Q&A

Reader to Reader: Are DIY nail products good or bad for the professional industry?

Q.

Are DIY nail products (available to the general public) good or bad for the professional industry? And why?

A.

Bad bad bad. When consumers buy these products and use them without any professional training they don’t learn proper technique, application, or maintenance. They risk ruining their nail beds or someone else’s and can pass infections from one person to the next (if they are providing the service to someone other than themselves), not to mention risking their own personal health! They have no clue as to what to watch for. I don’t even like the idea of full-coverage DIY nails because they can rip away the nail beds. I think they should only have access to basic nail files, polishes, etc.
Bobbi Morgan
Liquid Sun Nails, Prince Rupert,
British Columbia, Canada


There are two reasons I feel they are bad. First of all it takes away from my income. That’s the greedy side of me that rarely shows. Secondly, DIY nail products make the average Jane think she knows everything there is to know about nails. Unfortunately, the consumer is not fully educated on all the diseases and disorders of the nail. I worry they will harm themselves or others due to lack of information.
Melissa Fuge
The Foxy Lady, Klamath Falls, Ore.


One thing we have to remember is that if stores sell DIY nail product kits, then people may well give them a try. And they will always make a mess of it and realize we are not just some air-headed bimbos who sit pretty painting nails. We are qualified and do our jobs properly! I think a lot of hairdressers must feel the same way, but they are still very much in business and so are we.
Judy Archibald
Manchester, England


When I was a teenager I bought DIY products, developed a passion for nail care and nail enhancements, and now over a decade later I share my passion with potential nail care professionals as a nail instructor.
Toyia Brown
Rivertown School of Beauty, Columbus, Ga.


The average consumer and/or unlicensed professional who tries to do nails at home doesn’t really scare me as far as business goes. Clearly, they’re not who I want as a customer in my salon (although I would love to change their perspective). Unfortunately, there are just too many enhancement products available to the public. Without education, damaging results occur. Guess who gets the bad rap? The entire nail industry. I do not enjoy hearing the horror stories from somewhere else, but I look at it as part of my job to educate anyone who sits at my table. So get ready for an earful if you slam my industry.
Robin Jones
Robin’s Nest Professional Nail Care,
London, Ohio


There’s nothing wrong in doing some DIY to the nails as long as the instructions are followed properly. It gives us ladies time to experiment and some time to ourselves! I started out this way and it led me to my career, which I love. Nothing is as good as the real thing though — DIY products are not the best quality and they make you realize what a good job nail techs do. So it’s very good for us because we have skills and passion that the DIY products can never touch. Clients know a good professional service when they get one and always come back (especially after experimenting themselves, even with nail polish).
Cheryl Wigley-Douce
Laid’eez Salon & Spa, Derby, England


Illustration by Ajay Peckham

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