The FOX 12 investigators uncover nail salons in Multnomah County fined the most by state health inspectors in the past two years. All were cited for breaking state rules, some even cited for reusing dirty tools on customers.
All nail salons in Oregon are governed by the Board of Cosmetology which has a strict set rules. The Oregon Health Authority told FOX 12, inspections of each facility are performed by the Health Licensing Office.
Nail salons never know when those state inspectors are headed their way. It's always at random.
"That was unfortunate that the event happened on that day," said Radiance Nail Manager Kevin Nguyen.
For manager Kevin Nguyen at Radiance Nails off Northwest Kearney Street, that day was May 25, 2016.
"Everyone was in the middle of what they've been doing, they were working with customers," said Nguyen.
State inspectors say they caught employees at his salon reusing tools on customers, like sanding bands. Inspectors say some employees also didn't properly disinfect or clean their tools. Because of all this the salon was fined $1,300 dollars.
"I would use the word confused not upset. You know just a little bit confused," said Nguyen. "In this case, it was a little bit confused between the employee and the auditor. My employee didn't know what they've been fined for, they didn't actually realize that their tool was supposed to be in a jar even while they're working and not working with those tools."
But the OHA says salon workers should know mistakes like those are health code violations.
Onyx Salon 1 INC in northwest Portland was also fined $1,300 this year by state health inspectors for failing to disinfect, or dispose of materials properly. Inspectors say they also caught employees reusing tools like buffer blocks on customers.
Brow Art 23 inside of the Lloyd Center was fined this year for not using disinfectant, according to the OHA. Inspectors say the salon also allowed an unlicensed employee to practice on customers.
FOX 12 spoke with a woman who said she was in charge of the shop. She said that employee was also using wax on customers, but the salon is only supposed to offer brow threading as a service.
This list from the OHA Health licensing Office shows the 10 nail salons in Multnomah County with the highest dollar amount of civil penalties since 2014: US Nails LLC 995 Lloyd Center fined $5,000 US Nails 995 Lloyd Center fined $5,000 Nail Garden 10229 NE Cascade Pkwy fined $2100 CT Nails on 632 NW 21st Ave (now closed) fined $1800 4 Seasons Nails & Spa 1111 NE 102nd Ave fined $1800 Fashion Hair & Nails 901 SW Highland Drive fined $1500 O.P.I. Nail and Spa LLC 3310 N. Lombard fined $1300 Radiance Nails 2312 NW Kearny Street fined $1300 Onyx Salon 1 INC 820 NW Hoyt Street fined $1300 Brow Art 23 2201 Lloyd Center fined $1300US nails at the Lloyd Center topped the list twice, but the OHA told FOX 12 the salon is now under new ownership. No health code violations were found in their follow up inspection last summer under the new owner.
The OHA told FOX 12 there are 4,782 licensed cosmetology facilities in Oregon, with just five inspectors tasked with examining them all. Which means they likely only get to each salon once every two years.
However, follow -up inspections are performed when warranted, or when the HLO receives complaints about a facility.
As for Nguyen and his salon, he says he's learned from past mistakes and hopes never to make that list again.
"You know we improved a lot from that time," said Nguyen.
If you want to check out if your neighborhood salon was fined by state inspectors this year, inspection reports are available on the HLO database: https://elite.hlo.state.or.us/elitepublic/LPRBrowser.aspx.
Select COS - Board of Cosmetology under board, FA - Cosmetology Facility under license type and Active under status. Add part of the name under Name, or narrow by city, county or postal code.
To search for a practitioner, under license type, instead search for BA - Barber, FT - Esthetician, HA - Hair Design, NT - Nail Technology, or NHC- Natural Hair Care.
The information is also accessible at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/hlo.
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