“Doing” Your Own Nails is Hard

This post is going to be brutally honest.

But it’s something that I’ve been pondering a lot lately, and I want to encourage some open discussion about this.

S&M 1 April 2018 C

It’s a topic that nail techs don’t love to talk about: the idea of clients “quitting” on them so that they can do their own nails at home to save money.  I’m going to talk about this from a nail tech’s point-of-view, but DIYers should feel free to chime in below in the comments.  In reality, a lot of pro nail techs started out as DIYers. Just know that I’m not knocking you… that was me back in high school.

Sometimes people look at me sideways when I tell them doing your own nails is HARD, just like when I tell them yoga is hard.  It should be easy, right?  Who can’t hold a lunge with their arms in the air? And who can’t slap a coat of polish on their nails? (Newsflash! A lot of people are terrible at polishing. That’s why we have products like the Sally Hansen Polish Guard!)

In reality “doing nails” is SO MUCH MORE than just putting on polish neatly. Sure, that’s where it might begin, and even end, for some amateurs; But, just like most other things in life, once you dive in you begin to see how complex and beautiful and challenging the many aspects of this art/science can truly be.

I’ve seen quite a few ladies over the years quit going to the salon and try to do their nails at home, especially as gel has become more popular and widely available. Products like gel polish trick these people into thinking that if they can paint their own nails with gel polish,  they can successfully overlay or sculpt with builder gel… And we’ve all seen the fail pictures online for those.  And products like Jamberry and Color Street trick people into thinking they’ve got a quick fix for beautiful nails.  Here’s the real story:

  1. Healthy, beautiful nails require commitment and knowledge.  If growing long, strong natural nails was easy we would all have them.  But your nail tech has gone to school to learn about how to treat the natural nail to help keep it healthy, and they can advise you a bit on how to do the same. They can also properly use products to enhance the natural nail’s beauty. If you have an issue that requires a doctor’s help, they will let you know that, too.
  2. Successful application of nail enhancement products requires extensive training and many, many hours of practice.  I cannot stress this enough. Your nail tech has devoted her time and energy to learning how to use these products properly for excellent, long-lasting results. There is no shortcut to this.
  3. Professional products are often the key to a long-wearing nail enhancement or treatment.  Your nail tech has access to and training on top-of-the-line professional use only products.  Yes, you can buy a cheaper version of these products online and apply it yourself, but odds are you will not achieve the same result (also see #2 above!).

Some people just don’t have a natural affinity for “doing nails”, and they’d be better served – and happier – receiving nail treatments from a trained pro. Others just aren’t willing to put in the time to practice the art…. and practicing application techniques can suck up a lot of your time!

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