Nail removal is a pain and usually means the loss of a more ex pensive service. The good news is you can always put a profitable spin on anything, says veteran nail tech Paula Gilmore. Let's face it, enhancement removal isn't one of your' salon glamour services. You can spare clients the discomfort and damage of ripping and nipping with adequate soaking, but can you create a pampering and profitable service? Many techs say yes. Gilmore, for instance, offers this advice: 'Set up a comfortable place for the “soak off” with something to distract the client such as videos or headphones with music. Follow the service with an aromatherapy or rehydration treatment and offer her follow-up products for home use and a package deal on manicures."

At Nail Care in Laurel, Md., owner Nancy King adds scented oil to the acetone and heats it by placing a bowl of hot water underneath, which also speeds up the process and makes it more comfortable for the client. "After the nails are off, we do an exfoliating scrub followed by either a hot oil treatment or paraffin dip and massage," she says. "We purchase our acetone at a discount in order to keep the expenses down, and schedule this service while we are doing another client. This way, the client sits at a vacant station or table, which enables the staff to continue to make money during the soak-off."

Since consumers are understandably reluctant to pay big for a service that leaves their nails looking less than great, sometimes some creative pricing is in order. Renee Borowy of The Salon at VIP in Riverview, Mich., has found the salon can make removal profitable by telling regulars she will charge only $ 10 as opposed to $20 if they put on a new set of nails. At Mail Spa Professional Skin & Nail Systems in Mokena, Ill., they charge $15 to remove their own work and $25 to remove another salon's work "Our reasoning is two-fold," says owner Sherry Storie-Russ. "Most people coming from other salons in the area for removal have MMA on their nails [which is more difficult to remove]. Also, we like to direct specials to our loyal, long-term clients so they know they are appreciated. Some of them like to freshen up their pink-and-whites periodically by removing them and getting a new set, so this is sort of a perk."


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