Rolling blackouts are disrupting California-based nail techs – especially those who rely heavily on wired equipment such as drills, UV lights, and airbrushes. Noranne Parente of Hair Allure in Buena Park, Calif., knows first-hand the disastrous effect of a sudden power outage.
“One afternoon, the light suddenly went out. Basically, we did nails by flashlight. One tech was in the middle of a full set when her electric file quit. One of the hairstylists had to finish a cut using a car’s headlights for lighting. What’s more, the phones didn’t work since they were cordless,” recalls Parente, who now considers flashlights and cell phones essential salon equipment.
Stephanie Duran, owner of Tips Nail Suites, in San Mateo, Calif., also experienced a blackout, but fortunately it began while she was at lunch, so she didn’t get caught mid-client. “When I got back, my workstation was so dark I had to move to another room that has more sunlight. Ordinarily, I use a UV-light cured system, but fortunately, I have a backup product that’s not light-cured,” she says. Duran remains philosophical, “I’m not going to worry because there’s not much I can do about it. If it happens again, I’ll just say a few choice words and switch products,” she says.
Maggie Franklin, owner of The Art of Nailz in Visalia, Calif., has not yet felt the effects of an outage, but believes she won’t be spared. “I have already told my techs and all my clients that I fully expect we will be doing nails by hand and without air conditioning at some point this summer. I suppose we’ll have to put our dappen dishes in ice water to keep them cool enough to work with, instead of a monomer heater,” she jokes.