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Working on 16 and under with acrylic or gel. My insurance states I am insured as long as I have consent. I feel when I read forums there’s a mass of mix messages, I feel confused if to offer or not.

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There are no legal requirements for the treatment of minors (16 and under). However, 16 or under do require written consent by a parent or guardian and with the parent or guardian in attendance.

What is important are the terms of the insurance policy in place. It may be that that 16 or under are not insured.

Like growth, bones, and the body in general, nails do not reach full maturity until later than 16. It can differ between individuals and males and females. It is unlikely that the nails of a 16-year-old have reached full maturity so they can be weak and/or with a higher moisture content. Adhesion can be an issue.

Immature nails can be adversely affected by buffing and the use of solvents. This is the same for all nails, but the impact can be greater.  Incorrect or overly aggressive preparation and application can affect the growth and strength.

Other factors to consider are the commitment to home care, the temptation to peel an overlay off, sports and social activities that can affect the possibility of breaking a long enhancement off. This obviously applies to all and not just minors, but minors have immature nails.

So, the answer is:

  • check your insurance policy
  • check with your brand manufacturer
  • have your own or salon policy and stick to it
  • you are under no obligation to provide services to minors as there are safety issues and these should be addressed in your own Risk Assessment
  • be prepared to deal with the disappointment in expectations when a nail service for a minor does not work as well as hoped! Adhesion can be a problem!
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