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Growing up, going to the nail salon may have been a rite-of-passage. As a young girl, your mother probably did your nails. Or you went to a kiddie spa to get a bright pink manicure. As an adult, you have probably gone to the nail salon with your mom, sisters, and close friends. When you step into the acetone-scented nail salon, you immediately lay eyes on the nail polish wall, excited to choose which color you want to wear on your nails next. You probably have a go-to manicurist who also serves as your local masseuse, therapist, and nail stylist.
Unfortunately, going to the nail salon is not as good for your nails as you might think. According to the U.S. News and World Report, 75% of salons do not follow health standards, which means that nail tools, foot spas, and even the nail polish is not as sanitary as you would like to imagine. Cheaper salons tend to cut corners, and your nails' health can deteriorate as a result. When you go to the salon, make sure that your manicurist is doing what is best for your nails' health. A good manicurist would want you to have healthy nails and learn tips to maintain your nails' health outside of the salon. If your manicurist does not do this, it might be time to switch salons. Read on to find out more manicurist secrets about how to keep your nails healthy and be a great customer:
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If you want to have long, strong nails, keeping your cuticles healthy is the most important step! Nail cuticles can become dry and brittle due to extreme weather and conditions. According to Healthline, applying cuticle oil regularly can increase nail circulation and growth. It can also give your nails a protective layer against extreme conditions and cause your nails to look and feel healthier. Cuticle oil can also cause your nail polish to last longer. You can purchase cuticle oil at your local drugstore. If you want to use more natural ingredients, you can also apply a few drops of vitamin E oil, jojoba oil, and almond oil to your cuticles.
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If you do not get your fingernails and toes done at the salon regularly, you might be just a bit self-conscious about getting your feet done, especially if your toes and nails do not look the most glamorous. But one thing to remember is that manicurists have done thousands of people's fingernails and toenails. They have seen it all, meaning that they have definitely done someone's feet who looks a bit less attractive than yours. So when you hear your manicurist talking to a colleague in a different language, they are most likely talking to them about something else.
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If nothing else seems to be working for your nails, consider changing your diet. Drinking plenty of water (about six to eight glasses a day) can help keep your nails healthy, causing them to retain length instead of breaking off. Eating foods with lots of biotin can make your nails grow faster and become stronger. According to Healthline, foods naturally high in biotin include almonds, eggs, sweet potatoes, and spinach. If you would like to supplement even more biotin in your diet, you can also take biotin supplements daily. If you choose to take supplements, drinking lots of water is especially important. Some people break out from taking high doses of biotin.
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Unlike a typical 9 to 5 job, manicurists have a job that heavily relies on tips instead of an hourly wage. Which means if they don't get customers, they don't get paid, especially if they work at home or their own office. If you get your nails done with your manicurist regularly, a compliment or a positive Yelp review can be nice. However, you can really help your manicurist out by bringing several of your friends to her so that they can get great nails as well. Not to mention, it helps them pay their bills. Who knows, maybe your friends can also become regulars at the salon as well. And you know what that means....spa days with your friends are officially a thing!
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Gel manicures are great because they last longer than a regular manicure, making it more cost efficient than getting multiple regular manicures. But you should not get gel manicures every time you go to the salon. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, gel manicures can be bad for your health because you are exposed to UV rays. Also, you might not need to get a gel pedicure, since your feet experience less regular wear and tear than your hands. An exception is if you are regularly swimming in chlorinated or salt water. What can you do if you want long lasting color more often? You can replace gel or acrylic nails with stick-on nail color.
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Manicurists rely primarily on tips, not wages, especially if they work at a salon. That's why it is so important to tip your manicurist fairly. This means around 15% for a standard job and around 20% for a manicurist who did an excellent job on your nails. Regular customers can tip their manicurist up to 25%. Of course, you should also tip more during the holidays, when manicurists have many clients and would rather be home with their families than doing your nails. If you do not believe in tipping manicurists, you are better off staying at home and doing your own nails.
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It is very annoying to see those pesky hanging skin near the cuticle beds. It is almost standard procedure for manicurists to cut them off and cut your cuticles before they paint your nails. But manicurists are not supposed to cut your cuticles at all. In fact, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, cutting cuticles can make it easier for bacteria to get inside your nails and cause infection. Many nail salons argue that it helps nail polish to look smoother and last longer on the nail. What should you do instead? Ask your manicurist to push back the cuticle and trim loose skin and hangnails.
