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How I’m navigating epilepsy so I can keep offering nail services

By Scratch Staff | 26 March 2024 | Feature, Health & wellbeing, Tech Talk

Dawn Wolk Nail Desk

Dawn Wolk has huge adoration for the nail industry. It gives her independence and a sense of self worth – but regular seizures mean she can only offer a maximum of two nail services each day.

The East Sussex nail pro, who attained an L&P acrylic nail qualification in February 2023, suffers with epilepsy and can experience up to 20 seizures a day. She also has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which affects her connective tissue, and can’t work full-time in the industry that she loves.

Her epilepsy diagnosis came in 2003, after she awoke from an operation and started seizing. “The condition has taken away my control and confidence,” Dawn shares. “It limits what I can do, which is very frustrating.”

Dawn experiences around four seizures a day, and subsequently only offers nail services to those who are familiar with her condition: her friends and family members. “They recognise when a seizure may happen and I am thankful that they still come to me for their nail needs,” she shares.

It is thanks to the support of her family members, and especially her husband, Darren, that Dawn can do what she loves – even if it’s not as regularly as she would like. “When I was training, I worked from a small table in my lounge, but Darren then converted the conservatory into a nail salon,” she reveals. “He chose the conservatory as it means I am visible to him, yet my clients and I have privacy, and I can keep my independence.”

Darren comments: “Dawn’s epilepsy has limited the type of work she can do, but I encouraged her to pursue nails as I witnessed her talent and creativity. I saw how relaxed and happy she was when she doing her own nails, so made sure she was safe at home to do what she loves with her nail clients.

“I worked in the building trade, so acquired some skills that helped me to renovate the conservatory in around four days. I needed her to be visible to me during the day, so that I can ensure her safety if she seizes, particularly when working with an E-file.”

Dawn was keen for the salon to be inviting to clients, so she and Darren painted it white, and it features blush pink and grey accents.

“Dawn never complains, even when she’s in agony, and does everything possible to make others happy,” Darren continues. “She had always wanted to be a nail technician, so it was important to me to make that dream come true for her. I wanted the world to see her talent – and for Dawn to be happy.”

If her health improves, Dawn hopes to take on more clients. “I’d also like to enter nail competitions and expand my skillset so I can offer more services,” she shares. “Nails make me feel good about myself.”

Follow Dawn on Instagram.