I promised a blog and opinion on IBX ages ago and now feel like I have enough information and experience to do it justice.
Let’s cover the obvious first, what is IBX? That information can be found here. In short, IBX is a “penetrating, toughening agent that fuses together the nail’s top layers to improve nail plate integrity. . . used to keep your natural nails strong so that they grow long.”
Once you poke around their site and feel like you have a rough idea what it is, the next step is to actually use it. On my initial use of the system, I wasn’t sure that I liked it. Luckily, the company is more than happy to answer questions and troubleshoot with you to figure out why you don’t like the product and what can be changed. Turns out, I didn’t read the instructions as well as I thought and I did a few things wrong in the application, as well as being unrealistic about the results. I will be sure to share all the pointers I learned from my mistakes so that you are able to find success. So keep reading.
First tip, follow the directions exactly! When it says to do your cuticle work after the application of IBX then that’s what you should do. Also, when they say thin application, it is really, really thin. For the blotting part of the application, you are going to want something that is as lint-free as possible. I have been very happy with the 4squares from Soft Landings, if there are other lint-free wipes you have found please share them in the comments!
There are video tutorials, as well as a step by steps available that can also guide your during the appliocation process. I found it helped a lot to have the PDF pulled up on my phone as I went through the application; this saved me from making mistakes trying to remember a new process. IBX recently updated the application process and you can find the demonstrations for gel-polish clients here and application instructions for polish-loving clients here.
Now that you are offering the service, what will you charge for it? The average seems to be $10-15 for the first application and $8-10 for the second. Like with any service the application time varies, some can do it in around 10 minutes and others like me (hence the turtle) are taking more in the 15-20 minute range. I have no doubt once I get used to it and don’t reference the step by steps 50 times during the service that some of the time will be cut down. I started out doing the IBX on one client and have now added it to a second with a third in mind. Be aware that this is not an instant fix. I am putting it on clients with weak, thin, peeling natural nails that are the nails they were born with. The IBX is meant to be an ongoing treatment not an overnight cure all. And yes, I thought that at first.
Once you have realistic expectations and are doing all the steps correctly, it does appear to work quite nicely. Make sure to take before and after photos as you will forget how bad the nails started off when they start looking a little better with each visit. The photos will not only enhance your marketing, but become proof to yourself and your client that it wasn’t a waste of time.
My plan now is to take the IBX Certification class at the NW Nail Tech retreat in a couple weeks to make sure I have the chance to double check what I’ve learned and get any troubleshooting tips and application tricks that I may have missed while playing with the product on my own. It always makes me feel more confident in adding something to my menu if I have taken a class on it!
I hope this helps those of you that have been waiting for me to get to it. Sorry it took so long, I had to book the extra time out for application several months in advance.
Check out these progress shots of my client's nails.
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