Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
When Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. proposed a bill that would display letter-grade rankings in beauty service spots like barbershops and nail salons, we happily looked forward to the days where we'd no longer have to pore through Yelp reviews to figure out just how sketchy that salon near the office is. But this might as well have been a fever dream: The New York Daily News reports that the project could cost the city as much as $7.2 million per year, according to an independent review.
That's less than half than what's spent on inspections for the restaurant industry, who popularized this letter-grade system. And on that basis, Diaz is still optimistic that this "incredibly cost-effective" measure will get passed.
"We can provide for the health and safety of salon customers and employees without placing a major burden on the city's budget," he told the paper. The proposal also includes adding a customers' bill of rights that ensure sanitized tools and a new nail file for each patron. Public advocate Letitia James is also calling for more inspections on behalf of salon workers, citing hazardous chemicals and unsafe conditions, at a City Hall news conference this morning.
If you're crossing your fingers that this will still happen, make sure you don't smudge your freshly-painted digits.