nail art salons offer services above and beyond what someone normally would see in a nail salon but which are similar to those in spas, such as massage or aromatherapy.

Nail art services can vary based on the nail art salon. Very basic, inexpensive nail art involves applying nail art stickers to the nails. Applying gems or glitter is another popular service. A skilled nail technician can place virtually anything that is small and light enough on the nail. Sometimes these services are standardized, with salons having photos of designs the client can pick.

More expensive nail art involves hand-painting designs onto the nail. The designs can be anything from flowers to intricate faces, based on what the client wants. This process is much more time consuming, which is the main reason for the increased expense. Texture is as important to the design as the selected colors.

Even though a nail art salon concentrates on making the nails as aesthetically pleasing as possible, they are no different from traditional salons in that they are required to have licensed technicians. They also have to adhere to safety and sanitation guidelines in the region in which the salon operates. These regulations prevent the spread of disease and protect both the technicians and customers. Many nail art and traditional nail salons make a conscious effort to use products that have as few chemicals as possible, or which are made from non-toxic ingredients.

People visit nail salons primarily because they want their nails to appear flashier than they would with "normal" nail services. They typically want to use their nails as a way to be self-expressive. In some cases, a visit to a nail art salon happens because of a special occasion, such as a bride wanting to doll up her nails a little more for her wedding.

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