Nails 101: A Student Blog

Week 3: Salon Practice and Sanitation Lessons

by NAILS Magazine | November 8, 2010

My first full week of working on clients in the school was a welcome change form the pace of the week before. We were finally working on clients and were out on the main floor of the school full time. The last class only had two girls in it and apparently from what we were told, they were pretty busy. Since there are four of us in our manicuring class plus all the hairdressers on the floor, we have a lot of down time between clients. We stayed steady, but for the most part we would end up with either a busy morning or a busy afternoon. The cosmetology students have minimum requirements for nail services that they also complete; so occasionally you will see them doing manicures or polish changes while their clients are under the dryers. Some of them will even do full sets or fills because they have to complete their minimums by graduation. There are only so many clients to go around.


Theory this week was all about sanitation and disinfection. We talked about bacteria, pathogens and blood diseases. We were taught all the safe ways to protect yourself and your clientele from getting any types of fungus, rash and other nail disease. Our classroom time was shared with the cosmetology students since the chapter in our book is essentially the same as in their book. It was all the same things that I had learned when I was in school as an esthetician and a very welcome refresher. Learning the parts on preventing the spread of nail diseases was fascinating. We were told to use gloves when doing pedicures if we are at all concerned with what we may come in contact with since we can easily spread it to ourselves.


This I found especially difficult to digest because as a massage therapist I would never consider wearing gloves while working on my clients. I find it highly impersonal and think it takes away from the personal connection with the client. I have had a client for the last six years who as Hepatitis C. She was kind enough to tell me this when I was first introduced to her. I consulted my personal physician before taking her as a client, which she respected, and was told that as long as I didn’t come into contact with her blood I was essentially fine. I even got the vaccine for Hepatitis just to be safe. Now when she comes in to see me and if she has an open cut or sore, I just stay away from that part of the body and we have never had a problem. I do understand that there are going to be times when I may not want to actually touch a client with my bare hands, but I think getting used to the idea is going to be difficult.


Shelly’s full set, painted with OPI’s Romeo & Joliet.


I was lucky enough this week that several of my friends came into see me. I did pedicures on two friends of mine from high school and another on a long time client’s mother. My friend Lauren came in for what is going to be her standing weekly Saturday morning manicure. My co-worker April who I did my first full set on came back and got a fill, her nails held up so well and not one had popped off! My neighbor and friend Shelly came in for a full acrylic set, which turned out lovely. She picked this great color by OPI that was gorgeous for her skin tone. I am so glad they are all so willing to participate in my learning experience! I also made sure to ask them if they were OK with being mentioned in my blog, and they all said of course.


My fun purple and silver French manicure.


I got some time this week to play with color and do a few fun things. I gave myself a French manicure with neon purple tips highlighted by a line of silver glitter. One of the cosmetology students was wearing this amazing fun scarf, and I happened to have a blue polish that matched it perfectly.


OPI’s No Room for the Blues with Kaley’s scarf.


This week was a blast and definitely not nearly as stressful as the prior weeks. I loved being able to take care of my friends and having new services to perform. I am chomping at the bit now to be done and have my license!


— Karyn




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