The American Idol judge, 43, said that in April 2004 she had been treated with unclean equipment at a Studio City nail shop, resulting in frequent trips to the hospital and making her a target for late-night comics' jokes.
"Being a professional dancer, I'm no stranger to pain, but this time the pain was so excruciating that even my hair touching my thumb caused me to scream," Abdul told the California Senate Business and Professions Committee in Sacramento, the Associated Press reports.
Abdul is pushing for safety standards for manicure and pedicure equipment and a rewriting of state regulations mandating that nail shops follow sanitary practices to avoid leaving customers vulnerable to bacterial infections.
The law, sponsored by Democratic Assemblyman Leland Yee, is expected to pass in committee. Once that takes place, it would likely come before the full Senate sometime in the next two weeks.