Many moons ago when I owned a salon, coloured hard gels launched onto the market. At first, I thought it was a great idea but then I thought again! As hard gels they were meant to be infilled rather than removed. But that raised a big query for me: as they were opaque how could you see the condition of the natural nail? Lifting (especially pocket lifting) would be hidden. As we were about 50:50 natural manicure and enhancements, nail polish worked just fine i.e., lasted over a week on natural nails (but most manicure clients were weekly anyway) and no problem over enhancements.
So, for us the decision was no, not a service that was right for us.
Then around 12 years ago UV gel polish launched. Now this was a game changer! It was designed to be a 2-week service (3 at a push). A lot can happen to nails in 2 weeks but, on the whole, the time frame was good to check on the health under that opaque coating.
As time has gone on, clients (and their nail pro) are pushing this time frame longer and longer! This is due to either the expense of 2-3 weekly appointments or lack of commitment in agreeing with the service plan (remember those??)
More and more products are being launched with excessive adhesion characteristics that also allows for this overlong wear time. From reading SM, many are pushing this to up to 6 weeks! Nail pros are proudly posting pictures of these outgrown coatings! This is nothing to be proud about! This is lack of education on the part of both the client and their nail pro.
We all are very aware of the allergy situation that is still on the way up! We also are aware that an allergy can take hold in a matter of days, affecting the skin, the nail bed and often the whole nail plate. These are often (not always) caused by the high adhesion products as they have high levels of specific monomers that are not always properly cured.
An experienced nail pro should be able to tell if something is going wrong even with opaque hard gels and L&P especially if they have educated their clients properly. But how many are experienced enough? How many are rigid in their service protocols and not ‘scared’ of their clients?
ALL clients must be encouraged to return every 2-3 weeks and not longer if they are wearing an opaque coating of any kind. Problems such as ‘greenies’ and the start of an allergy can be prevented. This should be an agreement made at the very first appointment and stuck to every time! If a client won’t commit to that then consider if they are a client for you as it will usually lead to problems down the line and possibly the loss of a client as they can no longer wear any coating (except nail polish), or their nails have been destroyed by a bacterial infection.
The health and safety of your clients are always the number 1 consideration. By allowing clients to stretch this wear time you are putting their nail health at risk and possibly helping to create an allergy situation that has much wider implications and a lifelong health issue.
Educate your clients! Also, if you are unaware of these risks, educate yourself to understand them and be able to explain your professional explanations to your clients so they understand too.
Other than nail polish, nail services are a commitment from a client both in time and money. Make sure they understand this from day 1.