Read these four tips for keeping your clients’ nails happy after a soak-off.
Kim Tanner, president of Kim Tanner and Associates, predicts that with the popularity of gel and UV-cured polish, there will be an accompanying rise in popularity for natural nail strengtheners and hardening systems. “Most clients who are on board with the UV gel polish are natural nail customers. They love their natural nails and don’t want to do anything to deter growth or damage them.”
1. Elasticity is important
To keep clients ready for their next nail service, there are two things you’ll want to see in their nails. “After the gel product is removed, it’s not just hardness you want in the nail, but elasticity,” says Tanner. “Elasticity makes the nail more flexible so it won’t break when they’re growing out. In the Canadian climate when nails can get too hard, they can easily snap off. Nail strength is a combination of elasticity and hardness.”
2. Diagnose nail problems
According to Judith Fairn, Canadian sales manager at Nail Tek, there are four types of nails: strong and healthy nails; soft nails that show some peeling; dry, brittle nails with thick ridges; and the resistant nail that really asks for a turbo-boost. A nail tech can learn to diagnose the nail condition of their client in order to customize a graduated nail care program for her. Especially for clients transitioning out of gel nails, the nail tech should be watchful, keeping track of the changes in the natural nail, in order to customize nail care services.
3. Skin matters too
Skin care is also a factor when removing gel products. Most soak-off solutions contain a high concentration of acetone, which begins to affect the skin around the nail. “Star Nail has reformulated a safer and nourishing removal system that conditions the nail,” says Tanner. Emollients are added to the soak-off system, which helps to gently remove the gel from the nail bed and moisturizes the skin.
“A good test to check the moisture content of a soak-off is to rub a dab between fingers, and if the skin feels dry there is too much alcohol in the solution,” suggests Elaine Watson, VP of marketing and sales and global education director at Star Nail International.
4. Proper removal is key
Kim Tanner shares her best practices for nail techs:
1. Avoid intense scraping on the natural nail by waiting the full period of time when clients’ nails are in the soak-off solution. To help, use a timer.
2. Take a file and buff the top surface of the artificial coating before soaking off. This creates pores in the product, so that the soak-off can penetrate the coating faster.
3. If clients are soaking nails in a bowl, cover the hands and bowl with a towel to avoid any fumes from rising.
4. Place marbles in the bowl with soak-off solution. The banging of the marbles against clients nails will loosen the gel.
5. Send clients home with cuticle oil for use in between appointments.