One of my guilty pleasures is getting a 10-minute back massage at the nail salon after my manicure. I used to get annoyed when the nail technicians would try to up-sell me on a massage, but I finally gave in and I’ve been addicted ever since. I get extremely antsy waiting for my nails to dry, so a massage is a great way to kill time instead of literally watching paint dry. Plus, it’s super relaxing and feels great.
The other day I indulged in my guilty pleasure and got a 10 minute massage after my manicure. For the record, the salon I go to is nice… enough. It’s nothing glamorous, but they offer a cheap and quick manicure. The massage I got felt great at the time, but later in the day my neck started to feel a little wonky. Which made me think: Did that nail technician actually know anything about physical therapy–or enough to give me a massage that wouldn’t actually do more harm than good? Sure, my gel manicure looked great, but was she qualified, aka trained, to do the massage part? And how sanitary was that massage chair I put my face in?
It turns out that I was being paranoid. Nail salon massages are usually very superficial. They are essentially just rubbing your back with lotion. According to this article, it’s really only when massages are vigorous that you should be concerned. In most massage horror stories, the person has a preexisting condition that a deep tissue massage triggers. There’s nothing deep about a nail salon massage, it’s basically just “feel good” back rub that the salon offers to make a few extra dollars.
The only thing you should be worried about when getting a nail salon massage is the sanitary conditions. In a perfect world, before each massage session the technician will was their hands and disinfect the massage chair and fast-rest. They should also apply a fresh face-rest cover (my ever-so-fancy salon places a paper towel over the face rest). Don’t be afraid to ask them to wipe down the massage chair if you didn’t see them do it. If you’re comfortable with the sanitary conditions of the salon, then go ahead and get a massage after your manicure. The only harm is to your wallet.
Nail salon massages might be safe, but are gel manicures bad for your nails? Find out here.