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Like other people in service jobs, such as hairdressers, massage therapists, and makeup artists, manicurists have heard it all. In fact, their regular customers have confided in them so much that they have experience as a therapist, minus the advanced psychology degree. So if you have something heavy on your mind and nobody to confide in, you can talk about it to your nail technician. It's definitely not the worst thing they have heard, so they will not judge you at all. And they will not tell anyone your secret. You know the saying: what happens in the nail salon, stays there.
If you are a regular at your nail salon, you have probably seen the same nail polish bottles for years. How does their nail polish last for seemingly years while your nail polish gets clumpy after approximately six months? Salons that provide cheaper services prolong the life of their nail polish by using acetone to thin them out. No wonder they need to apply more coats even if they have the same brand of nail polish as yours. What can you do if you don't want to use nail polish that is watered-down with acetone? Next time you go to the salon, bring your nail polish with you.
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You probably go to the salon so that you can get close-to-perfect nails. This is harder to achieve if you attempt to do your nails yourself, especially when you have to use your non-dominant hand to paint your dominant one. If you want your manicurist to give you great results, especially if you requested an intricate pattern, do not move your hand under any circumstance. And definitely do not reach for your phone after your manicurist just finished painting your nails. This is a recipe to a sloppy nail job or for your nails to become smudged immediately after it gets done. This makes things harder for the manicurist and for you. And if they have to re-do your nails after you moved your hand or touched your phone, your tip should reflect this.
Many women shave their legs immediately before they go to the salon since they do not want their pedicurist to judge them for having leg or toe hair. But did you know that you are not supposed to shave your legs right before your nail appointment? Since you just shaved, your legs are sensitive and can be prone to infection if you gave yourself any nicks or cuts. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, if you want smooth legs for your nail appointment, shave your legs at least 24 hours before your appointment. Otherwise, just keep your legs au natural. The manicurist isn't going to judge; she has leg hair too!
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At your workplace, if you have a business meeting or an interview with a client, it is very unprofessional for them to cancel on you last minute or without any notice. The same applies to the beauty industry. If you schedule an appointment to get your nails done, do not cancel last minute or be a no-show client. A beauty appointment is a manicurist's version of a business meeting, so it is very rude to just not show up. We understand that people get busy sometimes, and if that is the case, cancel or reschedule at least 48 hours in advance.
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Foot calluses are one of the biggest feet insecurities. In fact, almost everyone developed foot calluses at some time in their life. At some salons, manicurists shave off their client's calluses with a razor. This is unsafe, according to WebMD because razors can cause infection. What is an alternative to using a razor on tough, hard calluses? First of all, it is a good idea to soak your feet in warm water before treatment so that you can soften the calluses. Afterward, you can use a foot file, scrub, or pumice to remove calluses from your foot. Using a light lotion can help keep your feet smooth and moisturized.
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A common misconception is that manicurists are competing against their co-workers to scoop up clients and tips. In fact, manicurists are friends with each other for the most part, not competitors. Like you and your office co-workers, nail technicians spend their off-time at work gossiping with and learning techniques from their co-workers. Sometimes, they even paint each other's nails free of charge. As co-workers, they help each other to get more clients and hook up their friends to clients who give generous tips when they are occupied. So talking bad about another nail technician to your regular manicurist might not be a good idea after all.
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It may be second nature to you to pull out the nail clippers when your nails are uneven or breaking off. However, according to professionals, it is better for you to file your nails. First of all, filing nails can cause your nails to appear more even than if you were to clip them. Filing nails can also prevent nails from breaking or splitting in the future. However, you must have the right filing technique to keep your nails healthy. Do not file your nails back and forth, since they can look jagged as a result. Instead, file your nails in one simple movement.
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At a high-quality salon, the salon provides you with a nail file to take home. As a cheaper salon, you do not get any nail file. Why is this a red flag? Nail salons that do not provide nail files reuse the same nail file on multiple clients. Since you do not know how well staff members are sanitizing the nail files, you can get an infection from someone else's nails! If you want to avoid infection, you have two choices. You can choose to seek out a pricier salon that does not reuse tools like nail files. Still want to go to your local nail salon? You can bring your own nail file to the salon for the manicurist to use on your nails.
