Customer Service

Editor's note: Stop the Bad Presses!

A good deal of the bad press nails have gotten over the years has been a result of clients who bad-mouth the profession after they’ve suffered some nail health problem, very often an infection.

A good deal of the bad press nails have gotten over the years has been a result of clients who bad-mouth the profession after they’ve suffered some nail health problem, very often an infection. Granted, the occasional infection or allergic reaction comes with the territory, but the snowball of bad word-of-mouth on artificial nails gained momentum when consumer beauty magazines starting alerting their readers to the perceived potential dangers of artificial nails. Of course, we all know that when applied correctly, in a sanitary environment, and cared for properly by the wearer, artificial nails should not cause nail disorders. But try telling that to someone who had her nails turn green.

Perhaps the reputation of nail care is now being restored. Certainly the campaigns to see every state in the country licensed and possibly even standardizing testing requirements bolsters a more professional image for nail care as a whole. But there is still some public education that needs to be done. Thai’s where; where you come in.

You have to be able to educate your clients on the safety of artificial nails. When she has questions about fungal infections, the chemicals in the products you use, or the long-term effects of acrylics on her natural nails, you need to be ready with a well-informed and thoughtful answer. It will not suffice to tell your clients not to worry about getting an infection in your salon. You must be able to tell her why these infections occur, how your procedures help you prevent them, and what she can do to prevent them.

To help you better understand nail disorders and general nail health, NAILS is launching a monthly column written by well-known dermatologist Orville Stone, M.D. Each month Dr. Stone will address a particular nail condition, its symptoms and possible causes, and will recommend the; type action a technician should (and is legally allowed to) take. Of course, very often, the recommended action is that a client should be referred to a physician for treatment. But whether you are required to refer or not, when you are able to describe the nail condition to the client, tell her its causes, and recommend how she can prevent its future occurrence, you gain her trust, her respect, and her positive word-of-mouth referrals.

Dr. Stone sees hundreds of patents a month, many with the types of conditions caused by, or complicated by, artificial nails. His column will address those conditions in practical terms, without impossible-to-understand medical jargon. He will outline the recommended action for a technician to take, when the technician should refer to a physician, and when she should just ask the client to return at a later time. Dr. Stone has also made available to NAILS his vast collection of medical photographs, which he will use to illustrate his column. These visual references will be enormously helpful in identifying and understanding those nail disorders.

I believe that if nail technicians will arm themselves with all the information they can about nail problems, they can begin to stop the bad press nails have gotten.


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