4 ways to reassure clients about the safety of your nail services

By Helena Biggs | 14 April 2023 | Business, Feature, Health & wellbeing

Nail Salon Lamp Gel Polish

You’ve spent hundreds of pounds on products, hours of time on training courses, and provide nail services that make your clients feel happy. So it hurts to constantly have to defend your profession from mainstream media cries of ‘UV nail lamps could cause cancer’ or ‘gel polish services cause allergies’.

These stories don’t seem to going away any time soon, and a BBC News report aired 14 April highlighted the dangers of home-use gel polish kits, largely due to improper application from lack of knowledge by the user – but also due to ingredients used.

So how can you reassure clients that their nail services are in safe hands?

  1. Train with reputable companies that offer recognised qualifications.

While a deal you’ve seen online to ‘become a manicurist in one day’ for a very low cost may seem tempting, consider what you need to learn in order to be working on the nails of the general public – and with chemicals. As the saying goes, ‘buy cheap – buy twice’ – and cheap training may not always give you the valuable knowledge you need.

Theory is imperative in order to understand when you shouldn’t perform a nail service due to certain contraindications, general safety measures at the nail desk, nail conditions and nail anatomy. This takes far more than one day to digest and learn properly in order to confidently assess a client’s nail condition and determine the appropriate treatment or product to be used.

What’s more, perfect application requires practice over time. Contact with the skin is a key cause of an allergic reaction, so perfecting application skills – regardless of nail system – avoids potentially damaging and harmful results.

Choose a training course that outlines what is learned across each module, and do not be afraid to contact the training provider and its educators if you have any questions. Do your due diligence – have you seen reliable reviews about it online? Is it accredited by a recognised industry body, such as HABIA? Does it cover everything you and your clients need? What support is there post-completion? Talk to people who have completed the course before you commit, and assess whether the course will ensure you feel confident to answer questions your client may have about their nails.

2. Showcase your qualifications and don’t forget CPD

Instil confidence in your clients by framing your course completion certificates and displaying in your nail space, or salon window. List the courses you have taken or qualifications you hold on your website, and use social media to reaffirm that you have taken steps to ensure professionalism and enhance your knowledge.

Keep spreading this message in your social media bios or ‘About’ section. Put yourself in a prospective client’s shoes; they will feel more reassured by a pro’s bio that states ‘Level 3 Beauty Therapy qualified, master educator, 4+ years experience’ etc than one that states ‘self-taught nail artist’.

The nail industry is an exciting one; with new techniques and products in abundance, so it’s important to keep up-to-date with its movements through annual training workshops, courses or by immersing in industry articles and videos from reputable sources. Each time you purchase a new product or system, be sure that you’re clued up about its safe use via a course with the product provider or through asking questions. And post about these courses on your platforms! Tell your clients what you’ve been up to at their next appointment. A will to learn and expand your knowledge (and skillset) is a reassuring trait.

3. Perfect your product choices & use

Nail systems are specifically formulated to work as just that – a system. Reputable nail brands would have done months – possibly years – of testing with each products in each system to ensure they work together perfectly, to enable a safe service. For example, they test how well the base, colour and top coats work together, and the exact cure times of gel polish within a specific lamp. So, if you use a different lamp to the one suggested by your chosen brand, you run the risk of overcuring or undercuring product – which is a prime cause of an allergic reaction. Here, Katie Barnes highlights why a correct gel polish cure is so important.

Read the articles below regarding product ingredients and use before you invest into a product range:

“We have to make sure that people that work in the industry, and our clients, are safe,” said chair of The Federation of Nail Professionals, Marian Newman BEM, in an interview with BBC News. “[I urge people to] stop using the DIY kits available on high streets, as that is what the British Association of Dermatologists has highlighted as one of the main causes of an increase in allergies.

“What should legally be on the labels is that these products should be used by a professional only. [People should] visit a professional who is qualified to use these products, understands the chemistry and knows how to use them correctly and safely.”

Don’t be afraid to tell that to your clients and open their eyes to the dangers of at-home gel polish kits, or applying professional products themselves. What’s more, if you mix systems and don’t apply the product as recommended by the manufacturer and the client has a reaction, your insurance is likely to be invalidated – and reputation left in tatters.

4. Support industry initiatives that promote high standards

There are a number of nail industry competitions – both national and global, such as the Scratch Stars Awards and Nailympia, that offer a platform to showcase your skill and reputability as a nail pro, and push your talent further. Take clients along with you on your competition journeys via social media, and they’ll feel comforted that their nail professional is entering a big competition process and keen to enhance their skills – and excited should you make it to the finals.

The PHAB Service Stars initiative has been launched by Nergish Wadia-Austin, esteemed international business management training & beauty industry consultant, to ‘give salon, spa and barbering professionals elevated status and a measurable benchmark for their performance.

“It helps the consumer to identify the best practitioners nearest to them,” she explains. “I am proud to say that the PHAB Service Stars is the first performance based award in our industry overseen by industry experts. “There is mandatory regulation in many countries, but exceptional performance, quality of work and superb service is not regulated – and it’s what consumers are looking for.

Available for application by nail technicians, beauty therapists, hairdressers, barbers and colourists, you can apply for a PHAB Service Star by sharing some key performance indicators about your business practices. Further requirements include customer testimonials, management support, and mystery shopping.

How & why you should apply for a PHAB Service Star.

In addition, share BABTAC’s T.I.M.E initiative with your clients, to help them identify beauty professionals that are reputable and reliable. The initiative, launched January 2023, helps consumers signpost their way to salon safety via a regulatory checklist.

T.I.M.E provides the framework necessary to ensure that consumers are aware of what to consider when booking a service with a beauty therapist.

  • TRAINING – What training and qualifications, including continual professional development (CPD) do you and all your staff have?
  • INSURANCE – Are you insured & who by?
  • MONITORING – Do you carry out important pre and post appointment processes such as patch tests, consultations & aftercare
  • EVIDENCE – Can you provide certified proof of training and insurance and client testimonials?

Click here to find out more.