Maggie Rants [and Raves]

It Really Doesn't Bother Me

by Maggie Franklin | November 30, 2011

It's one of those subjects that recycles every few years. Well, it's one of those omnipresent issues that gets a lot of attention every few years: professional products in the consumer market.


You'd think our industry was comprised entirely of people who had no actual skills for all the outrage over public access to professional — or professional type — products.

You didn't really think that UV polishes were going to remain the exclusive domain of the professional industry forever, did you? Really? I, personally, am surprised L'Oreal doesn't have one yet. Or at least Channel or MAC. But have no fear, I suspect it won't be long.

Acrylic home kits have been around for about ever now. I remember Mom doing her nails with a kit from Lee Nails back in the late ’70s/early ’80s. Man! Did she do some UGLY nails with that stuff!

I just don't care if consumers can get their hands on my products. I don't care if they can buy a consumer version of the same types of product I use here in the salon, be it liquid-and-powder extension kits, UV polish, or a pair of cuticle nippers. (OK, I wish they wouldn't buy cuticle nippers. The people who feel the need to own those usually also feel the need to use them to hack away several layers of living skin, like some sort of trichotillomania on crack.)

I also can't get much more excited when it's actual "professional" products that consumers are getting their hands on.

Maybe it's just not news to me. There have always been ways to get your hands on something if you have a mind to it. So it doesn't surprise me at all when I hear a non-industry-connected friend of a friend saying that she did her own nails with CND or Young Nails products. HECK! My clients tell me I should buy my product at the flea market because it's cheap and they have "all the same stuff" that I use. I laugh my ass off at them when they say these things, because — as a professional — I am keenly aware that even if the product at the flea market are actually what they say they are, they aren't any good! They're sitting out in the sun all day, and they're probably being stored in someone's garage all year in the meantime. Not to mention, how old are they? Yeeshers!

But consumers don't know those things. Consumers won't get better results from professional products than they do from consumer products because they don't have professional skills. Because they don't know that products have expiration dates, or that there's such a thing as counterfeit products, or that products are temperature-sensitive and need to be kept below 85 degrees ... Well, on second thought, if I had a dollar for every licensed "professional" who didn't know that either...

My point is that I've put a lot of thought into it over the years, and I honestly just can't seem to muster up the passion for this issue that some of my colleagues spend good time ranting about. Box color and home permanents didn't put the professional hair industry on the endangered species list, I don't suspect home acrylic kits and UV polishes will hurt the nail industry.

But if you're only as good as your products, then I guess you might need to consider a plan B.


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