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03 September 2020
Posted by in Nails

8 surprising things ruining your client’s manicure

Expert advice to help your customers care for their acrylic or gel nails.

As a nail technician, you want your clients to be happy with their acrylic nails or gel polish manicures. Yet in a post-Covid world, increased handwashing and use of hand sanitiser could lead to manicures chipping, lifting and peeling. And they aren’t the only things that mean manicures might not last as long as they should.

Metta Francis, an award-winning mobile nail technician, says, “There are lots of unexpected things that can affect a gel polish manicure or acrylic nails. It pays to know what they are and how to deal with them so you can give your clients all the aftercare advice to make sure their nails look perfect for longer.”

Here are eight things that can ruin a manicure…and the advice you should give clients to look after their nails.

1. Hand sanitiser

Hand hygiene is so important in stopping the spread of coronavirus. Yet alcohol-based hand sanitiser can wreak havoc on a manicure.

Metta says, “The whole point of hand sanitising gels and products is to break down bacteria and germs. Which means it’s going to affect the nail coating and help break those down as well.”

She suggests updating your aftercare information to let your clients know about the possible impact of hand sanitiser on their manicure, and how to reduce any possible impact. “When using the hand sanitiser make sure it’s on the actual hand”, adds Metta. “If there is extra hand sanitiser on the nail then wipe it away. This way you’re making sure it’s not just sitting on the top of the nail.”

“Some colours like pinks can fade in natural sunlight. It can bleach the colour so it’s worth telling your clients to use cuticle oil or balm because that helps to create a natural barrier.”

2. Using nails for everyday jobs

Anything from opening a letter to picking at a roll of Sellotape can damage a manicure. “When talking to your clients about aftercare, it’s worth recommending they avoid opening packages, letters, cans and cartons with their nails. Instead, use letter openers or other tools instead. A lot of the time it’s these everyday random tasks which could potentially crack the top of the nail and then cause the manicure to lift or peel away.”

3. Exposure to lots of water

The most effective way of stopping Covid from spreading is by washing your hands with soap and water. And while this handwashing is to be encouraged, it’s also worth flagging up to your client that they’ll need to take extra care to stop it affecting their manicure.

Metta says, “With people washing their hands more, it means there is additional moisture. The nails will absorb that moisture, making them a bit softer and more likely to break or chip away.”

Luckily, there is a simple technique to stop this happening. “Using cuticle oils and cuticle balms helps form a protective barrier and prevents too much moisture being absorbed into the nail. Your clients will still be able to clean and wash their nails and hands frequently, but this will prevent too much moisture from being absorbed into the natural nail plate.”

For maximum protection, your customers will need to use cuticle oil or balm after every hand wash. You could also recommend a nail moisturiser that doubles up as a cuticle oil. Metta adds, “Make sure your clients know to keep moisturising and hydrating the nail coating with the cuticle oil and balm. It’s going to keep the coating flexible.”

She also recommends advising clients to wear gloves when using detergents and cleaning products at home. “Not only will wearing gloves protect their skin which can become irritated but again this will prevent the nail coating from chipping or breaking down prematurely.”

4. Unhealthy nails

A perfect manicure needs a good base. Which means if your client has dry or brittle nails this will affect the end result. Metta says, “Gel or acrylics will always last longer on a healthy nail. You could suggest IBX Repair Duo which is a really great professional treatment. You can apply them before the gel polish to help protect and repair the nail.”

She also suggests recommending an upgraded service to your client. “This could include things like hand masks, collagen-infused gloves and other extra treatments that can hydrate the hands and nails.”

5. Picking or biting nails

Another common cause of a manicure chipping or peeling is... your client! “You definitely want to advise against picking or biting nails”, says Metta. “When it comes to that it’s not really about the nails, it’s about what is causing people to bite and pick - anxiety, nervousness or stress. I’d suggest keeping a mini bottle of cuticle oil or a cuticle pen to hand and, if your client gets an urge to pick, they can massage the oil into their nails instead. It replaces that action of picking with massaging.”

Another common cause of a manicure chipping or peeling is... your client! “You definitely want to advise against picking or biting nails”, says Metta. “When it comes to that it’s not really about the nails, it’s about what is causing people to bite and pick - anxiety, nervousness or stress. I’d suggest keeping a mini bottle of cuticle oil or a cuticle pen to hand and, if your client gets an urge to pick, they can massage the oil into their nails instead. It replaces that action of picking with massaging.”

6. Sunlight

Aah, everyone loves the summer sunshine. But it’s not always a good thing for your client’s manicure. “Some colours like pinks can fade in natural sunlight”, warns Metta. “It can bleach the colour so it’s worth telling your clients to use cuticle oil or balm because that helps to create a natural barrier.”

7. Insect repellent

If your client is off on a late summer break, another surprising thing that can ruin a manicure is insect repellent. “Sun creams and insect repellent - especially repellent that contains DEET - can both affect the longevity of gel polish manicures and acrylic manicures”, says Metta. “This can cause gel polish to lift and peel away prematurely. When clients are applying repellent, make sure you recommend they wipe it off their nails.”

8. Lifestyle

Are your clients wondering why their manicure isn’t lasting as long as it should? It could be down to their day-to-day life. “If people are very hands-on or have more manual jobs it makes sense to go for acrylics or a hard gel because they are more hardwearing than gel nail polish or Shellac. Another option is to put a layer of strengthening gel under the polish. This is an additional layer of strength that makes your client’s gel polish last a bit longer.”

Follow Metta on Instagram, @nailsbymets

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