Nail technicians apply false nails and nail extensions,
and may decorate them (known as nail art) using a
variety of techniques.
The customer's nails are first checked for signs of skin or nail disease, which would mean extensions or false nails should not be applied. The technician then discusses with the customer the most suitable type of nail extension and the various options for decoration.
The customer's nails are cleaned to ensure they are free from bacteria and a manicure is given before the false nails or extensions are applied. Finally, the nails may be decorated using various methods such as applying coloured varnish, gems, glitter or designs painted with an airbrush, either free-hand or using a stencil.
Health and safety is extremely important. The chemicals used can be dangerous if used or stored incorrectly. Correct maintenance of nails is essential to avoid damage to the natural nail and tools must be used correctly and strict hygiene procedures followed to prevent damage or infection to the nails.
Nail technicians work around 37 hours a week, often
including weekend and evening work.
Nail technicians could work alone, or in a salon with other technicians, beauticians, hairdressers or therapists. Some nail technicians are self-employed, choosing to work from home or visiting clients in their own homes.
Nail technicians often wear a salon uniform.
To be a nail technician you should:
There are an estimated 17,000 businesses employing
nail technicians in the UK. As well as specialist nail
salons and nail bars, and beauty and hairdressing
salons offering nail services, nail technicians may work in
spas and health clubs and on cruise liners.
Many nail technicians aim to become self-employed. Some technicians own their own salon, or rent space in a salon. Others may choose to run a mobile business, which involves visiting customers’ homes.
Teaching opportunities exist with local or private colleges or nail product manufacturers. With a multinational company it might be possible to work abroad.
There are occasional opportunities for nail technicians to work with photographers and fashion designers, producing nails for photo shoots or fashion shows.
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