Today there are plenty of products designed as professional-use products that are available to the general public. In some cases the products are being marketed directly to the public; in others, the product may have been diverted to an unauthorized outlet. The debate about professional nail products being available to potential salon clients has been renewed: Should nail products be available for sale to clients by any method at all?

First, it can be dangerous when chemical systems are used by untrained hands. Second, your efforts to retail products may be undermined if the same products are available at a better price at an open-to-the-public beauty supply. But I think it’s naïve and misguided to think that the availability of nail products is the biggest obstacle that is keeping you from enjoying true success. Think of all the other challenges you face today as a nail professional: from discount salons, bad press, retail competition, and poor training in school, among others.

If a nail technician wants to find a manufacturer whose products are strictly professional, great. But I think that nail technicians need to focus more on themselves and the salon experience that they alone can create.

Why would your clients go buy their own products and do their own nails? Why would a client bring in her own polish if you were providing a wide selection of polish and staying current on color trends? Why would she buy herself a UV light system to try for herself if you were providing service alternatives to her when she tried acrylics? Why is she trying the “latest and greatest” strengthener she picked up at the grocery store if you were the first one to tell her about a natural nail program that helped her own nails grow out?

Don’t give a client a reason to leave you and do her own nails. Show her that the salon experience CANNOT be duplicated—no matter what product she gets her hands on.