Business Management

On My Mind: Never. Stop. Learning.

NAILS editor Hannah Lee discusses the importance of continuing education and how online learning is not readily available.

Lately there’s been a lot of talk about continuing education. And while this certainly isn’t a new topic, there seems to be a renewed vigor when it comes to continuing education for professional nail techs. Most professional nail product manufacturers offer some way for you, the nail tech, to further your education. There are classes and demos at trade shows. Distributors bring educators in to offer classes for their customers. Manufacturers send educators directly into cities or even specific salons to work with techs in small groups. Sometimes you can travel to a manufacturer’s facility for multi-day “camps” or training sessions (depending on the manufacturer, these are sometimes “all expenses paid”). There are also non-product-specific educators out there who want to help you become a better, well-rounded nail tech. And there are always DVDs, videos on YouTube, the Internet (like www.nailsmag.com), and magazines (like NAILS!) where you can turn for your own private learning.

These things are not new. But our industry seems to be collectively refocusing on the importance of continuing education in the life and career of a nail tech.

I believe that most of our readers are invested in furthering their educations post cosmetology school. If you aren’t, you probably wouldn’t be reading NAILS right now. You want to stay up-to-date on the latest offerings, technologies, and events in your chosen field. That entails being involved to some degree in the industry and learning new things so you can become better at your job. Maybe you want to be able to work faster. Maybe you want to learn how to sculpt the perfect pink-and-white set. Maybe you want to add nail art to your menu. Maybe you’re new to gels or you just need a refresher course.

Whatever the case, there is always something more you can learn. And today, maybe more than ever, opportunities abound. If you have not taken a class since you graduated from nail school, think about all the new products that have been introduced in just the last five to 10 years — soak-off gels, gel-polish, colored acrylics, glitter acrylics, glitter gels, long-lasting nail polish, LED lamps…the list goes on. How are you supposed to know how to use those products without proper instruction? How are you supposed to get better (faster, detailed, skilled) without additional training?

Just this summer, we’ve learned about CNDU, a new online training program that launched in September; Tammy Taylor is also offering personalized education online. Light Elegance University is a new training program the company will be offering in person. Companies like OPI, Jessica, and Gehwol are launching new education programs in 2015. Footlogix and BioSculpture offer webinars online. Gelish, Young Nails, Artistic, and Kupa all offer multi-day, intensive trainings. These are just the few that come to mind. As I said before, practically every manufacturer offers classes.

In addition to manufacturers, top nail techs like Holly Schippers, Gina Silvestro, Naja Rickette, and Lauren Wireman offer independent education both in-person and online. Countless nail techs put videos up on YouTube and Instagram where they offer lessons and tips, not to mention the activity of nail techs on Facebook, imparting their knowledge and expertise.

Basically, what I’m saying is you no longer have the excuse that there aren’t any classes in your small town. Education is now, literally, at your fingertips. As a goal for the coming year, I challenge you to sign up for at least one class. Just one. Hopefully you’ll realize how awesome it is to learn new skills that you can bring back to your clients. And then, once you’ve been bitten by the continuing education bug, you’ll never want to stop learning.

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