Beauty

4 Philadelphia Nail Salons for Non-Toxic Manicures

Committed to using five-free polish? Here's where you'll find it.


Photograph by iStock/efetova

You haven’t seen the horrors of what nail polish can do to your nails until you’ve tried to take off a black gel manicure. At home. With acetone. Did I mention it was a gel manicure?

Here’s the thing: having pretty, painted nails shouldn’t require you lose a layer of nail or canvas your pointers with bad chemicals. Thankfully, beauty brands have caught onto this, and that means there are now many nail lacquers that come “five free” — as in, free of five toxic chemicals, including the likes of formaldehyde.

And with the rise in non-toxic nail polishes, we’ve also seen a rise in non-toxic salons — shops that have sworn off potentially dangerous chemicals in the products they use. Want an all-natural, nontoxic salon experience? Here are five nail salons in Philly where you can find it.

Juju Salon & Organics

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Forget destroying your nails with gel polish: Juju Organics serves up Bio Seaweed Gel — a five-free gel polish that’s supposed to last two weeks or more. Not looking for gel? The “regular” organic manicure at this Society Hill salon comes with a natural sea-salt scrub and an herbal detoxifying and nourishing mask. While everything at this salon is all-natural and organic — which is awesome — you can also feel good about visiting Juju for it’s sustainable practices. At the salon, the energy is 100-percent wind powered, they use all biodegradable bags, energy efficient lighting, and are fume-free.

Mi Cumbia Organica

The husband and wife team behind this Rittenhouse salon are committed to creating an all-organic nail experience. The manicures here come with different organic pampering treatments — like the “Mimos” manicure, which includes a milk cuticle soak, or the “Coconut” manicure, which uses shredded coconut to exfoliate and coconut oil for a hand massage. The service finishes with an application of five-free polish.

Raw Lab Spa

Not only does this Tenth Street salon say “no” to all parabens, formaldehyde, toluene, DPB, and artificial coloring, they also place a premium on cleanliness. That means no whirlpool foot baths, and pedicure tub liners that get changed after every customer. Clean ingredients and clean tools are a must — the fact that Raw Lab has a $15 “Aqua ReFresh” quick manicure is just a bonus. Have a little more time? There’s a “Matcha” manicure on the menu, which uses the rejuvenating properties of green tea to bring back life to overworked hands.

Naturale Salon

A vegan manicure? You can get that here! In fact, Naturale gives you your choice of non-toxic polishes — from the likes of the vegan line Zoya to better-known brands like OPI Infinite Shine. The salon is also fume-free and passionate about their cleaning practices. Here you can get a $15 quick manicure — or go in for the $35 “Therapeutic Manicure,” which includes a mineral exfoliant, a marine cooling mask, and finishes with botanical oils.

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