NYC is the “Manicure Capital” with nearly 2,000 nail salons since 2012. The price of a NYC manicure is the lowest in the country with a medium average of $11 compared to $20 seen nationwide; so, the question is, how is this possible in NYC with such a high rent? Let me explain in more detail.
As of 2015 in my Upper West Side Manhattan salon, the price of a manicure is $20. My boss actually loses money at this price. The only reason we provide this service is for our clientele who wants manicures while having their hair done. In order for a manicure to be profitable, it would have to be at least $35. I am heart broken every time a client tells me $20 is too much for a manicure when really it’s the opposite.
Employers are rarely punished for labor and other violations. For example, an undocumented worker paid $10 a day is many times not even paid and only working for tips. Lawsuits filed in NYC courts allege a long list of abuses.
Basic human rights, safety and cleanliness are completely ignored making it impossible for a fair and honest business owner to compete.
As aforementioned as of 2015, a fair price for a skilled worker of any type including the masseuse, hairstylist, or manicurist, the price of the service should follow a $1 to $2 per minute model creating a low-end to medium-end 35 minutes manicure $35.
This is a rough estimate where your money goes towards manicures in three such situations.
When the NYTimes investigated salons in mid 2015, I hoped to see a change in business exploitation; unfortunately as of today nothing has changed.
Please shop responsibly; don’t contribute to the problem, instead, incorporate the solution. If you witness any of this happening the next time you visit your salon, contact the department of labor at https://labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/ls_ContactUs.shtm
Here are some extra articles explaining this current situation: