Business Management

Old Rule/New Rule: 12 New Ways of Looking at Our Industry

Take a fun walk down memory lane as NAILS chronicles some of the biggest changes in the nail industry's unwritten rules from the past two decades.

Old Rule: Nail salons have a distinctive smell.

New Rule: Nail salons are odor-free.

Better ventilation options, advancements in nail technology like gel nails and odorless acrylics, the trend toward natural nail services, and stricter local indoor air quality laws have all made a huge difference in alleviating salon odors. “There is a cultural change taking place within nail salons. Consideration of the salon indoor air quality is moving toward awareness,” says Jeff Cardarella, president of salon ventilation company Modern Solutions. “Unfortunately, the idea that ‘nail salons are odor-free,’ is a goal, but not a reality. The good news is that a better understanding of air purification and exhaust ventilation is moving the nail industry toward both an elimination of offensive odors and healthy salon air quality.” 

Old Rule: Client appointments and confirmations are handled via telephone during regular salon operating hours.

New Rule: Clients appointments are scheduled and confirmed 24/7 via salon websites and e-mail programs.

The Internet revolutionized all aspects of everyday life, and nail salon appointment booking was no exception. Easy website-building tools allow even small salons to create homepages, and affordable salon software programs now allow for online appointment booking and client record-keeping. The web-based programs take the burden off both front desk employees and clients, so online scheduling programs caught on quickly.   

Old Rule: French means pink-and whites.

New Rule: French means a combination of any two colors that work well together.

As nails earn a higher profile in the fashion and beauty industries, nail styles have evolved to become more fashion-forward, including the alternative French look that’s been showing up on runways and on celebrity nails. “No matter what, the original French Manicure will remain as iconic as the Chanel 2.55 handbag. However, the influence of Mary-Kate Olsen and Lindsay Lohan’s reverse black and white French definitely turned heads and acquired a quick following,” says Orly celebrity manicurist Jenna Hipp. “I think with the celebrity and media influence combined with booming technology around us, people also want to create the next ‘big thing’ with nails.”    

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