How the Nail Industry Is Responding to the Coronavirus Pandemic

by Wendy Sy (Leafgel USA)

We spoke with nail technicians from all over the world about how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted their business, what to do during quarantine, how to prepare for salon reopenings, and why we need to hold on to hope—now more than ever.


Photo by Lisa Kon

As the novel strain of coronavirus that is COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the world, nail technicians are thinking outside the box on ideas to help their business survive. While many are still in quarantine, numerous salons in China and Korea are opening back up, providing a sense of hope for the uncertain future of the U.S. nail technicians.

Even before the mandatory shutdown of many businesses, there has been a heightened emphasis on hygiene, especially in the nail industry where physical contact for each manicure and pedicure appointment is inevitable. In Louisville, Kentucky, Popstar Nails salon owner Tina Zavala started an “Anti-Corona Challenge” on March 13, 2020, with a video highlighting the process of her custom nail designs of sick-themed emojis created with freehand painting. Through the short clip, she’s holding a bottle of Purell while wearing pink gloves and a face mask with an upbeat song in the backdrop to add a bit of lightheartedness during a difficult time. “I decided to spread awareness on how to be safe in the salon,” Zavala says. “On top of the normal disinfection protocol of tools, we are using Clorox wipes to clean all equipment frequently.”

Photo by Tina Zavala of Popstar Nails