Soakless manicures have many benefits, but many clients are accustomed to a soak in warm water and can’t imagine a manicure without it. Many companies, such as CND, recommend a soak-less manicure. “When the nail plate absorbs water, it expands and changes shape before the polish is applied,” explains CND co-founder and style director Jan Arnold. “Once the water evaporates, the nail returns to its original shape/size, and this often results in chipping.”

So how does the soakless option work? It means “skipping the water and opting for a cuticle treatment that usually contains potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide,” explains salon owner and Nail Talk Radio co-host Athena Elliott. “These alkaline ingredients are caustic and work by dissolving the thinly attached cuticle from around the border of the nail plate.” These products must be washed off again before product application. This procedure can save you time as well as being better for your client.

Hydrating treatments and moisturizers are also key. “It’s important for nail pros to continue using products that condition with the proper moisture and oil balance,” says Arnold. “Lightweight, deeply penetrating oils, like Solaroil Nail & Cuticle Conditioner, make nails water-resistant and keep surrounding skin supple and conditioned.”

But how to get your client onboard? “Educating your clients is the best way to persuade them,” says Arnold. “So they don’t feel like they are ‘missing out’ on a spa-like service, I recommend creating a delicious experience using floral, citrus, or herbal ingredients that carry the client to another place.”

“You must be certain you know what the benefits are to sell your service,” Elliott explains. “Educated nail pros promote a 21st century manicure using top-of-the-line, results-oriented, but yummy products and progressive techniques.”