Natural Nails

Catering to the Sports- and Fitness-Minded Client

Active, sports-minded clients put extra wear and tear on their hands and feet and need more attention than the average client. Learn to cater to them and help keep their nails and skin inactive working condition.

Find out where they shop for their gear and equipment and what podiatrists or sports medicine doctors they see. Then, go to those places and offer to start a referral system. “You’ll find athletic communities are a tight-knit bunch and if someone perceives that you offer a service that meets or exceeds what the average nail technician offers, then word-of-mouth referrals will happen naturally,” Glick says.

Spa Paradise in Spokane, Wash., takes advantage of a yearly race held in the area. According to spa manager Tracy Steeves, the spa sets up a booth where it offers mini-pedicures and massages. The spa’s Runner’s Pedicure is similar to its standard pedicure, but nails are cut shorter, a little more callus work is done, and the massage is more extensive. Reeves recommends a once-a-month regimen for runners.

Extra Pampering for Hands and Feet

Since athletes are that much harder on their hands and feet, they’re also much more likely to develop injuries and infections. It’s not uncommon to see athletes with dry, parched skin and cuticles, and thickened calluses. Understanding their needs will make it easier to offer them services.

If you have a lot of runners coming to your salon, then make sure your pedicure features extras they’ll appreciate such as lengthy soaks, rich moisturizing treatments, and callus reduction. If you have athletes who come in with ravaged hands from climbing rocks, tend to them with a paraffin dip and a rich moisturizing treatment.

Colleen Mode, owner of Purrfect Nails by Colleen in Reno, Nev., says she suggests her clients wear sunblock on their hands when they’re outdoors. “I notice that clients who are active outdoors tend to have hands that look more aged,” she says. “I tell them I apply sunblock on my face-and my hands-and they should do the same.”

Sanon Brackin, owner of Sanom’s Free Edge Salon in Brentwood, Tenn., is an avid athlete herself, so she knows what sports-minded clients like best. She frequently goes rock climbing and hiking, so she keeps her fingernails short. And since she’s an avid runner, she’s experienced a common problem associated with the sport: having her toenails fall off.

When she has an athlete in for a service, Brackin makes sure to give them extra special attention. Her Sport Pedicure is designed just for athletes, and it includes massage, paraffin treatment, exfoliation, and callus removal. “When I’m giving athletes a pedicure or manicure, I give them a lengthier reflexology massage. I know they appreciate it,” she says.

It’s also important to ask a client what types of sports they’re involved in before the service begins. Melodie Cole-Hall, a nail technician at Nailz Hand & Foot Spa in Cashiers, N.C., says that since the salon is located in a mountainous region, lots of experienced and novice likers, rock climbers, and bicyclists frequent the salon. “When I do my initial consultation, I ask if clients are athletes because I know they’ll need special attention,” she says.

Besides pampering athletic clients, make sure to stress the importance of at-home maintenance. “We recommend exfoliants and overnight treatments to relieve stress and muscle tension,” Says Bonnie Canvino, nail department manager at Maxine in Chicago. Make sure clients tend to their nails and skin properly to prevent any further damage. Cole-Hall says she educates clients on proper nail shaping and proper fitting of shoes and socks so they can avoid ingrown toenails and other problems.

Simply making a few adjustments to your standard manicure and pedicure technique and a working knowledge of what your athletic clients suffer from and need will make you a valuable entity. If you know what athletes are looking for and provide it for them-and send them to a professional who will be able to treat any medical condition they may have-you’re guaranteeing yourself a whole new set of satisfied clients who can be active and show off their healthy-looking hands and feet.

Sporty Services

Nail salons across the country are incorporating services that help beautify and keep hard-working hands and feet looking healthy. Here’s a look at the services some salons are offering for their sports-minded, active clients.



What: Sport Pedicure

What: Reconstruction Manicure

Where: Free Edge Salon, Brentwood, Tenn.

Where: The Brass Rose Salon & Spa. Blairstown, N.J.

How much: $55

How much: $50

Description: Rough spots and calluses are gently removed with the help of an alpha-hydroxy foot scrub. The service includes a mask to moisturize the feet, followed by a foot and leg massage and paraffin wax treatment. The toenails are trimmed short and buffed to a high gloss.

Description: The salon bills the service as an intensive treatment for parched, rough, callused hands. Clients are treated with a specially formulated moisturizing paste, grapeseed oil to moisturize and help fight against the signs of aging, and calendula and chamomile to soothe abused hands.

What: Hiker’s Foot Therapy

What: Multi-Vitamin Manicure

Where: Vista Clara Ranch Resort and Spa, Galisteo, N.M.

Where: Spa Roma, Milwaukee, Wis.

How much: $50

How much: $25

Description: The service includes eucalyptus oil and reflexology to soothe and relax sore, aching feet and legs. A foot scrub and peppermint foot massage help refresh. Toenails are trimmed short and left polish free.

Description: Hands are treated to a therapeutic hand and arm massage. The manicure is especially targeted to clients who spend lots of time outdoors in the summer and comes compete with an application of SPF hand cream.



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