Nail technicians typically use the same set of clippers, files and other nail-sculpting tools on every client. That means that improper sterilization can leave you exposed to all kinds of nasty diseases, from hepatitis to staph infections. While sterilizing solutions and autoclaves are generally effective at keeping tools clean, these methods aren't perfect.
To minimize your odds of picking up an infection, put together your own nail kit that you take with you to the salon. Include fingernail and toenail clippers, nail buffers, a couple of files and a cuticle stick, along with any other specialty tools you need to create your favorite style. Many clients carry these kits with them each time they get a manicure, though some nicer salons will store customers' supplies, much like a sushi restaurant holds sets of chopsticks for repeat clients. Don't have time to put together a nail kit before your appointment? Call ahead and find out if your favorite salon sells individual tools for clients who prefer not to use the house set.