The explosion of gel-polish means nail techs are busier than ever — and at the upscale Red Door Spas it means nail assistants are guaranteed a full day of soak-offs. Not all Red Door techs are lucky enough to have an assistant on hand. “We only have a few throughout our spas, mostly at very busy spas that do at least 125 gel-polish applications a month,” says Alisha Botero, Red Door’s national training director for nail services. “Our Westchester, N.Y., spa averages 200 gel-polish applications a month with eight technicians and one assistant.”

The assistants — who are usually nail students or under a nail apprentice program — earn their keep by making it possible for the techs to fit in more services. “We book 15 minutes for a gel-polish soak-off and it is scheduled with the nail assistant,” says Botero. “In a full day, this can allow our working technicians 10 more service opportunities by not occupying their time with soak-offs.”

The nail assistants also pitch in with a number of other duties to assist the technicians allowing them more time with guests, such as cleaning manicure stations and pedicure tubs, running the autoclave, refilling products, rolling hot towels, restocking terry towels, and keeping the department and polishes clean and organized.

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