Like many women, I love a good manicure and pedicure; it polishes off a look and automatically makes you look more put together. A few months ago I heard a rumor that Houston’s first nontoxic nail salon was going to open in the swanky BLVD Place and after waiting patiently, I finally got to try it out.
Paloma is in a great location; BLVD Place is centrally located next to great shopping and dining, so adding a manicure or pedicure to your to-do list is easy before running errands or meeting friends out for lunch. Walking into Paloma is not like walking into the typical nail salon you are used to. There are no jarring smells, wrinkled and worn out magazines littering every service station or nail technicians wearing masks. Instead you walk into a calm and beautiful salon where everything is gleaming, orderly and sweet smelling. I was sold on my nail experience as soon as I opened the door, and I hadn’t even been offered a glass of wine yet. I got to sit down with founder Maryam Naderi to talk about Paloma and why she felt there was a need for Paloma in Houston.
Why did you decide to open a nontoxic nail salon in Houston?
I have always loved getting my nails done, but did not enjoy the typical nail salon experience and couldn’t afford to go to a day spa for a manicure/pedicure. I was always suspicious of things such as sanitization, treatment of workers, compensation of workers, and hated the fumes that hit you in the face when you walked into a typical nail salon. I read the New York Times expose, “The Price of Nails”, and it confirmed many of my suspicions and opened my eyes to just how bad certain commonly used chemicals (formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, formaldehyde resin) were for technicians.
I realized there has to be a better approach to nail care — a cleaner, safer, and just generally more pleasant experience waiting to be had. I slowly started to piece together what I would want in a nail salon: online booking, beautiful aesthetic, high quality polish offering without an up charge (most nail salons upcharge for premium lines like Chanel, Dior, Vinylux, etc.), and above all — a nontoxic environment for nail technicians to work and make a fair income, and a nontoxic environment for clients.
How is Paloma changing the beauty scene in Houston?
We are having an impact on both the nail technician community and our clients. Nail technicians come to us wanting to work somewhere that doesn’t offer any acrylic services (inhalation of particles is harmful to nail technicians) and doesn’t use toxic chemicals. Clients come to us because Paloma is clean, beautiful, and offers a selection of polish they can’t get anywhere else.
We are transforming getting a nail experience from a smelly, frustrating experience to a beauty experience for the modern person who wants to get in and out with a beautiful nail service.
Do you think nontoxic nails are going to become more mainstream?
Absolutely — the nail salon industry is experiencing a revolution that I believe will not end anytime soon. Traditional (dirty) nail salons are being exposed for what they are and people are waking up to the fact that if you want a $15 manicure or $20 pedicure, number 1) you get what you pay for 2) someone is paying a price for you to get that cheap of a nail service.
What is your vision for Paloma in 5 years?
My vision is to have Paloma exist in cities across America where the clientele would support our nontoxic approach to nail care.
Just in time for spring Paloma has added a new product to their services. CND Shellac is a line of nontoxic shellac that can be added to any nail service and will last for up to 14 days. Paloma’s trained techs use a LED 3C Technology light system, which does not age the skin, to cure the long lasting shellac nail colors.
Friends, schedule your first visit; you won’t be disappointed and your days at a traditional nail salon will be over after your spa-like experience at Paloma.