The Collaborative’s mission is to improve the health, safety, and rights of the nail and beauty care workforce to achieve a healthier, more sustainable and just industry.
In California and throughout the United States, the beauty industry is booming. “Manis and pedis” are becoming more popular as customers want to be pampered with the latest nail designs, colors, and styles. Over the last twenty years, nail salon services have tripled and cosmetology is now the fastest growing profession in California. Nail polish sales were up 59% for the first 10 months of the 2011 and did better than any other beauty product in these tough financial times. While demand for salon services has grown, little attention has been paid to health impacts
associated with workplace chemical exposures found in beauty and nail products.
The California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative was created in 2005 out of growing concern for the health and safety of the nail and beauty care workforce. We work together at the intersection of workers rights, health justice, environmental and reproductive justice and health, and Asian American community health. Our members include nail salon workers and owners, community organizations, advocates, and researchers.
• There are approximately 97,100 manicurists and 241,700 cosmetologists in California. Up to 80% are estimated to be Vietnamese immigrants, and more than 50% are of childbearing age.
• The average annual income for manicurists is $21,800 and for cosmetologists and hair stylists is $26,700. On a daily basis, they work with chemicals known to and suspected of causing illnesses including cancer, respiratory
problems, skin problems and reproductive harm.
• There is little government regulation of the chemicals used in salon products. Of the over 10,000 chemicals used in personal care products, 89% have not been independently tested for their impacts on human health.
• Salon workers are at greater risk for health issues related to their work because of various challenges such as language and cultural barriers and lack of access to health care.
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT AND EMPOWERMENT Building the leadership, decision-making, and power of California salon workers and owners invested in improving their working conditions and workplace health and
safety through outreach, education and organizing.
RESEARCH Advancing research and data collection efforts and effectively utilizes the expertise of a national Research Advisory Committee to support the Collaborative and National Healthy Nail and Beauty Salon Alliance’s work.
POLICY ADVOCACY and REGULATORY CHANGE Advancing policy advocacy and regulatory changes, which improve the health, safety and rights of nail salon workers. MOVEMENT BUILDING Supporting movement building opportunities at the local, state and national level to raise the profile of salon workplace health, safety and rights, to connect and leverage the resources of diverse groups, to advocate for safer products, and to secure policy changes and greater regulatory protection of salon workers nationally