Do Nail Technicians Have to Wear Gloves?a person wearing pink gloves is giving another person a manicure

Do Nail Technicians Have to Wear Gloves?

Nail technicians are frequently in close contact with various chemicals, solvents, and other materials that can be harmful if absorbed through the skin. This includes materials like the glues used for applying gel nails and acrylics, emollients, as well as pure acetone and other removers. As a result, some nail technicians opt to wear disposable gloves to help protect their hands and their own manicures.
There is much more of a hazard for someone who uses these materials every workday than there is for a client who gets their nails done, even on a regular basis.
Some nail techs opt to not wear disposable gloves, and in most locations, it is not a law that they need to. However, employers must have the option available to their employees in many states.
Below, we look at some considerations when selecting the right glove for nail salons.

Material Matters

Nitrile Gloves: These are the most popular choice for nail technicians. They are durable, resistant to many chemicals used in nail salons, and offer a comfortable fit. Unlike latex, nitrile gloves are less likely to cause allergic reactions.
Latex Gloves: Some technicians prefer latex gloves because of their fit and feel. However, latex allergies are common, and can be severe, so it may be best to find an alternative. Latex allergies can develop over time due to over exposure.
Vinyl Gloves: These are a less common choice as they're not as durable or resistant to chemicals as nitrile. However, they can be a suitable choice for those with latex allergies if nitrile gloves are not available. It is noteworthy that vinyl has better resistance than nitrile to acetone, which is just one of the materials used often in nail salons.

Powdered or Powder Free?

It's generally a good idea to choose powder-free gloves. The powder can contaminate the nail bed or nail polish, and there's also the potential for clients to have an allergic reaction to the powder.

Medical or Industrial Grade?

Disposable Industrial Gloves are perfect for nail technicians! Medical Exam Gloves can be worn, but they are not a necessity. There is no need to purchase sterile gloves.

Best Practices for Nail Salons

  • Disposable gloves need to be changed between every client.
  • If the gloves become ripped or torn, remove them, properly wash hands, and put on a new pair
  • Wearing disposable gloves does not replace proper hand washing hygiene
  • Throw the gloves away properly
  • Learn how to remove gloves like a champion here!
  • Wear gloves if you have any cuts or open sores on your hands, even if you don’t wear them regularly. The chemicals used in nail salons are especially unpleasant on open wounds


Regulations surrounding safety precautions in nail salons vary from country to country, and even state to state. It is not mandatory in most locations for nail technicians to wear disposable gloves, but many people find it more comfortable to wear gloves than exposing their skin to the chemicals needed in a nail salon. Wearing disposable nitrile gloves while working helps prevent skin irritation and breakouts and helps to protect a tech’s own manicured nails.