Performing a manicure may be a basic service for nail technicians, but sometimes even the simplest steps are missed. To help you keep your services top-notch, Jennifer Mather, business development manager for CND, and Erica Nieuwenhuis, director of marketing and education for Bio Sculpture Canada Inc., explain the health and safety corners you should never cut.
Enhance the experience
One of the main things that many nail technicians skip when performing enhancements on a client is prep. “Enhancements bond with the keratin on the nail plate, so you want to prepare the nail in a way that maintains the integrity of the natural nail,” explains Mather, adding that this includes using the right products to remove dust and bacteria from the nail first.
Mather also recommends that when you’re preparing the nail for any kind of service, whether you’re adding enhancements or not, you must be careful how you’re removing the cuticle. “The true cuticle is the non-living tissue that’s grown down the nail, but many people think it’s the skin that surrounds the nail,” says Mather. This is actually the eponychium and is intended to protect the integrity of the skin and nails.
Address the issue
It can be difficult to turn a client away, but both Mather and Nieuwenhuis remind us that nail technicians shouldn’t be performing any services on clients that have medical concerns but should refer them to their physicians instead. “Conditions such as brittle nails, peeling or breaking just require some extra care in terms of conditioning and moisturizing,” adds Nieuwenhuis.
Keep it clean on the road
Working backstage at a show shouldn’t prevent you from keeping up the same level of care and cleanliness that you would uphold in the salon, so Nieuwenhuis recommends bringing disinfecting wipes to clean surfaces before and after working on them and bringing a sealed and labelled container for disinfected implements. “Whenever possible, be disposable, using orangewood sticks and disposable files so that everything you’re using can be thrown out after use,” explains Mather.
Talk it out
Nieuwenhuis explains that clients are becoming more educated about their own hand health, but that doesn’t mean you should stop speaking about common issues. Mather also stresses that if you have nail-biters on your hands, remind them about all the bacteria they’re spreading and how damaging the effects can be on the integrity of the nail.