I was in Westfield Stratford shopping centre a couple of weeks ago and thought it might be nice to get my nails done, however when I approached the nail bar (Le Monde Nails) I was told that they would not give me a simple manicure because I couldn’t fit at their desk with my wheelchair, it was a health and safety issue and they would not be able to do a professional job!
Not impressed by this explanation I explained to the duty manager that I had not had a problem at other such nail bars, and that my hands can be on my tray whilst they are being painted. My PA even gave an example of how it could be done, however he continued to say they would not do it.
He even suggested I go elsewhere where there would be a big enough chair for me. When I tried to explain that I can’t sit in another chair and I need to stay in the one that I am in he said, again, it’s health and safety they can’t do a professional job and no, they would not do a manicure for me. My PA and I said that we would be reporting the nail bar for discrimination and telling a lot of people about it, as not only was it rude (he was constantly answering the phone and trying to get away) but the reason was completely unsatisfactory.
It is not all bad news for beauty seekers though, on a recent trip to Tenerife I came across the most lovely and accommodating hotel spa staff I have ever met. Nothing was a problem for them, I could stay in my chair, they would move around me, I was able to have gel nails done and several massages, they even went so far as to ask if there was anything they could do to make it more comfortable for me. Why, when you are in a foreign country and you can only communicate with the very basic of language skills can you get a 5* service?!
I have found other places in the UK that are accessible who will do nails and hair for me (but not a hair wash as their chairs are fixed so I can’t move mine in place) in hull and down in Devon. They are very accommodating and try and do what they can with the space and tools available to them.
Whilst I have had a few good experiences, most of then have been abroad! the overwhelming majority of the UK experience have been awful moments were I just want to run away and hide. It is embarrassing to be told in the idle of a busy shopping centre that I can’t have a manicure because my chair is dangerous!