It's always mind boggling to me when our Technicians don't take the time to not only choose the right tools, but care for their tools properly.
When we talk about changing the image of our Industry and charging higher prices than the sub-standard Salons. EVERYTHING should be taken into consideration.....including the tools you choose to use in your service(s).
With so many choices available to us.....how do we know what to choose?
Many of you know I don't take lightly what I bring into my Business to offer to YOU, my clients. I try my best to do my due diligence in choosing products or brands which I know, are safe and beneficial for you to use in your service(s).
As I often do, I think back to some of the choices I've made in my Salon days and whewwwwww......some were pretty bad. I was stuck in a money mode in lieu of being in a beneficial mode. I was more concerned with what my cost would be and didn't even think about what it did for my clients.
Of course...this changed as I matured and became more aware. However, that learning process for me was very costly. That is the reason I take so much time in making decisions for my Business....decisions to help you.
What have I learned?
- Price should not always be your first consideration. Yes, we need to be aware of what our cost are, however I don't feel that should be your only consideration.
- Don't always trust. If the tools you are choosing are making the claim to be 100% stainless, go a step further and ask for the proof. There is also different types of steel. Our single use implements are stainless steel. However, it's a low grade not designed for more than one use. Remember, steel coming in from other Countries don't need ISO regulation. Many are mixed with other chemistry (like nickel) which is an allergen, meaning they may cause an allergic reaction to someone who may be allergic to nickel.
- Be aware of plated tools. Some tools are available in fun, beautiful colors. Check out the source and make sure the color is oxidized and not plated.
- There are many sizes and shapes available. It's important to find the one that works for you. However, don't block out a change. In most cases, a different size or shape is just something getting use to.
Caring for your tools is just as responsible as choosing the right tools.
As with anything, when you make a purchase it's an investment and you really should do all you can to protect that investment.
I realize the hustle and bustle we are in when working our clients back to back during and 8 hr period. However, I'm going to use the cliche "slow down to the speed of life". Take your time to care for your tools properly and you will find they will last you a lifetime.
I kinda feel it's very similar to having my clothes dry cleaned. I look back at pictures of myself from 5+ years ago and I still have the clothing I'm wearing in the picture. I'm a dry cleaning addict because I like my things to last and I love that crisp, clean look. Besides I hate to iron.
My point is, I take special care and therefore my clothing last longer. Take special care with your tools and they will last you a lifetime.
How do we properly clean our tools?
- This is a 3 step process; First we clean, we disinfect and then sterilize!
- There are 2 ways to clean: Scrub with antibacterial soap at the sink or use an Ultrasonic cleaner
- Scrubbing at the sink has been proven to cause nasal problems which can lead to headaches, sore throats and stuffy nose. The warm water constantly being run through the drain, causes the collected BioFilm to cause fumes which are coming out of our drains. If using this process, be sure to rinse thoroughly
- Using an Ultrasonic cleaner not only becomes a safety step, it also saves time.
- The 2nd step - disinfection, most likely a liquid. All disinfection products are NOT created equal.
- Look for products which have rust inhibitors. However, even with RI....you MUST wipe your implements dry upon removal from your solution AND you must NOT place them in your disinfection solution with any tools which is NOT 100% stainless steel. Doing this will cause rust to "deposit" on your tools.
- I want to re-interate this. All tools must be wiped completely dry when taking them out of the solution. And do NOT place them in the same solution at the same time with NON stainless tools and implements.
- Know what your disinfection contact time is. Contact time is the amount of time you must leave your implements soaking, in order for the disinfection to kill the fungi and bacteria it claims it kills.
- Know your replacement time. How often do you need to replace your solution? Many are daily....this is something you need to know and should follow per the Mfg;s directions.
- 3rd step is Autoclave. This is not a requirement anywhere in the US that states you HAVE to use an AC. However, if you are trying to up your standards...using an AC is your next step.
- There are 2 types of AC. Dry heat or not. Some of the autoclaves do not require sanitizing pouches to be used. This is because it has no drying cycle and therefore the pouches would remain wet which is not good for your tools.
- Watch for your guarantee. I know many have purchased AC on Amazon. This would scare me. Where is my guarantee. Who do I call with questions and how much of a hassle would it be to find out? Mechanics are just that....mechanics. Things can happen even with new equipment. Remember though, it's not what happens to you, it's how it's handled.
Look, there's a lot of choices out there, some very good choices. Whatever you choose, research and set your criteria;
- Make sure are getting what you think you are getting
- Are you going for cuteness or quality
- Are you purchasing the right tools for your needs
- Don't purchase a cuticle nipper to cut nails with
- Don't let price scare you away
- Keep your clients safety in mind
Finally, one thing most people Dom't realize, and quite truthfully neither did I until recently. Your tools should be oiled 1-2x per week. Use proper oil for your tools and set a schedule. Oil when you start the week, oil when you end the week.