It’s always been the case that now and then an artificial nail client will ask to have her nails removed. But these days, given the economy, it seems to be happening more often. So how should you handle it when a regular client asks you to remove her enhancements because she doesn’t have the money to maintain them?

“The number one thing I do is empathize with her because this is a difficult, emotional situation that needs to be handled with care,” says Jill Wright, the owner of Jill Wright Spa for Nails in Bowling Green, Ky. “In no way do I ever make her feel bad about her decision or shame her. I listen to her story and tell her it’s OK; we’ll do whatever she wants.” The next thing Wright does is break down the cost of wearing nails by the week for the client. “If a client gets fills every two weeks for $33, it costs her $16.50 per week. If she stretches it to three weeks, it costs $11 per week; four weeks costs her $8.25 per week; five weeks costs her $6.60 per week; six weeks equals $5.50 per week — but that’s the max someone could successfully stretch it,” she says. “Putting it to clients this way helps them see in what other areas they could scale back instead of giving up their nails.” If a client does opt to remove her nails and go natural, Wright aids in the transition. “I make sure she takes home a bottle of nail strengthener, the cost of which is built into the soak-off service with the spa mani,” she says.

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