Learning the ABCs of Electric Filing

by NLS Staff | February 1, 2003

For more than two decades, nail technicians have used electric files for all types of services. Despite their wide use, there hasn’t been consistent or widely available information or education on their proper use in salons. It’s no wonder they’ve been misused so often, says Lysa Comfort, electric file division director and international educator for EZ Flow Nail Systems.


In recent years, however, electric files have gained new ground. More than ever, manufacturers and nail technicians are aware of the importance of knowing how to properly use such a tool. Without proper education and practice, a nail technician can seriously damage a client’s nails and, potentially, permanently damage the nail matrix and inhibit nail growth.


“Electric files still get a bad rap from nail techs who use them improperly, from techs who don’t use them and fear them, and from the myths that some nail techs still insist on believing and propagating,” says Barb Wetzel, a LaGrange, Ill.-based independent educator and founder of, an educational website.“


Sometimes our industry is its own worst enemy.” Although those words may hold some truth, it’s also a fact that the industry is stepping up its efforts and attempting to make nail professionals as skilled as possible with these instruments.


With more and more salons vying for the public’s attention, proper education is one good way of putting yourself ahead of the rest. And we’re not just talking about getting nail techs more education. You also need to keep your clients in mind. “Educate clients by explaining the benefits of using the electric file,” suggests Gari-Dawn Tingler, director of education for EZ Flow Nail Systems. “Let them know why electric files can be a good choice.”


Once you’re well versed in electric file use, you’ll be able to speak with confidence and authority to clients as well. After all, there’s nothing worse than a nail tech who can’t explain what she’s doing to a client or seems unsure.


If you encounter a client who’s had a bad experience at another salon, it’s all the more reason to show her you know what you’re doing.


Only with proper education will electric files be able to beat the bad rap they’ve gotten in recent years. It may sound a bit contrived, but knowledge really is power.

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