The innovative use of fiberglass in the nail industry was launched by Backscratchers Inc. in 1984.
In 1994, Jack Megna (left) and son Michael promoted their fiberglass products to wary tradeshow attendees.
It was with nail techs’ health in mind that then-beauty school owner Jack Megna and his son Michael founded Backscratchers Salon Systems in 1983. “The messy, smelly, and toxic chemicals and nail procedures of the 1970s and ’80s were a huge concern. Our students and instructors were worried about their health,” reflects Michael Megna. “The more we learned about the risks and hassles of the nail procedures we were teaching, the more clear it became that we had to find a better way.”
Michael, now CEO of Backscratchers, was experienced in working with fiberglass and recognized that the strength and durability of this lightweight material could be effectively manipulated to create a new nail coating. After more than a year of product research and development, Backscratchers Glass Glaze Fiberglass & Silk Wrap System evolved, providing a formula safe for both skin and nails. Jack successfully tested the product at his beauty school and Backscratchers launched the product line in 1984.
“It was not a product the industry was expecting,” says Jack Megna. “When you hear ‘fiberglass,’ you think cars and boats — not nails! To be truthful, we went to show after show before nail techs got used to the idea that fiberglass could be the solution for great nails, but once they saw the product demonstrated, they were lining up to try Glass Glaze for themselves,” he says. “Backscratchers now manufactures more than 90% of the nail industry’s fiberglass worldwide.”
Backscratchers’ original product packaging may look familiar to veteran technicians.
In 1989, Backscratchers launched a complete line of nail care products with the goal to provide all the supplies a nail technician would need for every service — from salon placemats to cuticle oil, as well as retail items that nail techs could sell to their clientele.
“The number-one inspiration for us is what we hear from our customers,” says Michael. “Our goal is to provide high-quality products that make it easier and safer for nail techs to do their jobs, so when we hear where frustrations are occurring, we start thinking.”
Company educators posed for this photo in 1991.
Timeline of Backscratchers' Salon Systems, Inc.
1984: Glass Glaze Fiberglass & Silk Wrap System introduced
1989: Complete line of nail products launched
1992: Salon Aseptic Sanitation System introduced
1995: SeptiFile Sanitizable File System introduced
1996: New Company identified
1997: Heavenly Soles Foot Care System introduced
1999: Extreme Powder Glaze Acrylic Dip System introduced
2002: Accelawrap Fast-Brush On System introduced
2005: Germ Terminator PRO introduced
2006: YOU Gels Systems introduced
2008: SeptiBlock Sanitizable Blocks with Replaceable Abrasives introduced
Coming in 2009:
• Divine Designs Nail Art introduction to website customers
• Completely redesigned and re-engineered website, with more user-friendly features
• Completion of new packaging design on all products