Earn a Wrap Sheet
Help your clients fake it until they make it. Yes, it’s a cover that we’re asking you to perpetuate. But don’t worry - you won’t end up in prison stripes. Adding wraps to you repertoire will have you looking at a burgeoning book and a meatier menu.
Your clients want to be themselves - but better. That’s why they come to you for manicures, pedicures, gels, and acrylics. Some, however, may shy away from nail enhancements, viewing them as too unnatural looking and obvious. These same clients, however, would probably benefit from the added strength of a nail enhancement. What to do? You could nod and send her on her way or you could, oh, offer her wraps!
“Wraps are so thin lightweight,” says Maggie Franklin, owner of The Art of Nailz in Visalia, Calif. “they are perfect for adding strength to already nice nails.” Jill Wright of Angel’s Salon in Bowling Green, Ky., agrees. “For clients who can’t stand the feel of anything heavy on their natural nails of clients who wish to grow out their own nails to eventually go natural, wraps seem to work out best.”
Room to Grow
As well-established service since the 1920s when paper wraps first appeared on these the scene, wraps are a vulnerable service that remains underrepresented in salons. While wraps have bettered in technology - now incorporating self-adhesive silk, linen, and fiberglass fabrics, and durable, fast-drying resins - the industry hasn’t kept pace with the service’s potential.
According to the 2002-2003 NAILS fact Book, fiberglass wraps are only offered in 57% of salons. But with the recent consumer focus on all things natural, wraps are certain to experience growth as more techs realize the value of the service. “No other nail enhancement provides as natural-looking a nail,” says Teresa Pugliese, an Apache Junction, Ariz.-based regional sales manager for Backscratchers Salon Systems. While wraps are an artificial enhancement, the service often appeals to natural-conscious clients because of its simple, no-odor application, and flattering, undetectable results. “We do not etch or strip the nail of its layers,” says Pugliese, so clients concerned with preserving the health of their nails need not worry.
Wraps have become a long way from their humble beginnings as paper and glue. Today, wraps are available in silk, fiberglass, and linen as well.
Fiberglass is the most popular mesh for use in wraps It is heralded for the strength of its fibers and transparency once it is imbedded in resin. However, unlike silk, fiberglass becomes transparent but never fully disappears in the enhancement. Its strength makes it an ideal material for natural nail wraps, repairs, and extensions with or without tips.
Because of the manufacturing process, there is no free-floating fiberglass left on the mesh so there is little chance of clients or techs developing an allergic reaction to the material.
Silk is the close second in wrap popularity. The silk used in wraps is a durable, extremely fine, tightly woven material. Because it is a natural fiber, the silk absorbs resin readily and disappear when it is thoroughly saturated. This makes it ideal for thin wraps on clients who are looking for added strength or to repair a chipped or cracked nail. There is some debate as to whether it is strong enough to act as an extension, but the industry seems to agree that silk provides a strong, durable, and beautiful enhancement.
Line is the kingpin of the wrap world. Thick, burly, and rougher than either silk or fiberglass, linen is harder to hide and harder to break down. Creating a milky nail rather than a transparent nail, linen is generally worn under polish and is not nearly as popular as silk or fiberglass.
Linen is deal for clients with particularly thin or weak nails, clients with discolored nails, and clients looking to extend their length. The thickness of the fabric allows linen wraps to hold their shape without the threat of bending or wrinkling.
Clients who cannot or will not wear tips but would like to create a permanent French look can opt to have the whi8te free edge and smile line built out of linen while the nail bed remains transparently covered in silk or fiberglass.
Paper wraps started it all - but have fallen in popularity. Not many techs use them because they don’t offer the same strength as silk, fiberglass, or linen. Generally removed and replaced in two-week intervals, paper wraps do not damage the natural nails and represent a quick way to add strength to the nail bed. Avoid polish wearers also appreciate the added adherence of the polish to their nails.
Resins and their activators have developed equally as well as their fabric counterparts. Wraps today may be created with no-light gels, resins, and glues of varying viscosities - from watery to drown-right goopy - available in both nozzle bottle and brush-on form. (To clarify, resins, glues, and no-light gels are all are members of the cyanoacrylate family - the only difference is their consistency and the name on their label.) Today’s resins are generally odorless and impervious to water - making them ideal for environments Colored resins in light pinks and blushes have recently been introduced on the market for clients looking to mask discolored nails or create more a pink-and-white look.
