£450 pounds. That’s how much British women spend on their nails in a year. The average woman goes to the salon at least twice a month, and 96% of us say we feel better about ourselves when we’ve had our nails done.


It’s safe to say we take our nails seriously. And why not? We all want to feel beautiful! But where did it all come from? And why are we obsessed with our nails?


The History of Nail Technology

Taking care of your nails indicates you take care of yourself and your appearance. That’s why people have been maintaining well-kept nails for over 5,000 years.

In 3000 B.C. China, nail colour was used to reflect social class; royalty used red and black nail varnish to show their authority and power.

In the 1700s King Louis XVI wore silver and gold manicure sets, and in the 1800s the first nail care line manicure sets were invented and used in American salons.

The 1900s saw the invention of liquid nail varnish, the half-moon manicure and the French manicure.

what is a nail technician

Fast forward to modern day nail technology, and ‘nail art’ is pushing the boundaries of creativity, with social media sites like YouTube and Pinterest giving people the freedom to show their unique talents.

Nail technology isn’t a fad, and it never will be. Britain’s beauty industry is worth £13 billion, and it keeps growing.


What Values Does the Industry Uphold?

Every industry operates on a value system, for example, the children’s toy industry upholds the value of having fun, or the farming industry is committed to high-quality produce. Nail technology is no different.


Always Be Creative

Of all the beauty professions, nail technology gives you the platform to be creative. There are some truly unique designs that nail technicians create — and if you love to exercise your flair and invention, nail art is the perfect way to do this.

Watch this video from cutepolish to see how they use household items to create fun nail art designs.

what does a nail technician do

Do you want to start 2019 by learning a new skill?

Posh Nailz offer various, high standard courses that help you on your way to create you own profession career in the beauty industry. For course start dates for our training centres contact us now.
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A Passion for Nails or Toenails

This one might seem obvious, but it’s essential. Many beauty industry workers often operate in more areas that one.

For example, if you’re a beauty therapist, you may offer massage therapy as well. If you want to become a nail technician, it should be your passion. If you’re more interested in something else, you should do that.


Be Interested in People

While the main reason someone uses you for a manicure or pedicure is that you provide top-quality results, they also buy the person giving the treatment.

If you can show a genuine interest in someone’s life, rather than making their time with you a transaction, they’re more likely to return. Getting your nails done is a treat, a chance to unwind and chat, not a business exchange.


Are There Any Problems in the Industry?

While the nail industry is a fantastic place to work, there are problems that you should be aware of so you don’t get yourself into a bad situation.


Competition is Fierce

Getting your nails done is no longer a luxury; it’s become a part of everyday life. In 2016, salons were opening at a rate of 12 per week.

Dedicated nail bars opened who offered cheaper services to the lower end of the market and have taken business away from established salons.

There’s a danger that if salons start to enter a price war, there could be trouble. But as long as salons can coexist everything will be fine!


Modern Nail Bars Have Been Connected to Slavery

Budget nail bars have taken the UK by storm, offering a cheaper alternative to booking an expensive appointment in a salon. Drop in when you want.

However, the lack of regulation in the industry means some business owners are abusing our profession. In Bath, a trio was sentenced to jail after employing trafficked women.

When you’re using or working in a nail bar, look out for specific signs. Are technicians unwilling to engage? Are they being monitored at all times? You can learn more at Unseen, an anti-slavery organisation.


Harmful Chemicals in Nail Products

The University of Colorado produced a report stating that some nail salons have more toxic chemicals than garages and oil refineries.

This is only relative to the Colorado area, but it does make us question what chemicals are in nail products. There has always been a suspicion that chemicals in nail products can cause cancer.

Here are some to watch out for:

  • Toluene — clear, colourless liquid found in nail polish and nail glue which can cause damage to the nervous system over time.
  • Formaldehyde — used in nail polish and nail hardener, studies indicate it can cause cancer.
  • Ethyl methacrylate (EMA) — the primary substance in artificial fingernails, can cause allergies, asthma and dermatitis.


What is a Nail Technician?

what does a nail technician do

Now you know a bit more about the history of the industry and how it operates, it’s time to reveal what a nail technician does! That way you can decide if it’s a career you’re interested in pursuing.

A nail technician is responsible for providing care and decorating the fingernails and toenails. They have to understand the biology and physiology of these two body parts, so they know how to treat them.

They can work in salons or be self-employed and must have excellent communication and people skills.

Here are some of the tasks a nail technician would undertake daily:

  • Hand and foot massage — part of the hand is rubbed with the fingers, knuckles and palms to alleviate pain or provide pleasure
  • Provide manicures and pedicures — a cosmetic treatment to shape the fingernails, soften the skin and improve the appearance of the hands
  • Maintaining a hygienic workstation — ensuring all tools are sanitised to prevent the spread of germs and infection
  • Hot oil therapy — expensive, luxurious nail treatment designed to heal damaged cuticles
  • Applying gel nails — nails applied to create a glossier, natural look
  • Applying artificial nails — nails applied for sturdiness and durability
  • Nail fills — adaptations made to a nail, so you don’t have to get replacements all the time
  • Nail repair — repairing damaged nails
  • Nail wraps — wrap applied to the nails before fitting to strengthen the nail and make nails last longer
  • Nail polishing — a lacquer applied to fingernails and toenails


What Equipment Does a Nail Technician Need?

What equipment you have will differ, beginners only need a few tools to get started, but as you build your collection, you’ll end up with all sorts of gizmos and gadgets.

Here’s a list of equipment:

  • Nail clippers
  • Nail files
  • Buffers
  • Cuticle clippers
  • Cuticle oil
  • Sanitisers
  • Glue
  • Different types of nail


Who Does a Nail Technician Report to?

It all depends on where you work! If you work in a salon or nail bar, you’ll report to the manager or the business owner. If you like structure and stability then working in a salon is the best choice for you.

If you go self-employed, you’ll report to yourself. Reporting to yourself is a big responsibility, if you feel you’re mature enough to run a business, going it alone is the best choice for you.

However, even when you work in a salon, there’s an element of getting your own work as you’ll usually rent the chair or pay a percentage of your wage to the owner. Nail Technicians tend to be enterprising which helps them attract more clients.


Do You Need a Qualification?

nail artist industry problems

You don’t need a recognised qualification to become a nail technician, but it’s advised. If you’re looking for work in a salon, they’ll expect some experience working with nails.

You could look for an apprenticeship or a college course if you fit the age criteria. You can also look for beauty schools and online courses. You should aim to get at least a level 2 NVQ.

GCSEs in art, design or biology can strengthen your application, as well as being able to show examples of creativity and attention to detail.


Is Nail Technology a Good Career?

We’re biased, but yes! It’s amazing! Here are six reasons we think you’ll love being a Nail Technician:

  1. It’s a creative escape
  2. Painting nails is better than endless paperwork
  3. You can still care for your family
  4. Sparkles!
  5. Your clients can become your friends
  6. It’s like getting paid to do your hobby


Want to Become a Nail Technician?

If after reading this blog you want to become a nail technician, visit our blog for more resources!

Do you want to start 2019 by learning a new skill?

Posh Nailz offer various, high standard courses that help you on your way to create you own profession career in the beauty industry. For course start dates for our training centres contact us now.
Sign Up Now