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A nail technician is a beauty specialist who is responsible for the grooming and appearance of a client's fingernails and toenails. He or she provides manicures, pedicures, nail shaping, cuticle grooming, callus removal, synthetic nail treatments, and application of nail polish for their clients.
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A nail technician is trained in the techniques of cleaning, filing and grooming fingernails and toenails which includes the trimming and removal of the cuticle, moisturizing the skin of the hands and feet, removal of dead skin in both areas and a light massage to improve circulation and relaxation. A professional can treat the natural nails of the hands and feet as well as add on acrylic nails, gel coverings, or a silk strengthener. After these treatments, the nails can have a simple polish, a French manicure or a decorative airbrush design applied. Small jewelry and decals can also be added if the customer is so inclined.
Attendance at a college for cosmetology is required in order to become a professional nail technician. The college will teach basic techniques for manicuring, pedicuring and acrylic application. It is important to pay close attention while in the classroom as lessons are short and to the point, and students will be using their new-found skills on the public very quickly. More complicated nail techniques can be learned at nail shows and business expos. Beauty school will not only teach the techniques needed to perform a manicure and pedicure, but will also teach legitimate business practices, some light bookkeeping, and preparations for the exams required by most states and provinces. In order to earn a nail technician's certificate, a candidate is required to pass a written and practical exam.
In order to become a successful nail technician, it is also necessary to have an eye for detail and a certain talent for recognizing what is needed for excellent nail care. Harsh temperatures, cleaning products and other situations can cause nails to become dry and brittle. Teaching and offering advice to clients on how to take care of their hands and feet in between visits will lead to a loyal clientele as they will feel like the technician really cares about them.
It used to be that typically there would be one nail technician at a hair salon. In recent years, there has been a rise in nail salons as a business. An example of a workplace for a nail technician would be at a nail salon where there are several other nail technicians. There would be several manicure and pedicure stations, and each technician working at the salon could rent out a station of their own. Rent would either be a set amount each month or a percentage of what the nail technician earns, and each person would be responsible for building and maintaining their own clientele. Another example of a workplace would be working from home and building your own business and scheduling work hours that are more convenient to your lifestyle.
The atmosphere of a nail salon, whether it be at a proper shop or at home, should be one of cleanliness, capableness and relaxation. Technicians should wear white lab coats to promote a professional attitude, and they must always observe the local health codes and regulations. It is vital to give the impression of cleanliness, relaxation and pampering, as clients go to a nail salon not only for grooming, but also to take a break from their hectic lives.