So it’s a customer one today! What to look for when looking for a nail tech… Because there are so many of us right?

It would be easy to assume that all manicurists are created equal, especially when many of them appear in plain sight on the high street, but this is simply not true.

In the old days, nail education only took one path which was through NVQ beauty at college, but the modern world and the invention of gel polish, which created a huge boom in the industry coupled with a supply issue that didn’t meet the new demand from customers, has lead to a watering down of skill with techs being “educated” in an afternoon….. or worse, online.

Anyone who knows anything about anything can surely guess that an afternoon is not enough time to learn the intricacies of the anatomy and physiology and contraindications of a nail service, let alone master the practical skills, but there are thousands out there practising on real clients like you.

The boom in the internet has also lead to the ease for people to access cheaply made Chinese factory products, and this, coupled with a lack of education are all contributing factors to the allergy crisis in the nail industry. Nail chemicals are strong chemicals that should be used with extreme care!

So how do you as a paying client navigate this minefield and settle with a quality tech?

Well, here are a few suggestions. Firstly, ask them about their education- any good nail tech will be happy to tell you about their training and show you certificates and proof of insurance on request. How long have they been qualified? This shows their level of experience.

Ask them about the products- are they knowledgeable about what they’re using? Is it a brand name that you are aware of? Do the labels contain lots of information? Ask them where it’s manufactured.

Are they using a quality lamp? Lamps must be matched to gel systems so look for matching branding.

Does their equipment look clean? Feel free to ask about their sanitisation process if you can’t physically see any signs of barbicide etc.

Avoid Non-Standard Salons at all costs! NSS (sometimes incorrectly labelled Chinese or Asian nail bars) are the American style nail shops on every high street. They use extremely dangerous MMA acrylic, e-file the nail plate, have no qualifications or insurance, their staff rarely speak any English, they charge extra for gel and then apply acrylic anyway, their staff are often trafficked and forced to work in the sex/drug trade by night and for no pay, the smell is overwhelming and we have all seen serious infections caused by them, on occasions leading to amputations!

There are no nail police and nobody to stop these rogue traders so you have to do your own research! It’s such a minefield with huge disparity in quality of service, but remember you usually get what you pay for in this life! Finding a good nail tech is much like finding a hair stylist you trust: once you find one, never let them go!