A pedicure can be a luxurious, relaxing experience. Soaking your feet in warm water, enjoying a foot massage or a sugar scrub, walking away with a stylish color or a clear gloss can be delightful. To make your pedicure experience go as smoothly as possible for you and your nail technician, follow a few simple rules of etiquette.
Making, Canceling and Rescheduling Appointments
Nail salons can be very busy, especially during Summer when a pedicure is a must, so it's best to make an appointment anywhere from 24 hours to a week in advance to avoid a long wait. If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, call the salon at least 24 hours in advance so that they can give your spot to someone else. Pedicure chairs in nail salons are limited, so chances are someone will be waiting for your spot. Arrive on time for your appointment. If you're planning to select polish at the salon, arrive 10 to 15 minutes early so your polish selection doesn't cut into your appointment time.
Preparing for Your Pedicure
As a matter of consideration for your nail technician, make sure your feet are clean before arriving at the salon. No need for you to trim your toenails or remove your old polish, but make sure you've washed your feet with soap and water to avoid odor. Plan your outfit in advance. You'll be sitting in a chair with your legs apart, so skirts are not the best choice. Also, you'll need to roll up your pant legs, so avoid skinny jeans, which are too tight around the calf area. Bring flip flops or other open-toed shoes to wear after your pedicure, since nail polish needs about two hours to fully set.
While You're There
A pedicure should be a relaxing experience, so silence your cell phone and leave children at home to avoid disturbing your neighbors. As for chatting with neighbors, it's really up to you. If you're not in the mood to chat, bring a book or magazine to read. Likewise, observe others' signals. If your neighbor is deep into her reading material, she probably wants some quiet time. Communicate with your nail technician. Before the pedicure begins, let her know if you have any warts, which might be contagious, so that she can wear gloves. Let your nail technician know what you'd like -- if you prefer your toenails square or rounded, for example, or if having your cuticles pushed back is uncomfortable for you -- so that he can give you the best possible experience.
Tipping and Payment
A tip of 15 to 20 percent is standard for pedicures, but you can tip more if you feel that your nail technician has given you a truly exceptional experience. If you're using a gift certificate, tip on the full price of the pedicure. Some nail salons only accept cash tips, so ask when you're making your appointment whether that's the case.
Naomi Baldinger began writing professionally in 2007. Her areas of expertise include cooking, literature, film, Jewish culture, the nonprofit sector, education and translation. Her work has appeared in "Git Nu" and "The Journal of Jewish Identities" among other publications. Baldinger holds a Master of Arts in comparative literature from the University of California, Los Angeles.