CHICAGO -- Many women who have tried dip powder nails call it the ultimate manicure, but one Chicago salon said they will not offer this service because of the risks it poses to their customers.
With so many colors and manicures to choose from, Christine La and her sister Tuyen Day said they are always keeping up with the latest trends to keep their clients happy -- except when it comes to the dip powder method.
"That's not anything we would even risk doing, no matter how much we would profit from it," La said.
At T Nail Bar in Rogers Park, the ladies said they get lots of calls about dip powder manicures but say they decided not to offer the service for sanitary reasons.
"All it takes is for one person with something, like a fungus, to dip their hands in there and then everyone else after that may or may not be affected," La said.
Nail powder is a nail technique in which customers pick a color, dip their fingers into a jar of powder and the technician seals the powder with a special bonding polish. Each nail is then filed down to create a shiny coat of polish.
The concern for customers lies in the jar where many different people are dipping their fingers into the same container.
"People need to be aware of the risks that they're taking," La said.
Q&A: New concerns over 'dip powder' manicures
Oscar Juarez, a microbiologist at the Illinois Institute of Technology, said bacteria can survive in this powder for weeks and can lead to serious infections.
He said with customers dipping their nails day after day, they won't be able to tell what might be lingering in the jar.
Juarez believes certain groups may even be more susceptible to contracting an infection after dipping. Those most at risk are people with diabetes, cancer, or those who are pregnant, he said.
"You can get a very serious infection out of this," Juarez added.
Juarez said there are ways you can reduce your chances of infection. He recommends bringing in your own jar that's exclusive to you, or having your technician shake the powder on your nails as opposed to dipping them in the jar.
"I don't think we'll ever cave in to that trend," La said.