KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Fox 4 Problem Solvers paid a return visit to a Kansas City nail salon that has been accused of running a dirty operation.
It’s the same nail salon Problem Solvers paid an undercover visit to last month where we saw so many violations that it surprised an expert.
So why did we return? Because after our first story aired, we received another complaint about Star Nails and Spa, 8710 Blue Ridge Blvd. This complaint was from Tamiesha Davis.
“Everyone I know goes there, and they were pretty good to me until this happened,” said Davis, who told us that a week after getting her last manicure there, one of her gel nails popped off.
"It was a little tender; it was a little sore,” she said.
But the busy working mom didn’t think much about her sore finger until the nail on it started turning green.
“It was flaky, greenish, kind of like gangrene to me,” she said. “It was scary. “
She quickly paid a visit to the emergency room where a doctor told her she had a fungal infection and prescribed a three-week dose of antibiotics. Fungal infections can occur when nail salons don’t sanitize their tools.
Tamiesha hired attorney Chris Mann and contacted Fox 4 Problem Solvers, wanting to warn others.
“When Tamiesha contacted me, she was concerned about her finger but also concerned that this had happened to other people,” Mann said.
Problem Solvers first learned about Star Nails and Spa from Better Business Bureau complaints where it has an F-rating.
When Problem Solvers paid an undercover visit this past fall, our cameras caught a nail technician resting her feet inside a pedicure basin.
But more disturbing is the buffer and file a nail tech was using. They both were covered with white marks from being used multiple times before.
Missouri regulations require buffers and files to be discarded after each use – so that bacteria won’t spread from customer to customer.
State regulations also require that metal nail tools, including clippers and cuticle pushers, be soaked in a hospital-grade disinfectant for at least 10 minutes.
On our visit, we only saw utensils being sprayed.
When we confronted the managers about Tamiesha’s accusations and our undercover findings, they insisted the salon was following all state regulations.
Both Star Nails managers blamed Tamiesha for her infection, saying she should have had her gel nails replaced more frequently. They said that would have prevented an infection from occurring.
“She cheap,” said one manager, referring to Tamiesha.
But experts tell Fox 4 Problem Solvers that even new nails won’t protect you from bacteria if the salon isn’t clean.
One manager insisted to us the salon throw away their nail files and buffers after each use. That’s when we showed them what our undercover cameras caught.
We pointed out that both the buffer and file had obviously been used multiple times. The manger said she had no knowledge of that ever happening.
Fox 4 Problem Solvers asked to see state inspection reports. A manager showed us passing inspections from 2014, 2015 and 2016. But when we asked about 2017, they couldn’t find it.
In Missouri, inspection reports are not a public record. So if a salon won’t voluntarily show you its report, there’s no way to know whether it passed or failed.
That’s something that Tamiesha, who is on an antibiotic for the next three weeks, can’t understand.
“We should be able to know those kinds of things,” she said.
Meanwhile a Missouri lawmaker continues to look into changing state law to require salons to post their state inspections.
The Star Nails and Spa managers tell us they operate a much cleaner salon now than when we first visited with our undercover cameras last fall.