If you haven't heard, nail salons in New York City have recently been exposed for their failure to compensate their hard-working nail techs properly. With all of the terrible conditions documented in a popular New York Times exposé, we decided to get the point of view of actual nail pros.
Manicube, an in-office service which offers high-quality 15-minute manicures to women at their place of work, was designed to make working women's lives easier. We chatted up these nail care experts to learn what nail junkies everywhere can do to help stop nail tech exploitation:
Nail salons in New York City have been under fire recently. What were your thoughts on the coverage?
Unfortunately we were not surprised by the abysmal findings on the nail salon industry. Many of our service providers worked in traditional brick-and-mortar nail salons before coming to work with Manicube, and we have heard from them of the poor work environments and unfair labor practices common in the industry.
Why do you think nail techs are reportedly so underpaid?
In many cases, salon owners are taking advantage of skilled laborers who feel that they don't have many other options. Given that these poor labor practices have been able to exist for so long, prices have been driven down, which likely led other salons to cut prices as well, creating a vicious cycle.
Do people underestimate the skills and labor involved in nail care?
We don't believe consumers underestimate the skills and labor involved in nail care. It's up to the nail salon to be sure they are pricing their services properly.
How can patrons help to combat the exploitation many nail techs are experiencing?
Patrons can take a careful look at the establishments they are frequenting for nail services. They can ask questions about whether gratuities go directly to the nail technician and about whether nail technicians are licensed.
Pricing is likely also an indication of whether nail technicians are being paid fairly. If your 45-minute manicure costs $8, it's probably unlikely that your nail technician is being paid at least minimum wage.
Check back tomorrow where Manicube pros tell us the top three ways nail salons can pose a hygienic threat to customers.