Want a fresh new take on color choices for your nail clients? With colored acrylics, your only limit is your imagination.
Using colored acrylics, rather than polish, is coming into its own as a featured service in many salons. Not only are clients thrilled with the idea of smudge-proof, ready-to-roll nails, they’re enjoying the whimsy of custom designs. Nail technicians are savoring the spice of variety as they put together designs as simple as a free edge using one color or, as complex as color fades with glitter or other embellishments. But how can you justify the extra product costs and time needed to provide custom colored acrylic nails? Here are some ideas you can use to make this fun service a profitable one.
Karen Hix, Expressions Salon, Quartz Hill, Calif.
INTRODUCE YOUR ART
One of the best ways to encourage your clients to try new services is to wear them yourself. Kristina Baune, the owner of Ultimate Imagge in Redwood Falls, Minn., says “wearing what I’m promoting and word of mouth are the only advertising I’ve ever needed.” Approximately 95% of her clients wear colored acrylics, and she is known in her area for them.
Another idea is to offer a “try me” incentive. G Elizondo, a tech at D’Hair to be Different Salon in Las Vegas, has successfully built an entire clientele this way. “One way to get someone hooked is to offer mylar for free for the first time,” she says. “Then they have no problem paying for it because they get so many compliments and attention — they love it!” Adds Elizondo, “I refuse to do ordinary nails. I have based my business on art nails, so those are the kinds of clients I keep getting.”
G Elizondo, D'Hair to be Different Salon, Las Vegas
Karen Hix, a nail tech at Expressions Salon in Quartz Hill, Calif., says you have to keep everything easily at hand in order to promote the service. “The hottest colors are always sitting on my table.” She says about 95% of her clients wear colored acrylics, “and I only have a handful left of those who haven’t switched…yet!”
Nail artist Michelle Sproat of Inspirations Salon and Nail Bar in Kingsville, Ontario, Canada, agrees: “Keep colored acrylic handy and don’t store it out of the way or it won’t get used.” About one in four of Sproat’s clients wear colored acrylics, with many of them initially only having glitter added to their free edges. “There are so many combinations of this simple addition that soon they are experimenting further,” she says. Sproat says that a booth for a weekend bridal show is another great way to reach new clients. “Brides and their attendants usually love feminine florals and since the designs will last, they don’t mind the splurge.” Another promotion, offering a “design of the week,” has been very successful for Sproat. A side benefit to this one is that repetition of the design will help the technician with speed and accuracy.
Joseph Pham, the owner of Art Design Hair and Nails in Buffalo, N.Y., says, “There is a joke in my salon that you have to keep moving because if you stop for a second Joseph will put a flower on you.” He says everyone in the salon wears colored acrylics, but rather than call it “nail art” he says it’s more sellable to use descriptions like “fun business professional” and base a lot of designs on black and white so the client will be able to wear them with anything.
Michelle Sproat, Inspirations Salon and Nail Bar, Kingsville, Ontario, Canada
“We romance our clients by coming up with a new collection of three to four designs every couple of months. We give them fun names like ‘Baby Got Bling,’ ‘Metro Glam’ or ‘Baby Boomer.’ The new collections are practiced by everyone on the team so they can all do them quickly and precisely.”
Pham also says, “Don’t just show your new design to everyone in the salon, put a story behind it. Explain what inspired you, how long it took, and what you have to do to get those colors. And most of all be really excited — the more they know, the better chance of them selling it for you.”
FRAME IT UP
Another good way to share this service with your clients is to display examples. There are a myriad of display systems available, but Baune has found that clients enjoy looking at her album of before and after shots. She has also adorned some of her jars with samples featuring rhinestones and other embellishments. Hix also utilizes a 4” x 6” photo album that clients can page through.