SHREWSBURY – The nail care industry is a dirty one, according to Carla Miller, owner of Crush nail salon and boutique.
So, Miller opened Crush as an alternative to traditional salons, focusing on cleanliness, customer experience, and healthier products.
“I spent a full year researching the industry and realized that there were better products out there not being offered at most salons. I became laser focused on becoming as non-toxic and eco-friendly as possible,” Miller said in a recent interview.
Most people don’t realize that many nail products are toxic and contain carcinogens. Miller, however, sought out vendors who offered products that are free of the top five carcinogens.
“The most popular nail products used today — acrylics and dips — hit the customer with a double-whammy,” she explained. “Carcinogens are absorbed through the nail, and the dust created during acrylic filing gets inhaled. We don’t use acrylics or dips; we use non-toxic nail lines.”
Crush cares about the health of its customers, as evidenced by its air ventilation system. Miller spent $23,000 to install the system to clean the air.
“You don’t smell fumes when you walk into Crush,” she said of its impact.
Miller also researched pedicure bowls and decided upon a bowl that could be cleaned with soap, water, and disinfectant.
“Other salons use single-use liners, which are not eco-friendly,” she said.
“Also the popular jetted bowls are very difficult to disinfect and can spread fungus,” she added.
Miller is proud that Crush offers its staff a healthy work environment.
“Few salons and schools educate their technicians on the health dangers of the industry,” she said. “We offer clean air and non-toxic products to protect our team and our clients.”
Customer education is also a priority at Crush.
“We inform our customers about the products we use,” Miller said. “For example, Multi-Flex Gel is a healthier replacement for dip. It lasts longer at a comparable price. And we use Gel-X for safer extensions. Gel-X is big with celebrities now.”
Miller said that people should know that dip and acrylics are the same product in different forms. Both are very toxic.
“Nail products are manufactured from chemicals,” she said. “They simply can’t be organic, since organic means that something was grown without chemical pesticides.”
With a core mission of being eco-friendly, Miller finds ways to avoid single-use plastics. Even the toe separators used in pedicures can be cleaned and disinfected.
The boutique at Crush echoes the salon’s philosophy of providing better products for clients. A favorite brand is Farmhouse Fresh, which grows the botanicals that it uses in its products.
“People who care about what they put on their bodies come to Crush,” Miller said. “We offer better products and a modern experience that other salons don’t.”
Crush is located in the Olde Shrewsbury Village at 1000 Boston Turnpike in Shrewsbury.
Learn more at www.crushnailscafe.com.
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