It wasn’t that long ago I found myself on the phone with Pink Pedi. When salons shut their doors in March, several nail-focused businesses pivoted to offering at-home kits, but the pretty, toxin-free Oak Cliff salon took a different route, selling French lavender-infused hand sanitizer and non-medical grade masks to help support their employees.
Yesterday, I found myself on the phone with the salon again, but it wasn’t to talk hand sanitizer — I was calling from the Sylvan Thirty parking lot to make sure a nail technician was ready for my appointment. Though Pink Pedi didn’t open their doors the first day salons were allowed to at 25 percent capacity on May 8, the popular spot began welcoming clients again last Friday. “It’s been good so far,” my technician told me through her KN95 mask. “Only one person refused to wear a mask, but they wanted their nails done so badly, they eventually put one on.”
In addition to mandatory masks and calling from your car, new Pink Pedi protocols include temperature checks with a no-touch thermometer, no acrylic application, and choosing one service at a time (no switching from a pedicure to a manicure chair).
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I chose what I assumed would be a quiet time at the salon (3pm on a Wednesday) and saw only two other clients inside — one at a manicure station (equipped with new plastic shields), the other receiving a pedicure. Typically, you’d be offered a basket upon checking in at Pink Pedi to fill with your choice of bath bomb, scrub, and lotion, all made in-house with natural ingredients. There was no basket this time, and only one choice for a scrub and lotion (“Just to get the gears going again”), but the impressive array of sweet smelling bath bombs remained. After a little “eye shopping,” I pointed to a eucalyptus bomb for my treatment — I’ll take all the aromatherapy I can get right now.
I was worried the unease of a pandemic-era pedicure what take all the joy out of the experience, but I found myself just as soothed as ever. Maybe more so, actually.
Though face masks tend to keep most places quieter in my experience, my neighboring pedicure-getter was deep in conversation with her technician the whole time — small talk always finds a way. After her service, she sweetly handed every Pink Pedi employee a little extra cash. I was told she’s a regular. In fact, several regulars have made their way to the salon in its reopening week. Earlier that day, a client had surprised everyone with lunch.
There are a lot of nail salons similar to Pink Pedi in Dallas — beautiful spots created to elevate what could be a mindless, in-and-out experience. There’s Vivian’s Boutique Spa just off of Lower Greenville, Verbena Parlor and Adore Organic Spa over in Uptown, and several more. If you’re desperate to get a manicure or pedicure (as I very much was), these intimate spots — already hyper-clean even before the pandemic — could likely make anyone feel comfortable. And if you’d still prefer an at-home pampering experience, Pink Pedi recently began selling kits.