Protect yourself: Be informed about state cosmetology laws

The South Dakota Cosmetology Commission sets high professional standards for nail technicians and cosmetologists for consumer safety. Every summer, many consumers seek nail and pedicure services without being informed of salon safety requirements. Being aware of the guidelines can prevent injury, infection and disease.

Manicures and pedicures should only be performed in a licensed salon by a licensed nail technician or cosmetologist. Before making an appointment, ask questions, get referrals from the salon and review the state guidelines.

Do not:

  • Shave legs 24 hours before pedicures.
  • Allow cutting of calluses and ingrown toenails.
  • Expect a nail technician to perform waxing services.


  • Observe salon cleanliness and sanitation practices.
  • Inform the technician if you have health concerns or medications.
  • Be aware of guidelines and ask questions.

"If you are not comfortable with what you see in a salon, the best thing to do is leave," said Cosmetology Commission Executive Director Kate Boyd.  "Services should not hurt, injure or put you at risk of infection."

South Dakota consumers who make informed decisions about nail and pedicure services can help prevent health hazards.

For more information, visit or call the South Dakota Cosmetology Commission at (605) 773-6193.

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