Activators quicken the curing process of their accompanying resin and are available in brush-on, pump spray, and aerosol spray formulas. The aerosol formulas harden the resin fastest and can shorten a tech’s application time.
Because activators are formulated to work with specific consistencies of resins, mixing and matching resin and activators from different systems is not recommended. Clients can suffers severe discomfort if an activator creates excessive heat when curing a thin resin, or the enhancements may not cure thoroughly if too weak an activator is used. Also, manufacturers cannot guarantee their product if it is used contrary to their instructions, and cannot be held responsible for any adverse effect the product creates if used inappropriately.
Fill ‘er Up!
When performing a fill on a wrap client, asses the grown out area and cut a roughly moon-shaped slip of material slightly larger than necessary. Removed the shine from the entire nail and apply two coats each of resin and activator. Place the slip at the cuticle edge, making sure to overlap the material over the old wrap. Apply one coat of resin to the entire nail followed by a coat of activator. Repeat two more times. Finish the nail.
Get a Grip
While brush-on resins are easy to use, many techs find that they clog more easily than nozzle bottles. However, some techs find a nozzle bottle difficult to use. “It’s usually because they aren’t holding the bottle correctly or are using the nozzle improperly,” says Pugliese. Here she demonstrates the proper technique for using a nozzle bottle, “If you do it right, you’ll get every last drop out of the bottle.”
Hold the bottle parallel to your nail table, resting the bottle on top of your curled middle finger. Place your thumb securely over the center of the bottle.
Squeeze the bottle firmly with your thumb to bring up a bed of resin Deposit the resin on the nail bed.
Hold the bottle upright and squeeze the sides to “burp” it and release any air that may have gotten trapped inside.
Hold the bottle at a 45 angle use as much of the flat part of the nozzle you can to smooth the resin on the nail. “Some techs use the very tip of the nozzle to spread the resin,” says Pugliese. “This creates streaks and bumps in the resin.”
Wrap Application Guide
Editor’s Note: To help give you an idea of possible wrap service we enlisted the help of Teresa Pugliese, regional sales manager of Backscratchers Salon Systems, who is based out of Apache Junction, Ariz. Pugliese uses wraps exclusively and performed all of the demos on the following pages using fiberglass and silk wraps. The wraps used in these demos are self-adhesive.
Clients looking to strengthen their natural nails without adding bulk or length will appreciate the natural look and added durability of silk wrap.
1. Sanitize the client’s hands and prep the nail bed. Shape the free edge and use a 600-grit buffer to remove the shine. Do not etch the nail bed. Apply one coat of resin and follow with a missing of activator. Repeat this step.
2. Apply stress strip to the stress area, making sure to leave a 1/6” border along the sidewalls. A stress strip lends strength to the stress area and helps maintain the integrity of the enhancement.
3. Apply on layer of resin followed by a missing of activator.
4. Cut and customized a full strip of silk. Lay it on the nail leaving a 1/16 border.
5. Apply on layer of resin and a missing of activator. Repeat two or more times. The silk should now be invisible. Use a 240-grit file to shape and remove the shine. Buff and apply cuticle oil to finish.
Repairing a Chipped Nail with Fiberglass
1. Prep the nail. Shape the free edge and clean up the edges of the chip. Removed the shine with a 600-grit file. Do not etch the nail bed. Apply one coat of resin and activate. Repeat.
2. Cut two strips of fiberglass of the same size and overlap them. Lay the overlapped slips on the nail at about the halfway points so the excess hangs off the free edge.
3. Cut the excess away from the free edge. Apply one layer of resin and activate. Use finger to pinch the C-curve. Repeat the application of resin and activator. Apply one layer of resin and activator to the underside of the free edge.
4. Apply one layer of resin and activator to booth the nail bed and the underside of the free edge. Repeat.
5. Lay one full piece of fiberglass on the nail bed, leaving a 1/16-inch border around the edges.
6. Apply one layer of resin of the nail and wait a few seconds. Apply a second layer of resin to thoroughly saturate the fiberglass and mist activator.
7. Repeat step 6 twice more. Apply one layer of the resin to the underside of the enhancement and mist with activator.
8. Use a 240-grit file to smooth the nail. Buff the nail and apply cuticle oil to finish.
1. Clip the nail so that it does not extend beyond the nail bed. Shape the free edge so that it fits into the well of the tip. Make sure the tips fits sidewall to sidewall.
