Here’s why traditional methods may be unsanitary and the case for switching to waterless manicures and pedicures.
By Stephanie Casola
Sponsored by the Colorbox Luxury Nail and Beauty Bar
When Kendra Geralt took time away from working in the salon industry to raise her family, she went from salon professional to salon client. She didn’t know then that any less-than-stellar experiences in the salon chair would inspire her to transform the traditional mani-pedi as we know it.
Manicures and pedicures are meant to be relaxing and rejuvenating experiences — a staple in today’s self-care climate. But Geralt found the reality in most nail salons to be quite the opposite.
The use of water and water tubs felt less than sanitary and completely unnecessary to create beautiful, healthy nails. She sought safer, more hygienic processes. Geralt found that traditional manicure and pedicure methods could make clients sick.
Knowing there had to be a better way, Geralt created it.
As owner of Birmingham-based Color Box Luxury Nail and Beauty Bar, Geralt offers only waterless manicure and pedicure options among services to clients today. This new wave in nail care certainly caught on.
“In the beginning, we had an overwhelming response of curiosity,” Geralt says. “Clients wanted to know how we were going to do this, and asked if they might be missing something without the use of water.”
The only thing missing? Health hazards and harmful chemicals.
Gone are the worn-in massage chairs, water tubs and manicure stations. There isn’t a nail soaking bowl in sight.
By skipping the water tub or hand soak, nails remain stronger. “Nails are porous,” Geralt says. “When the nail is saturated with water, it expands. When it dries, it retracts. That flexes the polish and increases the chances of a chip.”
Instead, Color Box professionals use only fresh, clean, steamed towels that — when applied — offer a soothing comfort and soften the cuticles and skin without saturating the nail. That means instead of using harsh instruments (the dreaded metal grater springs to mind) on tough, calloused feet, only a fine grade file may be needed. Geralt says this option will safely remove 95 percent more dry skin during any pedicure.
Pro-Tip: When it comes to removing gel polish, a traditional acetone method is available, but Color Box has a safer version available at no extra charge. Opt to have the gel polish removed with a steamed acetone treatment to further protect nails and fingertips from the harshness of the process.
Forego the water and feel good about this eco-friendly, comforting service.
A waterless pedicure can save up to 10 gallons of water use per visit, according to Geralt. And without bacteria-breeding tubs of water, there is no risk of cross-contamination, making it a healthy option and one involving far less exposure to chemicals.
The waterless treatments are completed in a zero-gravity chair and a semi-private lounge environment. The set up allows a clients’ head to gently lean back, legs to rise up and body to feel fully supported. A heated neck wrap and eye pillows increase comfort and provide an experience that resembles going to a spa.
Waterless manicure and pedicure services are offered with either nail polish or gel nail color. Services range from 30 minutes to an hour each.