Runners’ feet crave special attention. Rev up your pedicure business by catering to those clients who run for fun or fitness. A foot is a runner’s first point of impact — you can be their first line of defense against injury, through service and education.
Lost Toenails: Many runners lose their toenails. Most often it is due to improperly fitting shoes or structural problems. A podiatrist can help determine what is causing the problem. The loss of a toenail is considered an open wound. It is important for the nail tech to examine the toe to be certain that the nail area has healed over before pedicuring. The bed epithelium is very thin and is easily breached, making pedicuring risky. If the nail has started to grow out and just needs to be lengthened, you could sculpt or use a tip to lengthen it. This is assuming you have identified what caused the nail to fall off and corrected it. Otherwise, you set yourself up to repeat the sequence and lose the nail again. Think carefully before building nails on a runner’s toenails. Their feet are often moist and in shoes. Bacteria breeds easily in a dark, warm, moist space.
Erin Snyder Dixon (pictured at right above) is a freelance writer, nail technician, salon owner and best-selling author, based in Newport News,Va. Dixon has completed five marathons and numerous other races for charity. She is currently an educator for Nail Systems International. Her new book Salon Success, Tweaks & Tips, can be found at www.OrderSalonSuccess.com. She can be reached at Erin@SpeakingToTheNation.com.
Runner’s Sport Pedicure: A Step-by-Step Look
Salons across the country have added sports pedicures to their menus. As more and more clients make fitness a priority, salons are developing services that cater to their clients’ active lifestyles. The following is a basic recipe for a great sport pedicure. Feel free to use your own preferred brand of products. The service should take approximately 60 minutes.
1. Examine the client’s feet and have the client fill out a questionnaire to make sure she is a candidate for a pedicure. If she has any open wounds or signs of infection, refer her to a physician for treatment.
2. Prepare a clean foot bath with warm water and one cup of Epsom salts or the appropriate amount of a pedicure foot-soak containing Dead Sea salts.
3. Soak the client’s feet for five minutes.
4. Use a professional foot scrub to begin the exfoliation process. Concentrate the scrub on callus-prone areas such as the heels, balls, and sides of the feet. Rinse.
5. Use a pedi-file, buff block, pumice stone, or callus smoother to reduce areas that have excess callus build-up. (Check with your client to make sure she wants calluses reduced). If heavy calluses are present, a callus-reducing aid containing alpha-hydroxy acids may be incorporated into the pedicure. Rinse the feet. For a salon promotion, use an item that can be sent home with the client for ongoing at-home care.
6. Clip the toenails straight across, then gently round the corners to avoid pressure when running. Runners tend to keep their nails on the short side.
7. File toenails to smooth edges.
8. Apply a cuticle cream and clean up the nail area and underneath, using a sweeping motion to avoid damage to the cuticle or sidewall areas.
9. Apply a thick layer of foot cream as a moisturizing masque and wrap feet in towel for a few minutes.
10. Unwrap the feet and massage. Use a combination of kneading, friction, and long strokes to relax and recharge your client. Massaging the lower leg and foot may help reduce soreness after a big race.
11. Incorporate reflexology into the massage for an extra special treat. If reflexology is new to you, check out the education section at your next trade show and sign up for a class.
12. Dry and rewrap feet.
13. Buff nails with a three-way buffer to smooth ridges and add shine.
14. Clean nails before polish application to increase adhesion.
15. Apply base coat, polish, and top coat, if desired.
16. Allow the client to relax as the polish dries.
Note on the client card any problem areas you see. Keep track of product recommendations you make so you can follow up later. If you offer samples of products for your client to try, note those also, so you can get feedback on her next visit.
For additional information about your athletic clients' special needs, read Running After the Athletic Client, published previously in NAILS.
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