Unlike the other three, Barbara Griggs, owner of Nail Visions in Pasadena, Md., and an educator for Creative Nail Design Systems (Vista, Calif.), prefers to modify nail tips to fit on chewed nails. “I have found that tips are lighter on the finger, especially when there’s puffy skin that tends to make the nails look humped,” she says.
To apply tips on nail biters, Griggs carves out the lower arch of the tip so that it forms a saddle over the puffy skin. The cut is very exaggerated — I use scissors and size it to the person. Then I buff out the edges. It prevents a hump and makes the nail more comfortable to wear. You don’t want the tip to cover the entire nail so you might need to cut the contact area a little as well,” she advises. Because nail biters tend to have flat nail plates, Griggs recommends choosing a flatter tip. “You don’t want to put any pressure on the nail. Sometimes I go to a larger tip size and then trim the sides to get a flat barrel,” she explains.
Whatever technique you use, the service isn’t complete until you educate the nail biter on how to care for her nails at home. Taylor recommends retailing “nail-biter kits,” consisting of cuticle oil, a buffing block, a zebra file, nail disinfectant, and top coat. “If they can’t do anything with their nails, they will pick at them. Give them something constructive to do with their nails or they will be destructive,” she says. You should have nail-biting clients return at least every two weeks, perhaps every 10 days for the first few appointments. Until the client is accustomed to her new nails, you should keep the nails fingertip length.