Federal Grant Money Is Giving California Nail Salons A Healthy Makeover In 2017

What is the Healthy Nail Salon movement?

The California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative was established in 2005 out of a growing concern for the health, safety and rights of nail salon and cosmetology workers, owners, and students. In 2016, California passed a law promoting the Collaborative’s recognition program that rewards salons for protecting estheticians and clients from exposure to toxic chemicals.

To gain recognition, the program has 9 requirements that focus on protecting the health of the workforce and creating a safer environment for clients:

  1. Use nail polishes without the toxic-trio: dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, and formaldehyde.
  2. nontoxicSafer nail polish removers without ethyl or butyl acetate, such as acetone.
  3. Avoid using nail polish thinners. Use those without toluene and methyl ethyl ketone.
  4. All nail salon staff should wear nitrile gloves when using nail products.
  5. Ventilate the salon. Designate a specific area for artificial nail services.
  6. Install a mechanical ventilation unit within 1 year of entering the program.
  7. Train all salon nail staff (payroll & on contract).
  8. Commit to adopting safer nail products.
  9. Do not allow customers to bring in products unless they meet program criteria.


What do customers think of the healthy movement?

Customers have expressed support for programs that recognize salons for using safer and healthier practices. According to surveys of over 1,000 people:

  • 59% were not aware of toxic chemicals in nails salon products;
  • 96% were more likely to request healthier, safer products;
  • 95% were willing to pay at least a dollar for healthy services, and 56% were willing to pay $3 or more;
  • 94% were more likely to go to a salon that was formally recognized for using safer products and practices.


How can you join the movement?

Last month, the EPA provided a $120,000 grant to the CA Healthy Nail Collaborative to launch a microloan program that will help moveexisting salons install indoor air ventilation equipment, purchase less toxic nail polish, and provide training for nail salon workers.

If you’re a salon in California interested in “going green,” there’s no better time than now! You can learn more about the Collaborative by clicking HERE.  

Matt Wiggins

Matt Wiggins

VP of Sales at ProSolutions Software

With over 20 years experience in the beauty industry, Matt teaches classes to salon and spa owners on business topics including branding, management, marketing and advertising.