Beauty Without Compromise

The Healthy Nail Salon program in Santa Clara County continues to evolve and thrive as nail salons commit to safety and health.
In an ever-evolving nail salon industry, prioritizing standards for health and safety over toxicity has become paramount.  The Healthy Nail Salon Program, operated by the County of Santa Clara Department of Environmental Health (DEH) since 2014, recognizes nail salons throughout Santa Clara County that commit to using safer products, enhance ventilation at their acrylic nail stations, and implement best practices to protect salon staff, customers, and the environment. Participating salons are eligible for rebates on ventilation units used to mitigate exposure to fumes and odors, which has become the central focus of the program’s commitment to protecting salon staff.
Currently boasting the highest number of certified nail salons in California, 111 nail salons in Santa Clara County participate in the program. However, program staff are not stopping there – this ambitious team hopes to get all 330+ nail salons within its jurisdiction certified.
"The growth of the Healthy Nail Salon Program speaks volumes about our collective commitment to fostering a healthier industry. While progress has been made, there's still much ground to cover. Legislation from the State of California to remove extremely dangerous chemicals from beauty products has been helpful, but risk from exposure to any chemical or acrylics means our focus is now about proper ventilation,” declares Marilyn Underwood PhD., Director of Environmental Health.
The Healthy Nail Salon primary goal remains unchanged; to engage with all nail salons in Santa Clara County and promote an environment of safety and wellness within the nail salon industry. Proper ventilation serves as an aspect of the Healthy Nail Salon Program playing a role in safeguarding the health and wellbeing of both salon employees and clients. Effective ventilation systems are essential in minimizing exposure to chemicals found in nail products and acrylic nail dust thereby reducing the risk of respiratory issues and long-term health complications. These chemicals present health hazards to salon workers in their childbearing years with potential risk of cancer, respiratory disorders and reproductive issues.
"Now, more than ever, our focus is on safeguarding the health and livelihoods of both customers and nail salon staff who often lack the resources to advocate for their own well-being," remarks Healthy Nail Salon Manager, Jonathan Rubingh, “so we are not only raising awareness but actively shaping a safer future for our community."
Participating in the Healthy Nail Salon program to demonstrate a commitment to creating a safe and breathable environment conducive to the well-being of all was a no-brainer for nail salon owner Linda Do. 
"Joining the Healthy Nail Salon Program was a no-brainer for us," affirms Linda Do, Owner of Blossom Nail Spa, the program's inaugural member. "Not only has it boosted our revenue and staff retention, but it's also a testament to our dedication to creating a safe and healthy environment."
With no cost to join, the Healthy Nail Salon program's core mission include ensuring all participating salons adhere to stringent ventilation standards and eliminate the use of products containing certain harmful chemicals. Aside from advocating for proper ventilation and safer products use, the program places emphasis on implementing best workplace practices and providing comprehensive worker safety training.
Outreach efforts will continue to expand the program and encourage more salons to become Healthy Nail Salons to safeguard the health of individuals, nail salon staff and the environment, but Director of Environmental Health Marilyn Underwood, PhD, says customers of nail salons play an important role in this mission also.
“There is no downside to being a part of this voluntary Healthy Nail Salon program. If your favorite nail salon is not yet a part of the Healthy Nail Salon program, we encourage community members to speak up to share information about the program and their desire to frequent a more health-conscious and sustainable experience from their nail salon. Doing so you're not only prioritizing your own health but also championing the well-being of salon workers and the broader Santa Clara County community”, states Underwood.
Join us in celebrating the champions of health and sustainability in the nail care industry. Visit us online to find a Healthy Nail Salon near you today and support businesses committed to prioritizing your well-being. Breathe easier knowing these businesses have committed to better ventilation, using less toxic products, and safer practices because they are healthier for you, their staff, and the environment.
If you are a nail salon owner in Santa Clara County that’s dedicated to fostering healthier workplace practices and environmental stewardship, contact the Healthy Nail Salon Program to join. Together, we can create a community for all that is healthier and less toxic.