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One of the reasons why people become manicurists is because they have a passion for making their client's nails look good. (It sure isn't because of the pay.) Even when manicurists are off from work, they add to their large collection of various nail polish colors. In fact, they are one of the people you can ask if you want to know the difference between turquoise, teal, and aqua. So don't think that you are annoying your manicurist by asking about which different shade of pink you should choose. That is not only her job but also her passion. She loves to help clients choose the perfect nail color for their skin tone.
When you head to the nail salon, sometimes you are so focused on matching your outfit with your shoes that you forget to bring a pair of flip flops for the salon. That means that you have to either buy a pair of flip flops from the nail salon or you have to wait until your nails fully dry and risk putting your freshly manicured toes back in your sweaty socks and shoes. Not to mention that even though the flip flops at the nail salon look new, looks can be deceiving. You don't truly know whose foot they have been on. Bring your own flip flops to the salon so that you don't have to pay a fee and you can have peace of mind.
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Like other service jobs, such as retail, food industry, and the hair salon, our clientele increases on the weekend. This is because everyone who is off during the weekend comes in to get services done. Not to mentions Saturdays before going to the club on Saturday night or before major holidays like Easter Sunday. If you have some time during the week, do your manicurist a favor and go in to get your nails done on a weekday after work. You will get much more individual attention and be out the door quicker. There are also weekday specials at some nail salons. If you go during a busy period like weekends or holidays, it is a good idea to tip your manicurist a bit more than usual.
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Pedicure foot spas make your visit to the spa feel more luxurious. But in reality, these spa baths can be quite the opposite, since they are often reeking in bacteria from other people's foot fungus. When they turn on the bubbles in the foot spa, it can make bacteria more widespread. If you still want to use the pedicure jets, make sure that you go to a salon that complies with disinfection procedures from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. After each client, manicurists must disinfect the tub with a hospital disinfectant. Otherwise, they should use a new plastic on the foot spa for each client.
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Even though manicurists are professionals, even they can experience hurdles when dealing with clients' nails (glitter nail polish always give a bit of a challenge!) Instead of purchasing expensive glitter nail polish remover, you can use cotton balls, acetone, and aluminum foil. Soak the cotton balls in acetone and place the aluminum foil over the nails for five minutes before you take the glitter off your nails. Use cotton balls with acetone to take off more glitter and soak your nails in water for a couple of minutes. Then use a glue and water mixture to peel off the remaining of glitter from your nails. Your manicurist would definitely thank you for making their job so much easier.
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Manicures can be as expensive as $25 and pedicures can be as expensive as $35 (not including the tip of course), but it is definitely worth it to invest in a great manicurist. Your nails will definitely thank you since they will be healthy and beautiful. It is important to look for reviews on websites such as Yelp when searching for salons and manicurists to do your nails. It is also important for manicurists to have multiple pictures of their nail art on social media pages such as Instagram. If they have mixed reviews or a few pictures, their work can be inconsistent. Going to inexperienced manicurists can add up because you would have to go to a professional to fix an amateur's sloppy job.
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As a client, you might not know about the schemes that some manicurists use to scam prospective customers. But manicurists have a clearer idea about legit and illegitimate business practices. For example, some manicurists would require you to give a deposit after you make a reservation for a nail appointment. If you do not cancel or reschedule your appointment 48 hours in advance or you are a no-show, the company will keep your deposit. However, these same companies have canceled or rescheduled clients without refunding their deposit. At reputable companies, you are not required to give a deposit for a nail appointment or you are even able to walk in to get your nails done.
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Taking care of your hands and nails can add up. When you go to high-end beauty stores, there are many products that claim to work miracles on your nails. According to Natural Living Ideas, you don't have to spend a lot of money to maintain long, beautiful nails. Tea tree oil can remove fungus from even the most stubborn of little toes. Coconut oil can moisturize your hands and cuticles. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, Vaseline is an old-school remedy that heals dry nails and cuticles. Exchange heavily scented mall-store lotions for more natural alternatives, such as Eucerin and Cetaphil that can be found at your local drugstore.
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Even though they have hard days sometimes, manicurists love their jobs. Why else do you think that they went to beauty school to specialize in their field? They enjoy being able to create a masterpiece on your nails. They love socializing with many different people every day. And they take pride in helping you choose the perfect design for your nails and their extensive nail polish collection. If they truly did not want to be a manicurist, they would have found another, more lucrative job a long time ago. So visit your go-to manicurist often so that they can do what they do best- slay your nails.