Why do some clients opt for pink-and-whites while others like wearing funky nail art? Personal preference has a lot to do with it, of course. But what else influences what nail styles your clients request? It could be their occupations call for a certain type of nail, or they’re stay-at-home moms with small children who can’t be bothered with long nails.

Here, three nail professionals—a salon owner, a booth renter, and an employee—tell us what influences their clients. In this new monthly column we’ll have three nail industry professionals comment on a single issue relative to the nail industry.

My clients’ nail styles are greatly influenced by what is new in the industry. Clients often see trade magazine covers or artwork and ask me to duplicate the nails.

In my salon I also employee a Japanese nail tech who keeps in touch with what is new in Japan, and she wears different styles on her nails. We strive to keep our nail styles different and cutting edge.  

I also work with an agency and do photo shoots. Those styles are totally based on the shoot or the model involved. Most photo shoots require natural manicures with neutral-colored polish. That’s because often the focus is on something other than nails and they are require a clean look.        

I’ve also given celebrities such as P. Diddy manicures and pedicures and they’ll usually tell you exactly what they are looking for in terms of service and style.

Patricia Yankee Williams, Pattie’s Place, Baldwin, N.Y.

Eighty percent of my clients wear nail art. This means that for the most part their nails are slightly (sometimes more than slightly) longer than the norm. the closer an occasion or a holiday gets, the longer the nails get.      

Pink-and-whites aren’t common amongst my clients because they like to wear color on their nails. I can match anything they are going to wear or anywhere they are going to go. If they are traveling somewhere I paint things that are indicative to the area they are visiting. I research what is prominent in the region or country and paint it on their nails.     

What it boils down to for me is that clients who like what I do come to me for that reason. We click. Of course, that’s not to say I don’t appreciate the 20% of my clientele who don’t get nail art. They come to me for a great job well done and we really like each other.

Sue Ellen Schultes, Great Lengths, Bridgewater, N.J.

Most of clients travel quite a bit, so they want nails that don’t require too much maintenance and make life easier for them. These clients tend to gravitate toward natural nails and pedicures.

Most of my artificial nail clients wear pink-and-whites. They want the most natural-looking styles and opt for styles that don’t show nail growth as much as polished nails.

I also service a lot of older clients with diabetes and arthritis, so they like to come in for pedicures to help keep their feet in good condition.

I think clients are influenced by what I wear on my nails. When I have glitter or colored acrylic, for example, I notice my clients will ask for the same thing on their nails.

The reasons my clients choose nail styles really do vary.

Marva Ann Robinson, The Secret Spa, Asheville, N.C.

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