2. Prep the nail bed use a 600-grit file to remove the shine. Do not etch the nail bed base the nail with one coat of resin followed by one missing activator. Repeat.
3. Use a 240-grit file to remove the shine in the area where the tip will sit. Place a bead of resin on the free edge and apply the tip.
4. Place a bead of resin along the seam. Mist with activator.
5. Cut the tip to the appropriate length. Use a 240-grit file to shape the tip. Use a 100-grit file to blend the seam. Use long strokes of the file to make sure there are no lines of demarcation left on the tip.
6. Apply a strip of fiberglass across the seam making sure to keep a 1/16” border.
7. Apply on layer of resin to the nail and wait a few seconds. Apply a second layer of resin to thoroughly saturate the fiberglass and mist with activator.
8. Apply a strip of fiberglass to the entire nail bed, leaving a 1/16” border around the edges. Press it down onto the nail with your thumb. Do not rub the fiberglass.
9. Apply one layer of resin to the nail and wait a few seconds. Apply a second layer of resin to thoroughly saturate the fiberglass and mist with activator. Apply one layer of resin followed by a misting of activator.
10. Use a 240-grit file to shape the nail if there are still lines of fiberglass visible you may add one more layer of resin and activator. Otherwise, buff the nail and apply cuticle oil to finish.
Repairing a crack in the stress area
1. Prep the nail. Remove the shine with a 600-grit file. Do not etch the nail bed.
2. Apply a coat of resin in the crack area and mist with activator.
3. Lay a small strip of fiberglass over the crack.
4. Apply one layer of resin and activate. Repeat two more minutes.
5. Use a 240-grit file to smooth the nail. Buff the nail and apply cuticle oil to finish.
While self-adhesive wraps are godsend for some time-strapped techs, other find them to be a mixed blessing. The same adhesive that makes the wraps stick to the nail bed also makes it stick to the nail table, stray fiber, dust, and fingers. “There is a proper way to handle self-adhesive wraps that minimizes these problems,” says Pugliese.
Make sure that your hands are free of moisture, lotion, oils, dust, and nail filings, which may contaminate the wrap and affects its adhesive properties.
When using a roll of adhesive wrap, peel back about two inches if the adhesive backing and fold it back over itself. The key is to expose just a manageable amount of wrap.
When preparing to cut the wrap do not lay the exposed wrap material on your nail table where it may gather dust. Instead lay lightly on a clean, flat hand to hold it steady while cutting.
Dos and Don’ts
Do pick a wrap material that works for you, whether it be paper, linen, silk, or fiberglass. Find what you are confident and comfortable working with.
Don’t use brush-on resin over wet activator. The traces of activator that are transferred onto the brush are enough to harden the entire bottle of resin. “But you’ll have a nice little paperweight,” jokes Pugliese.
Do price your service competitively. One benefit of offering wraps is that they are not considered a discount service and so price are not being driven down. Investigate what your market will bear and name your price accordingly.
Do use the proper amount of product to avoid creating bumpy nails and to ensure that resin cures thoroughly.
Don’t mix and match resins and activators from different systems.
Do encourage clients to use cuticle oil twice a day to keep wraps hydrated and flexible.
Don’t believe the hype. There are myths in the industry about wraps. One of the more prevalent myths is that wraps are not a strong product. The truth is that wraps are a durable product that require maintenance. Its non-porous nature makes it impervious to water and so ideal for clients who have their hands in water regularly.
Don’t nip a fiberglass wrap as it will compromise the integrity of the wrap. Use your file instead. Be efficient, don’t switch gears constantly. Instead, perform one step on all 10 nails and keep your tools and work are organized.
Don’t over-file or over-buff a wrap - unless you want to do it again.
Tricks of the Trade
Sign Language: When cutting a wrap to fit the cuticle edge there is no need to make a perfect half-circle. “Make a stop-sign at the end of the slip,” suggest Pugliese. This will save you time and squared-off lines will disappear when you apply resin.
What’s Your Size? Pre-cut strips save time because they require only trimming and shaping, instead of complete sizing and cutting. They may cost more, but generate sizing and cutting. They may cost more, but generate less waste. To size using pre-cuts strips, hold the row of strips to each fingertip, using the size that is just slightly smaller than the nail bed.
Sizing using traditional strips of material takes a keen eye, a steady hand, and a bit more patience. Hold the strip up to each finger and individually cut a strip slightly smaller than the nail bed.