There are more than 1,000 nail salon chains in the U.S. Some, like Sally Beauty and Jill’s Salon, are owned by big companies like JCPenney.
Others, like the small mom-and-pop chains that sell makeup and hair care supplies, are operated by family-run businesses.
But for some consumers, nail salon brands have become so ubiquitous that they’re almost a necessity.
A few years ago, the U and Canada were the only countries in the world that didn’t require nail polish to be sold in nail shops, said Nicole Gautier, a senior vice president at the International Association of Home Makeup Artists, an industry group that represents salon brands.
Now, it’s common to see nail polish at home in nearly every home, she said.
Gautier said many people are turning to nail polish because it is cheap and can last a long time.
“They know they’re going to need nail polish,” she said, and that they can buy it at a drugstore for about $10 to $15 a bottle.
One nail salon owner who’s happy with the trend is the founder of the nail shop called the Hush Puppy.
It’s owned by his mother, who was diagnosed with cancer when she was 13.
The Hush puppy is in a small space on a street corner in Portland, Ore.
It sells nail polish, eye shadow, and a host of other products to help with chemo, chemotherapy, radiation, and other treatments, said Gautiers mom, Marlene B. Brent and Lulu Bowers started the HUSH Puppy in 2001, when they were out of work.
They still have about 200 of the adorable, miniature nail-polish puppies.
“We wanted to create a place that was a bit more casual,” said Brent Bowers, who has been running the shop for 20 years.
The Bowerss, who have three children and a daughter, have three different brands of nail polish in stock.
They’ve made some major cosmetic changes in the past few years, Bowers said, including making their nail polish vegan.
Now, they sell more of a basic black polish called “Faux” for $1.25 and a darker, more vibrant “Crazy” for a mere $2.00, and they also offer some eye shadow and eyeliner shades for under $5.
Bowers said the company is working on making its products more eco-friendly.
He said he’s also expanding the variety of shades and making the store more customizable, like adding a $1 nail polish remover.
Other nail-shops have gotten more creative, too.
Pepsi Co. announced a line of new nail polish flavors in late 2016.
It was a way to show customers that its beauty products were not only made with real ingredients but also in-house.
That same year, Gautieri started the Glow Nail Salon in a parking lot in Portland.
It specializes in makeup, eyeliner, and nail polish.
The shop has more than 150 nail polish shades, from $3.99 to $9.99, and there are three different nail polish brands on display.
But the salon is still one of the few in the Portland area with nail polish that’s not just available online, said Marlene Gautily.
Bert and Lula Wesselman opened their first nail salon in the fall of 2018 in Portland’s downtown, where they have sold their stock to other people who are in need of the same services. “
If we don’t have it, then it’s something that we’re going out and finding it on our own.”
Bert and Lula Wesselman opened their first nail salon in the fall of 2018 in Portland’s downtown, where they have sold their stock to other people who are in need of the same services.
For now, Bert Wesselmans business is just getting started, and the family plans to expand in other parts of Portland.