What a dreadful year we’ve all had! But we have been promised that everything will be done to make sure this is the end of the last lockdown! Let’s hope! The whole of the UK is slowly reopening.
Anxiety levels seem to have been much higher this time but, for us, very little has changed. Since we were last open all the safety measures are still the same. PPE is the same, distancing is the same, Covid questionnaires are the same (with one exception, more later). Many people are deciding they aren’t ready to open yet and no one should feel pressured to open because others are.
More and more information is coming out about the effects of the virus and vaccination and sometimes it is difficult to know who to believe. One of the facts that seems to be giving a lot of anxieties to many is the information about the immune system. It has become clear that Covid affects the individuals immunity and can change it. Many have had asymptomatic Covid so are unaware that they were, at some point, positive.
The vaccine, for some, has produced some side effects. The vaccine’s job is to boost the immune system against the virus so it is working hard for around 7 days following vaccination. Some measures have been brought in as ‘suggested best practice’ and as a precautionary measure. A client who has had Covid or who has received the vaccine is considered to have a ‘change of medical history’ so this should be noted.
One of these measures is the recommendation that every client should be patch tested on return for the treatments that involve oxidisation, that is, lash and brow tints and lifts and hair colour. This is in case their immunity has changed. Another suggestion is that these patch tests should be avoided for 10-14 days after vaccination, again, as a precautionary measure. After the first test, manufacturers instructions should be followed with regards to the frequency of tests.
This does not apply to any nail services. All nail coatings should not touch the skin so, even if a client has, or you suspect, an allergy, it is not appropriate to put these on the skin as a test. However, allergies to some products are growing in number so you do need to be extra vigilant to prevent a reaction and also make sure there isn’t any indication that one is starting.
Allergies are for life and the only way to know exactly what ingredient or ingredients have caused it is by having an allergy test from a dermatologist. Changing products is not good enough.
Dust has always been a hazard for nail professionals but there has been more focus on this during the pandemic as dust can carry the virus. If your services create a lot of dust it is strongly recommended that you wear a mask that will stop you from breathing in dust and also a local dust extractor to help reduce dust in the environment in which you work.
Gloves are not mandatory PPE but many nail professionals prefer to wear them to prevent allergies as they are working with the products all day, every day. Of course, if you already have an allergy the recommendation by dermatologists is to wear double nitrile gloves that are a minimum of 9mil (0.23mm) and change them every 15-30 minutes. It may also be necessary to wear a barrier cream on the hands or thin cotton gloves inside the nitrile gloves.
The first few months after reopening will, I’m sure be catching up on all the lost income and encouraging clients to come back and welcoming new clients. After that, hopefully, the world will return to some degree of normality, distancing will stop and travel will all be open.
The nail industry has a bright future. There have been many new product launches with many more to come. Many nail professionals have had the time to receive more education, plan their businesses and found the confidence to ‘charge their worth’
The future is bright and the nail industry an exciting place to work.