Natural Nails

Nail Makeovers Win Over Clients

Make over a new client’s nails by prescribing a course of professional nail services and home maintenance products that will give her well-groomed nails and hands.

<p>Before Kate's first manicure (left), her nails were short and misshapen. The nail on her left forefinger was damaged when she was a child adn it sticks out like, well, a sore thumb. On the right are Kate's hands after several months of regular manicures. When a client sees results like this, how can she resist regular manicures.&nbsp;</p>

Make over a new client’s nails by prescribing a course of professional nail services and home maintenance products that will give her well-groomed nails and hands.

This month’s Troubleshooter column addresses problem clients—you know, the ones who only come into the salon for a special occasion and are never seen again. Turning these occasional clients into faithful regulars could be as simple as creating a need in them to have beautiful nails. Give these clients a nail-transforming service and then prescribe a course of professional nail services as well as retail products for home use to keep their nails looking their best.

Performing nail makeover doesn’t require a change in your nail technique; instead, you’ll work on polishing your “tableside” manner. This month, Cheri Spalo, a nail technician at Caryl Richard Hair Salon in Oak Brook, Ill., did a nail makeover on Kate, a new client who had never had her nails done. Spalo kept a log of the services she did, the products she recommended, and the advice she provided at each appointment.

First Visit: Overall, Kate’s nails are in good condition. She damaged the matrix of the nail on her left forefinger when she was a child and that nail is ridged. The nail on her right middle finger was cracked, and all the nails needed shaping. I recommended she use cuticle oil daily to moisturize her cuticles.

Kate wants to wear her nails natural so I recommended regular manicures. I applied a sculptured acrylic nail on the permanently damaged nail and an acrylic overlay on her cracked middle nail. I will buff out the overlay at each appointment until the crack grows out.

I gave her nails a “squoval” shape (a cross between square and oval) and kept them an active length because she does a lot of typing and sports. Kate has fair skin so I recommended pale pink and peach polishes and French manicures.

Second Visit: Kate wants stronger nails so I recommended she use a nail strengthening top coat every other day between appointments. The acrylic nails are holding up fine so I just gave her a manicure.

Third Visit: Kate’s nails and cuticles are looking better. It’s obvious she has been using the top coat and cuticle oil regularly. At this service I buffer out the cracked nail and gave her a manicure.

Fourth Visit: Today, I soaked off the acrylic extension on her forefinger and applied a new one with white and pink acrylic for a natural look. I also gave her a manicure.

Fifth Visit: It’s been four weeks since Kate’s last manicure. Until now, I had seen Kate once a week. Her nails looked good, although she bad broken one nail. I applied an acrylic extension to that nail and did a fill on her other extension.

Sixth Visit: Kate was not able to get in until four more weeks had passed. I soaked off her extensions and reapplied them with pink and white acrylic. I gave her a French manicure and she liked it. Her nails were slightly discolored from nail polish so I recommended she use a nail whitening product every other day for a week.

Seventh Visit: This is Kate’s final visit in her makeover and I’m very pleased with the results. I gave her a French manicure at this visit and recommended she get a manicure every two weeks in summer and every week in winter. I told her to keep using the home maintenance products and to have the extension on her forefinger filled every two weeks.

What does Kate have to say about her nails? “I’m extremely happy with their new look. The acrylic overlay on my deformed nail is so durable and natural-looking that you can’t tell it’s not my own. I definitely plan to stick to a nail care program,” she says.

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