Expert says it’s ‘illegal’ for nail techs to cut your cuticles

@nailtechabby/TikTok ViewStock/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘That is actually out of our scope of practice’: Expert says it’s ‘illegal’ for nail techs to cut your cuticles

‘Most “nail techs” at walk in places are not actually certified either.’


Tiffanie Drayton


A nail tech’s revelation about things nail salons don’t want customers to know is gaining traction online. In a viral video that has racked up over 844,500 views and 61,000 likes, TikToker Abby (@nailtechabby) offered up little-known insider knowledge about nail salons.

“Get ready with me as I tell you some things that nail salons do not want you to know, as a former nail tech,” the woman began in the clip. She then rattled off a surprising list of claims.

“If you are prone to having calloused feet, nail salons will actually overfile your callous to keep you coming back to the salon,” she said.

The woman then took aim at the difference between two commonly used products at nail salons.

SNS or dip or whatever you want to call it and acrylic are chemically almost identical,” she said. “They are just applied differently.” The former nail tech argued that nail techs who recommend one product over the other may simply be expressing a preference. “But chemically, they are the same product,” she said.

She also stated that nail techs do not have the required knowledge to rid clients of an ingrown toenail. “No nail tech is licensed or trained or certified or whatever to remove your ingrown toenail,” she said. “Go to the doctor.”

Additionally, Abby claimed some nail techs may be doing something illegal whenever they do a common nail procedure.

“It is illegal for nail techs to cut your cuticles or, really, any living skin for that matter,” she alleged. “But if you’re wanting them to like completely erase your cuticles or you start bleeding, they’ve cut too much, and that’s actually outside of our scope of practice.”

The TikToker also claimed there are various protocols and laws that outline how products should be applied and which can be used on clients.

For example, she said dip powders should be poured out into individual containers for each client, and the commonly-used foot files that resemble cheese graters are actually illegal in some states.

In several states, including New York, Arizona, Idaho, and Mississippi, it is actually illegal for nail techs to cut cuticles because it is classified as a surgical procedure. Foot scrapers or graters are actually also banned in some states because using them can lead to infection.

@nailtechabby Lets spill some secrets about the nail salon 🤪 #NailSalonSecrets #NailSalon #ChopShop #NailTechSecrets #NailTechAbby #PressOns #RedAspen ♬ original sound – Abby | Your At Home Nail Girl

Instead, experts recommend soaking feet in Epsom salt and using a pumice stone to remove dead, unwanted, or hardened skin.

In the comments section of the video, many said their nail techs were guilty of not properly following guidelines, laws, and procedures.

“I’ve never had them pour out a single portion of dip for me,” user DLF said. “It’s always the big container.”

“Just got a pedicure today and they used the cheese grater,” user Ryn wrote.

“Most ‘nail techs’ at walk in places are not actually certified either,” user Tailoredcakes92 commented.

The Daily Dot reached out to Abby via TikTok comment and Instagram direct message for comment.

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