Working Healthy

Shaking Off the Shakes: Keeping Hands Steady While Polishing

Tips on making a steadier polish application so your clients will know you're a pro.

Every tech gets hit with a bout of the shakes once in a while, but for some, especially beginners, an unsteady hand can make a tech feel uncomfortable and insecure. Shakes can be caused by lots of things — too much coffee, not enough sleep, or skipping a meal — and sometimes shaky hands can be the sign of a more serious health problem. But for the most part, shakes are caused by a combination of nerves and other unassuming daily habits. OPI educator Lynn Ackerson-Warren gives some tips on how to make a steadier polish application so your clients will know you’re a pro.

Don’t polish on an empty stomach.

Low blood sugar can cause slight tremors and distract you from the job at hand. Make sure to eat something before work and stay fed throughout the day, by snacking between clients or having a healthy lunch.

Take breaks.

If you work for long stretches without breaks, you’re hands are naturally going to fatigue and tremble. Make sure to take the necessary time to rest and stretch your hands and forearms, and you’ll notice they’ll become steadier.

Use balance-point positioning.

Balance point positioning is the best little trick in the book. You brace the hand that holds the client’s finger on the table, and hold the finger between your forefinger and thumb. Then use the pinkie of your polishing hand to anchor it to the three unused fingers on the holding hand. This lets you pivot and adjust your brush in a smooth and comfortable way.

Use the three-stroke method.

I’ve seen some techs pet lacquer on, but this can make polish dry slow and look thick. Three long, fluid strokes is the best way to apply polish evenly, and it helps decrease the shakes. Simply lay the brush flat to the nail, make one stroke down the center and then two on the sides. By practicing this along with balance-point positioning, your polish applications will get faster and more precise.

<p>Note that the thumb and forefinger of the holding hand pinches the client’s finger to pull back the soft tissue from the nail plate. This makes the nail bed a little bigger and ensures complete polish coverage.</p>

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