Laura Leakhena Ley is living proof of what you can accomplish with a little hard work. After moving to American from Cambodia with her family, she trained at Hayward College of Cosmetology and became a licensed nail technician and aesthetician, and then spent five years perfecting her techniques in other salons. When she and her husband, David, opened Orchid Nails, they had only two employees. Since then, that number has more than quadrupled as customers continue to pour in, thanks to the salon’s reputation for friendly service and strict sanitation standards.
Those standards include disposing of every file, buffer, slipper, and toe separator after nail services, which end with the customer’s choice of more than 1,000 colors of polish by OPI, China Glaze, and Essie. They take equal care when waxing away hair from chins, sideburns, and bodies, or while threading it away from brows and lips or onto balding teddy bears. Facials scrub and steam away imperfections such as blackheads, while massage services soothe away tension and muscular congestion with techniques ranging from deep-tissue pressure to reflexology.