Guest Writer 300

5 ways nail techs can prioritise mental health when clients offload

By Guest Writer | 21 February 2024 | Expert Advice, Feature, Health & wellbeing

Nail Tech And Client

Health psychologist, Dr Ravi Gill, explores how nail technicians can create a safe space for clients to offload while prioritising their own mental health.

Dr Ravi Gill

Nail appointments offer an opportunity for a person to sit still for an hour without the distraction of their phones: an act of self-care and perhaps a therapy session.

Nail technicians often find themselves playing a dual role as they listen to clients’ personal stories, offering a form of informal therapy. While they aren’t trained therapists, techs are in a unique position in that people openly share about their lives and problems. It’s great to create that space for sharing, but you need to know what to do with that information.

What if all of your appointments one day are people talking about everything that’s going wrong in their life? Someone may be grieving, someone may be in the depths of post-partum recovery, someone may have had an argument with their partner. Think about the heaviness that they offload onto you when sharing these burdens. How does it leave you feeling at the end of your working day?

Whilst the salon is not a substitute for a therapy room, it can help provide a space for emotional support, strengthen your client relationships and enhance their overall experience.

Providing informal therapy involves active listening, empathy and creating a comfortable atmosphere, while maintaining professional boundaries.

You spend your time pampering others and providing mood boosts, from nail art to hand massages, all while running a competitive business, juggling family life and working long hours. Consistently listening to others vent or express negativity can potentially affect your own mood and wellbeing. It’s important for us all to be mindful of our emotional boundaries and seek ways to maintain a positive mindset.

Here are five ways to practice this:

1. Set boundaries

Establish a clear work-life balance by maintaining strict working hours and limiting work-related communication to working days. This is difficult as in our present day we are online 24/7, but scheduling regular downtime enables a mental break.

2. Take breaks

We often feel pressurised to offer more appointments to suit clients, especially around holiday seasons, but by taking regular breaks it allows you to rest, recharge and maintain focus in your appointments. Taking breaks between appointments can help manage the emotional toll of clients offloading.

3. Practise self-care

Identify and engage in hobbies that help you feel like you. Self-care involves making choices that contribute positively to your overall health and happiness.

4. Speak to colleagues

If you’re working in a salon, speak to your colleagues around you about how you’re feeling. If you are self-employed and work alone, take time out to speak to others in the industry. Sharing with others helps to build community and reduce feelings of stress and isolation.

5. Schedule downtime

When was the last time you scheduled time out for yourself? When you have back-to-back clients, it can be both physically and mentally draining, so it’s important to block out time for downtime. This is so important to maintain positive mental and physical health and allows you to be the best version of you.


If you find yourself in a space where you are unable to manage stress and overwhelm, please reach out to a professional.