Consumer warning: Nail salon allegedly burns teen skin (Part 1 of 2)

Thursday, June 07, 2018


Let me preface this post by stating there are two topics I'm going to discuss in two parts. The first is a recent accusation made by a California mom against a nail salon in Discovery Bay, California and the second is the attempt by state lawmakers at deregulating the California cosmetology board. Both go hand in hand on why deregulating the California cosmetology industry is a bad idea. It's a long read but it's very important because the laws in California might change which can lead to more injuries due to an unregulated industry.

On June 5, 2018, California mom Sheila Davis posted on her Facebook wall about an experience her daughter allegedly had at Discovery Nails in Discovery Bay, California. The mom took to social media to post the following:

Do not give your business to Discovery Nails in Disco by Safeway Madi went to get her eyesbrows waxed and asked them for a full face wax !She is 14 they proceed to do this with no parent present & no consent ...She came home in tears she looked like a lobster took her to the ER and they sent her to a burn specialist in walnut creek Kaiser she has 2nd degree burn thought out her face and is out of commission for 10 day !I went to the salon to see what they had to say I got I'm sorry !i ask why u did this and she continued to not answer !ask for a receipt for service and she said we don't give it if u pay cash WtF !I also ask for her lis # and her full name not her shop nickname well when walking to my car no name so had to return to shop to get it again

The mom posted photos of her daughter with what appears to be 2nd-degree burns all over her face - her eyelids, her cheeks, chin, around her nose, and forehead. The mom also acknowledges in her post that she does not know the name of the person who performed services on her daughter.

The owner of Discovery Nails is Lannie Nguyen. Ms. Nguyen has had a disciplinary action against her in 2010 stemming from a 2008 accusation of a client contracting MRSA. The state ultimately found her negligent which led to three years of probation, a 25-day suspension of both her licenses and ultimately led to her obtaining her esthetician license in conjunction with her manicurist license. Since then there have been no other complaints made against Ms. Nguyen or her establishment.

A couple of things, under most state laws, certain services cannot be performed on a minor without parental verbal or written consent. According to the mom, the daughter went to the salon without her consent. Secondly, regardless of whoever performed the services, the owner is ultimately responsible for the employees working in her establishment including to make sure they're licensed and trained to perform the appropriate services. Ultimately, it will be up to the parents of the teenager to file a complaint with the state board and possibly file a lawsuit against the establishment.

The problem is, things like this happen in both licensed establishments and unlicensed as well as by people who are licensed to do the scope of the service and those who are not. In this case, we don't know if the person who did the services is a licensed esthetician or cosmetologist (the only two license types in California allowed to wax). We don't know if the teen was on any medication that contributed to her being burned. A good esthetician would know to ask specific questions, as taught and required, to make sure they don't harm the client. What we do know, according to the mother, the teen girl went into a salon and had services performed without parental consent. The BIGGEST problem is that there is a law attempting to be passed in California legislature that would essentially deregulate the cosmetology industry making it legal for ANYONE to offer services. I'll discuss that in my next blog post.

So what can you do? BEFORE services you can ask to see a person's license. You can also become familiar with what services are allowed in your state or area. Many states have strict restrictions on who can offer what under what type of license. Many states actually make it illegal for certain titles to be used (e.g. medical esthetician). Some states have multiple tiers for the same license. Some states prohibit popular services such as dermablading and microblading to be offered by anyone outside of either the medical field (in the case of dermablading) or tattoo artistry (in the case of microblading). It ultimately is up to the person getting services to know what services are allowed in that state, if the person is actually trained, properly licensed and insured. In the US most states have the ability to look up a person's license online so when in doubt, look them up before you go and are possibly injured by someone not licensed.

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