Nails 101: A Student Blog

Week 10: E-files and Gels

by NLS Staff | November 11, 2019 | Bookmark +

This week we had a test on electric filing. The subject matter mostly covered the basic mechanics of an electric file, the different types of bits used and the basic “do’s and don’ts” of using an electric file. The instruction was entirely theory since electric files are not required for the class and not part of our hands-on practice, unlike manicures, pedicures, and artificial extensions. A small number of students have their own electric e-files which they use in class. However, we are only allowed to use the e-files on each other or invited guests; never on walk-in clients. I also have an e-file that I use in class, but since I am a beginner, I have only used the e-file on a practice hand, a small number of classmates, and myself. Regarding learning how to use e-files, NAILS has an apropos article titled How to Get Started with Electric Files.

We received a lecture on UV and LED gels during the week (overlays and extensions). There are no restrictions on using gels on any clients and there are some UV/LED lamps available for the students to share. However some students have their own lamps, as do I, which also are shared with fellow students. It appears the gels are mostly applied to clients and guests since we are not required to demonstrate proficiency in gels to complete the class or for state licensing. Therefore, most of the students concentrate on liquid and powder when they practice extensions.

The number of walk-in clients visiting our school salon ebbs and flows over the week. On Friday (my scheduled client services day) I was assigned a walk-in pedicure client. I prepared my Sanitary Maintenance Area (SMA) in advance and was all set for my second walk-in client of the semester. I greeted the client and invited him to have a seat on the ready and waiting pedicure chair. All was going well… until he removed his shoes and socks and revealed an impossible to miss blister on his toe. At that point my training kicked in and I politely excused myself, telling the client I had to consult with my instructor regarding his blister. To make a long story short, the instructor viewed the client’s blister and advised the client we could not perform a pedicure until the toe was healed. To his credit the client took the news well and received a raincheck for a future service. The client and I chatted briefly as we waited for the raincheck to be prepared and I learned he was a retired firefighter. I hope he does return, since I bet he has some interesting stories to tell.

One of the nail services I plan to specialize in after I am licensed is natural nail care. To help prepare for this specialization I sought and received permission to provide IBX treatments to classmates to strengthen their natural nails. So far, I have provided IBX treatments to two classmates and more have indicated an interest as well. I will monitor my classmates’ progress and report the results in a future blog. (See Famous Names for more information.)

There are two weeks remaining in the current semester and the final week will include practical finals for sculptured nails and artificial tips. Thus the classroom format has shifted from a high frequency of lectures and tests to more of a focus on hands-on practice and client services. The picture accompanying this blog shows a typical classroom scene with the students engaged in activities preparing for the looming practical finals. I have my fingers crossed that I will be ready!


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