Sometimes I find myself wondering about the details — all the little, but important, things that make nail services special and lasting. They might be so far gone you don’t even know what I’m talking about. The details might be an actual part of your service, like cuticle care or filing, or they might be part of your customer service, like salon sanitation or simple kindness. I think it’s time we as an industry take a collective step back and look at what we’re missing. Do you have to have a fancy manicure table to make a service good? No. But skipping cuticle work to save time is losing an important detail of a service. Meticulous cuticle work can make polish lie smoother, enhancements last longer, and hands look better. When you look at it like that, it doesn’t seem like such a great idea to skip that little detail.
How about cleaning that extra hang-off from under the nail after shaping? Leaving it behind can cause bulk at the end of the nail or a rough finish. Bulky spots under the nail get picked at and rough edges snag things. This tempts our clients to start filing their nails, which leads to issues that waste more time to fix than what just swiping the edge clean would have taken in the first place. Speaking of shaping, do you look at the nails from more than one angle when you’re finished to make sure the shape is even and consistent? Paying attention to detail sometimes means looking at things from a different point of view. Turn that hand around and look at the fingers as if they were your own, then look at them with the palm facing you — an added bonus is you can check the shape and length this way.
Brush-on gel polishes are all the rage right now. If you have never perfected your polishing you may notice some attention to detail is in order. Did you ever learn how to properly polish? I think it has become a lost art — until recently. Sealing the edge with every single layer, leaving a tiny margin away from the skin, polishing in nice thin layers. Are any of these ringing a bell? Because these are details you can’t skip with the new brush-on gel polish application. The details aren’t just part of your technical skills. Your table might be a shining example of cleanliness, but how do you think a dirty restroom affects the overall perception of your salon? It seems like an irrelevant detail, but universal salon sanitation is a plethora of details that can be easily overlooked. And how about your basic customer service? Are you saying “hello” to every customer who walks through the front door? Do you offer your client a drink? Offer to take her coat and purse for her? Do you remember her favorite polish color and to ask about her sick mother? These are some of the little details that can really make a difference in why your client keeps coming back to your salon.
They don’t call them basics because they are easy to learn and overlook. They’re basics because they are the building blocks of your services and your business. When was the last time you brushed up on the basics — simple things like consistent shaping, polish application, or mix ratio? The details are in the basics and they can actually make or break a service, so brush up on all your basics, dust off those building blocks, and start 2011 with a solid detailed foundation!