Competition Safety (for models)

I have seen much debate on this subject and I’d like to offer my two cents.


In competitions, we are required by the rules to have a 50% C-curve in the enhancement. Some would argue that pinching a C-curve causes irreparable damage to the nail bed through onycholysis (nail plate lifting from the nail bed). This may or may not occur because every person is different, and some people can withstand more pressure than others.


We are required to use brand new files. Some would argue that brand new files have an edge that is too sharp and could cause damage to the surrounding skin by cutting. Again, this may or may not happen depending on the skill of the tech.


We are also required to use forms in a sculptured nail competition, which when applied can cause discomfort and damage to the client/model by pressing into the hyponychium and can also separate the nail plate from the nail bed. Again, this can happen, but not with skilled manicurists.


My opinion is that final responsibility falls on the manicurist and her education is the key.


I’ll start with forms.


Most manufacturer forms have a round finger hole cut out. If the form won’t fit comfortably on my client/model, then I have to customize it. (I take either scissors, nippers, or a hole-punch and cut the hole to match the hyponychium area of the finger.) This is my responsibility as a manicurist. It is up to me to make sure the person in front of me is comfortable and not experiencing any pain.


Now, in terms of files…


Before I start filing on anyone I run my fingers over the edges of the file to ensure the edges will not cut the skin. If I find an edge that I think may cut, I take another file and remove the sharp edges. I hate causing people pain, so much so that I even go to extra lengths to prevent it. And believe it or not, the “damage” that I see the most in the competition model line up is bleeding models. This is a personal foul — 10-point penalty! (No, not really. Just kidding. But again, the responsibility is on the manicurist to perform the filing correctly and make sure the client/model is not harmed.)


And finally, pinching the C-curve.


There is more than one element to properly pinching a C-curve. First, in order to pinch a 50% C-curve in an enhancement, the client/model must already have a 50% C-curve in her nail bed. (And this is why competition judges will stress to “choose your model wisely!”) If a client/model has a flat nail bed and someone tries to put a 50% C-curve in an enhancement, you could potentially cause much pain and damage. Not to mention the nail won’t look right and you most likely won’t get good scores, and probably won’t win.


Now if you happen to have a model with 50% C-curve nail beds, a nail bed can still be damaged during the pinching. Here’s how:


All acrylic has a self-leveling property. I won’t go into the specifics of the chemistry, but I’m sure you’ve heard many people say “this product is self-leveling” or “it will flatten out on its own.” “Flatten” is the key word here. The extension will flatten out as the acrylic cures.


When you apply your form properly and pinch it, making it a perfect tube for the acrylic, the acrylic will still want to pull upwards and become flat. It will actually pull both the form and the nail.


Don’t believe me? Try this.


Put a bead of acrylic on a form. When it is set enough to remove from the form, press it around a C-curve stick and then set it aside. After 10 minutes place it back on the same C-curve stick. What happened? I’d like to hear your comments.


There is one more element to pinching a perfect C-curve, but I’m going to save it for next week because it deserves way more page space. Until next week, the responsibility falls to the manicurists to get educated.



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