Chloe Randall

Not sure which e-file bit to use? Willow Academy is here to help

By Chloe Randall | 09 August 2022 | Brands, Feature

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Are you looking for the right e-file & bits to suit your services? Scratch chats to founder of Willow Academy, Lucy James about the brand, the story and educating nail techs on this piece of kit…

When Lucy James’ repetitive strain injury left her with no choice but to either learn to e-file or retire, Lucy developed her knowledge in e-files and the pieces and became an educator to pass on her knowledge. After this, Willow Academy was born.

“I wanted to teach e-file and pass on my love of this incredible tool which transformed my business and relieved my poor arm,” explains Lucy.

From there, Lucy started researching in to quality, finishings, materials and various coatings, as well as contacting many suppliers and ordering samples.

“Willow began with a kit which was only available to students, until one student shared it with their nail tech friend and then they shared it on Instagram. I quickly became bombarded with messages of interest and we soon had to launch the Willow website.

“The knowledge that I had researched for the previous two years was then compiled into our “E-file Bible” which became our course manual, bursting with a total of 174 pages of E-file content.”

The ethos

“Our ethos is about breaking the e-file stigma, offering the best quality pieces with knowledge to match and above all else, instilling confidence. So many in the industry are understandably confused by the mass of pieces available on the market. What are they best for? What speed should I use them on? What’s the best bit for me? We are here to offer those answers,” explains Lucy.

“With every bit you purchase you receive a “Confidence Card”. It contains: Its name, shape, level of grit, uses, cleaning instructions, coating, lifespan, direction of use, flute formation and a date box for them to fill in at purchase to track when they need to replace. With every piece, our aim is to provide education, knowledge and in time, confidence because if the instructions are unknown, how can you reach your potential?”

The education offerings:

As well as striving to improve confidence in using e-files for nail technicians, Willow Academy also offer three face-to-face education courses.

  1. Original e-file course:

The original e-file course is aimed at both beginners to E-file as well as those wishing to refresh. The course consists of theory covering everything you need to know about the E-file you are using. It covers both working the product, as well as natural nail prep and cuticle work.

The theory consists of:

  • The different types of E-file Bits
  • The various materials E-file bits are made from, their benefits and properties
  • The different styles of E-file bits, their uses, shapes, grits/grades explained
  • E-file bit recommended Speeds
  • E-file Health & Safety
  • How to clean your E-file bits
  • How to prep/season your E-file bits
  • E-file machines explained teaching you everything from how they work, what to look out for, their buttons/dials & how to use your specific machine.
  • E-file Torque explained & why it is important
  • E-file hand pieces, the differences in models, how to maintain them

The practical sections cover:

  • How to remove Gel polish from the natural nail using multiple bits
  • How to do an infill with the aid of E-file bits
  • How to remove product lifting
  • How to reduce the length of a nail using your E-file
  • How to prep the natural nail using sanding bands safely
  • How to prep/refine old product prior to fresh application (infill)
  • Introduction to cuticle prep (Electric manicure) using all of our 5-bit Cuticle kit
  • How to refine product after product application
  • How to de-bulk product
  • How to do a full removal of product using an E-file

2. Level 2 E-Mani course also known as “Perfect Prep”.

This is aimed at already qualified E-file techs that wish to upgrade their prep routine. It goes through the stages of prep using 14 pieces of the cuticle bit range.

“We are advocates for “The Willow Way” which means working “your way”. During the course if you wish to use solely E-file prep, we have got you covered. If you wish to use a combination of E-file prep & traditional methods, then we are here to support you and adapt our training to fit. There is no right or wrong, it’s all about using the method that suits you and we adapt our teaching to each student to complement this.”

3. Level 2 E-Pedi Course.

This course is aimed at nail technicians who are already qualified and experienced in using an E-file. Willow’s “E-Pedi Course” concentrates on the reduction of calluses, cracks/fissures in a controlled environment. It is a gentle yet effective approach to exfoliation which requires no soaking, blades, peels or vigorous scrubbing. It is a bespoke treatment with an individual plan of action specific to each client which is decided at consultation.

Find out all about the pieces and more about the brand here