Everything the serious pedicurist needs to increase her pedicure business and improve her techniques.


Pedicure Frenzy

Why are pedicure products from foot care veterans and newcomers flying off the shelves? With client interest in spa services and total body health at an all-time high, it seems pedicures are a most noteworthy service in the salon.

Why are pedicure products from foot care veterans and newcomers flying off the shelves? With client interest in spa services and total body health at an all-time high, it seems pedicures are a most noteworthy service in the salon.

If you contemplate the factors that have contributed the most to the recent popularity of pedicures, it is unlikely you would come up with an Eddie Murphy movie. Yet, when you ask Tony Cuccio, CEO/president of Star Nail Products (Valencia, Calif.), he quickly credits Murphy for a significant rise in pedicure popularity…and he is only half-joking.

Cuccio explains: “A few years ago Eddie Murphy starred in a movie called Boomerang. He played a high-powered executive who decided whether to keep dating a woman based on the condition of her feet. At 3:00 a.m. he lifted the covers up off her feet as she slept. Since they were not well-groomed, he would not see her again.”

Murphy then pursues a high-powered female executive with whom he works. During a similar late-night inspection, he finds that she has perfectly pedicured feet. With a sigh of relief, he sinks back into her arms. Not only do her well-kept feet add tremendously to her appeal, but she is portrayed throughout the movie as a “total” woman.

“We think that many women now realize that their feet are important and are having regular pedicures,” Cuccio notes.

While pedicure products only accounted for about 5% of the total profit of nail services for Creative Nail Design (before it released its new line), president Jan Arnold notes that the product category has seen very little innovation in terms of research and development of new products in many years. “We thought it could be a category with big potential if we introduced the right comprehensive system that could help nail technicians cater to more of their clients’ foot care needs.”

After consulting both nail professionals and then consumers as to what it would take to “hook” them on regular pedicures, Creative launched its “consumer-driven” SpaPedicure line in January based on the results of its studies and had to throw away its six month sales projection less than three weeks later due to overwhelming response. The company has gone on to create larger, professional sizes those with a genetic disposition to infection will find that regular pedicures help stave off toenail infections. “Sixty percent of adult Americans have toenail infections (fungal or bacterial) and pedicures are a logical preventative measure,” Arnold says. Many of the products, especially foot baths, have ingredients to help sanitize feet and fight bacteria.

With the image of “stinky feet” in her mind, it is no surprise that a nail technician would refuse to offer pedicures. “Nail technicians can’t afford to have an aversion to touching feet because clients want to show their feet more than ever and are requesting the services,” says Joe Galati, V.P. of European Touch Ltd. (Brookfield, Wis.).

Some nail technicians really enjoy the relaxing scents of aromatherapy mixed in with many of the products and take pride in crafting their service. “I enjoy giving my clients pedicures and customizing the service to fit their needs and likes,” says Shari Lampert, a nail technician at Salon Euphoria in Northport, N.Y. “Feet have been in shoes all day, so to me they are cleaner than hands that have been everywhere.”

The Rise of the Day Spa Pedicure

The client’s search for total body health in less time, for less expense, has made day spa services such as pedicures, incredibly popular.

And not only are pedicures in demand by clients, but they are a money-maker for the nail technician. “Pedicures are a premium services that earn premium prices, which make nail technicians’ profits higher,” notes Arnold.

Prices for pedicures range depending on the type of salon and service you offer, but the industry average is $24.57. Depending on the products used and the services performed, a pedicure can command the same amount of money as a set of acrylics.

While Lampert charges $25 for her pedicure service, which lasts an hour to an hour and 15 minutes, Monica Leiper, a nail technician in La Jolla, Calif., earned $40 for a one-hour spa pedicure until she retired last June.

“The experience is very beneficial for clients seeking a full deluxe pedicure,” she says. “You could smell the products throughout the salon, and so I often traded many of the male hairstylists a pedicure for hair services because they liked the product and the service so much,” she notes.

“Nail technicians are looking for services that bring in more dollars per hour,” says McCoy. “Spa products, such as paraffin, extra massage, or aromatherapy allow them to charge more for their pedicure service because they are adding value to it.”

“Adding spa services, such as massage, are very capital-intensive when you add them to a salon. You have to find a separate room, hire a masseuse, etc. Pedicures do not require as much start-up as some of the other services,” Galati says.

With the popularity of the pedicure service comes scrutiny of technique, especially when it comes to sanitation. Nail technician want to make sure that pedicures, which help prevent many nail infections, don’t actually become the cause of such an infection. Implement kits, which are required in some states by law, are one way to ensure the client that you are properly caring for her feet. Tweezerman’s Professionals Pedicure Kits are popular with clients who like having their own implements in a sealed case that is usually stored at the salon. “You know the client will come back to your salon because she keeps her implements there,” says Skroski.

“Sales of our Client Guard for Pedicures have tripled,” says Cuccio. The kit, a continuing best-seller for the company, contains a clipper, files and other necessities to help nail technicians successfully treat feet.

As winter moves into spring, expect that pedicures will continue to gain momentum. “It’s a sleeping giant,” Skroski says.

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