About a million years ago — 1993, I think — I read an article (probably in NAILS) about using an e-file.
The author mentioned that she does her own nails and uses her e-file on herself. After all, if you aren't willing to use it on yourself, why should you expect your clients to let you use it on them.
Right? I mean, that made really good sense to me.
So I immediately adopted this philosophy and the next time I did my nails I used my e-file on myself.
This went swimmingly on my right hand — remember, I'm left-handed. My self e-filing went rather smoothly and I wasn't entirely surprised to find that my e-file technique wasn't terribly aggressive. I mean, I've never been an aggressive filer; I thought that was the whole point the whole time. But at least I'd used the e-file on my own hands and now I could confidently say that I knew what it felt like.
Then I did my left hand. With the e-file. Using my right hand … my non-dominant hand.
That was the worst injury I have yet suffered during a nail service, whether a service I was performing or a service I was receiving. With a nifty hole right through the skin on my left ring finger, just below the cuticle (or “above” the cuticle, depending on whose interpretation of nail placement perspective you ascribe to, I suppose). Either way, I really hurt myself.
And for the following few weeks of explaining my incredibly Lucille Ball-plays-nail-lady moment to clients, friends, and coworkers, it seemed so ridiculous as I told the story over and over again that I would have ever thought it was a good idea to use an electric file on myself with my other hand!
I learned a valuable lesson (and maybe just the faintest hint of a scar) through that experience and now I put a significant amount of thought into advice before I actually take it anywhere.
Seriously, we don't expect dentists to practice their skills by filling their own cavities, right? Or expect surgeons to remove their own appendixes just for practice?
I think it's OK to feel confident in your e-file skills by simply noticing whether or not your clients are willing to hand over their hands when you turn it on, and by observing the damage — or, preferably, lack thereof — to the nails after using it.