I recently finished my nail tech training course and thought it would be a great idea to share some things I learned throughout my journey.
A lot of people think it’s merely sticking on plastic tips, slapping on some product, filing here and there and then boom! Job done! Well… this is not the case. There is SO MUCH more to it than what you see and you don’t know that until you actually sit down and do it yourself.
Here is a list of 5 things that new nail techs should know when embarking on this journey:
- You won’t get a perfect application on your first try
If it is your very first time applying acrylic or gel, you more than likely won’t get a flawless finish. It takes time to improve your technique and figure out just the right powder to monomer ratio. Trust me, this can be very frustrating and discouraging. The first time I did a set of nails they came out so bad! I literally went home and cried. I told my friend that I totally understand if she soaks them off when she gets home but fortunately she was very supportive and said not to be too hard on myself since it was the first time I was ever doing acrylics. Although I thought I would never be any good, I kept going at it and I slowly began seeing improvements. Practice does make perfect!
- What works for someone else might not work for you
Not just because you see other people using a #10 brush means that you should too. It might just be the reason why you’re not performing your absolute best. Imagine trying to dance while wearing size 10 shoes when you’re obviously a size 6. It’s the same concept. The brush might be too big for you and you won’t be able to control the product effectively. Speaking about product, you don’t need to pick up a large bead and try to cover the entire nail with that one bead. You can use small beads that are more comfortable to manipulate, thus resulting in a favourable outcome. I understand that using a smaller brush and the three bead method instead of a large brush and just one bead might make the process a bit longer. However, with practice you will be able to move onto bigger brushes and different techniques to maximize your time.
- Your prices are not up for debate
There will be some people who want massive discounts or even worse, get their nails done gratis and “if they like it, they will come back”. Yeahhh… it doesn’t work that way. I know you really want to grow your clientele but you cannot sell yourself short. Of course, it’s not all about the money and you love what you do, but products cost money, equipment costs money and your time is being used. Although you are a beginner, you’re still getting a job done.
However, there is an alternative. If you feel like you need a bit more practice and don’t want to put a price on your work just yet, you can ask for donations instead. It can be monetary contributions or products (monomer, powder, gel, gems, glitter and any other nail accessory). This is a great way to practice and still get something in return.
- It’s okay to be honest about your skills
Sometimes people will show you a picture of a set of nails and ask “can you do this for me?”. In these instances it’s totally okay to say that you don’t think you can do it (yet). Be honest with them and let them know that you haven’t quite reached that level, but if they don’t mind, you can try another design. If the client is going to pay the price that you’ve set, they should leave with nails that they are satisfied with. Many times new nail techs are scared or embarrassed to say “I don’t think I am able enough do that specific design” and they just go ahead and say yes, then it doesn’t come out right and the client gets very upset for obvious reasons. This is extremely detrimental to your reputation. Explain to them that you are a beginner and some designs require techniques that are advanced. Believe me, they will appreciate your honesty. If they accept and you do a design using techniques you’re comfortable with and the set turns out great, they will want to come back.
Of course, continue practicing and advancing in your techniques so that one day you’ll be able to give clients exactly what they want when they walk in.
- Don’t compare yourself to others
The worst thing you can do is compare yourself with someone else. Remember, you are on your own journey. Be realistic about your skills and progress. You can’t compare yourself, who has only had 6 months of experience, with someone who has had 10 years of experience. You WILL get discouraged and feel like you’re no good, but that person was once in your shoes. No one was born a master nail technician. It all came with time and practice.
It’s not as easy as it looks and you must be prepared to fail a few times here and there. Making mistakes aren’t bad. Just make sure you learn from these mistakes so that you can become the best nail technician that you possibly can.