Reader to Reader: Where do you turn when you have a technical question about nails?

December 20, 2010

Where do you turn when you have a technical question about nails?


I call my product manufacturer, Young Nails. I use their entire product line, so they are able to answer many of my technical questions. I also refer to columns on - SAMANTHA BEEMAN, Total Body Salon, Stowe, Vt.

I am definitely old school; I have so many nail magazines and other books on nails that I refer to for my technical questions. I also use, where I find a lot of demos, shortcuts, and techniques, often done by veterans. Before asking someone, I will try to go through all of these resources. When you research something on your own you never forget it because you did the work to figure it out. - TOPAZ WOODRUFF, The Nail Cabaret, Charlotte, N.C.

For all technical issues, I first turn to who knows the product the best: the manufacturers! If I still have issues, I contact my mentors, Heather and Cindy, plus get input from the message boards. It never hurts to get multiple opinions. - ADRIENNE SCHODTLER, Blissful Lounge, Holly Springs, N.C.

I first turn to a nail forum on the Internet. In my opinion, they are the experts. They are working with the products on clients on a daily basis and see problems and issues. When I post a question I get a quick response from many people with different opinions, and they really try to help each other troubleshoot until the problem is resolved. It is a wonderful little community, almost like an extended family. - DEBBIE COLEY, Your Natural, Pembroke Pines, Fla.

When I have a technical question regarding nails, I usually think about the people I have met in the industry who I have grown to trust and contact them first — for example, a local educator or a manufacturer. Occasionally, I will do a search on the Internet. - DARLENE DONOVAN, Nail Creations @Bamboo Natural Beauty Salon & Boutique, Londonderry, N.H.

My greatest source of information is from the forum. Readers post questions and nail technicians from around the world can respond. It has helped me tremendously to become the best nail technician I can be! - ANGE TIDWELL, Felicias at Fourth, Gadsden, Ala.

I refer to Tammy Taylor’s website ( when I have questions. Whether it is troubleshooting or product info, her website has a ton of information. Plus, if the website doesn’t have exactly what you’re looking for, all you have to do is e-mail her and Tammy herself will answer you. I have the site bookmarked and recommend it to all techs — veterans or techs just out of school! - LISA SANTOS, Afterglow Salon, Defuniak Springs, Fla.

The Internet is my best coworker. I ask questions in multiple professional forums and e-mail my nearest educator. I also look at my CND binder, which contains how tos, troubleshooting, and MSDS. (These are obtained at CND’s website.) I get an array of suggestions and therefore a handful of solutions to whatever’s causing me trouble. - KELLI LYNN BURLESON, Harlow’s, Grand Blanc, Mich.

How can I cut costs and finally make a profit?

I’ve been doing nails for almost two years and have built a decent clientele. The only problem is, I did the math and over 50% of my income is going back into nail products. I’m using top-of-the-line brands and disposable files. How can I cut costs and finally make a profit? I know our prices are too low as well, but we are trying to stay competitive. Any advice?

As a mobile tech, how do I ensure I get paid?

I have a question about working as a mobile tech. When clients book group events or nail parties, how do you go about getting deposits and payments? Have you ever traveled to a client’s house and they were unable to pay? What did you do?

What should I do differently with male clients?

I’m starting to get more and more male clients. I am wondering how long a manicure for a man should last and how to price it? Also do you have any recommendations on what else I can do to give them an extra masculine sense of comfort?

Should I Use Punch Cards?

I recently started working at a high-end salon and I’m looking for marketing ideas. Should I do punch cards? I can’t do “refer-a-friend” because I don’t have consistent clients yet. We are already doing social media.

Should I start requiring a nonrefundable deposit for special-time appointments?

I want to start requiring a nonrefundable deposit for special-time appointments. My posted hours are 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. by appointment only. I am ridiculously flexible with my schedule, and let people book earlier and later if they can’t get in during normal hours. Recently, I had a 7:30 a.m. no-show! She was supposed to get services totaling over $100, and I forfeited holiday plans to accommodate her. She comes every two weeks, so I can’t lose her, but this is the second time she’s no-showed. What should I do? And how would I go about informing current clients of the new policy on off-hour deposits? 

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