Woman’s nails left cut, burnt and infected after visit to St Albans salon

The nails two weeks on.

The nails two weeks on. - Credit: Archant

A woman claims her fingers were “cut, burnt and left badly infected” at a St Albans beauty salon.

Lisa Star Nails in Chequer Street, St Albans.

Lisa Star Nails in Chequer Street, St Albans. - Credit: Archant

Laura Douglas, 38, who lives in the town centre area of St Albans, says she suffered “cuts and burns” during a procedure to remove Shellac nails at Lisa Star Nails, Chequer Street.

Miss Douglas alleges the nail technician admitted it afterwards and blamed the injuries on the size of her nails and an allergic reaction to a product.

The religious education teacher went to Lisa Star Nails to get the Shellac nails - that had been applied elsewhere - taken off.

But as the nail technician was removing them, she reportedly “cut too low” and significantly wounded her skin on two fingers at the nail bed. When she complained, she was apparently given a liquid to put on the cuts, which burned the skin.


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Miss Douglas said: “I was in a lot of pain. I said ‘You’ve cut me and burned me’ and she said it’s because I’ve got small nails. If she thought my nails are too small for her to safely groom them, she should have said before she started.

“I thought I would get a professional service and I’ve come out damaged and in agony. I went straight to a pharmacy and they said they’re burnt and recommended a cream.

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“During the procedure, the woman said to me: ‘You look like I’m torturing you. You need to toughen up.’ I thought that was quite a bizarre thing to say.

“When I went back an hour later to complain again she said: ‘Your nails are quite small and my tools are quite big’.

“She wouldn’t give me my money back and claimed to have apologised earlier but she hadn’t.

“It is horrifying that a nail salon, which you would assume is credible, can butcher your hands and get away with it. I’ve since looked online and found bad reviews from other unhappy customers who say they were hurt there.”

A third visit to the salon resulted in an eight-pound full refund, when Miss Douglas reckons staff admitted: “It does look bad. It does look infected. I’m not going to lie to you”. But she was later told they will do nothing to remedy the issue and she “must be allergic to the antiseptic liquid” they gave her.

She describes being in so much pain she went to her GP and was put on a course of oral antibiotics for the infection. Two weeks on, her fingers still hurt and have not healed.

Trading Standards have been contacted.

Environmental health officers at the district council were notified, as is the recommended standard practice where allegations of this kind are made. They confirmed they are investigating.

Michael Lovelady, head of legal, democratic and regulatory services at St Albans district council, said: “We received a complaint last week about Lisa Star Nails from a customer who says they suffered injuries during a treatment.

“Our business compliance team are now investigating under the Health and Safety at Work Act and will visit the business. As this is a current investigation, we can say no more at this stage.”

A quick internet search reveals several disgruntled consumers who wrote negative reviews after feeling badly treated there.

A spokeswoman at Lisa Star Nails said: “My colleague cut her finger and gave her antiseptic to put on it. It wouldn’t normally happen but sometimes things are out of our control. Maybe the skin was soft and my colleague was just a bit rough. It was just an accident. Maybe because the file was quite a long file, so my colleague might have accidentally filed on to the skin.

“It does look really bad and I did apologise for it and give her a refund. It has never happened in our salon – nobody has ever got an infection from our salon before. Normally when you put antiseptic on it’s okay. All our stuff has been sterilised and when someone is cut, we do throw the file away.”

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