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Introduction How use this book Part. 1 foundation Chapter 1 why nails? The advantages to the client Nail extensions: some common names The different nail systems Acrylic nails Fiberglass nails Gel nails Common techniques Why be a nail technician? Chapter 2. Introduction to home learn Why home learn? The practice problem Your perfect model: the nail trainer. Your perfect teacher: on video Getting qualified Chapter 3. Gel nails. Getting ready to learn The products: what they are and what they do Cuticle massage oil Tip glue Nail polishes Top coat

Nail tips Nail sanitizer and cleaner Extender nozzles Gel Your tools: what they are and what they do. UV light box The buffer The nylon brush Files Nail dippers Cotton pads Kitchen towels Orange wood or birch wood sticks Three way buffer Chapter 4. The nail trainer When to use the nail trainer Parts of the nail trainer Finger tip parts Setting up to practice The practice area The desk clamp Positioning the nail trainer The natural nails The different nail shapes Fitting the natural nails Positioning the natural nail Adjusting the nail bed depth Removing completed nail work

Separating nail from tip Refitting the tip sheath Working on the fingers Working on the thumb Care of your nail trainer Cleaning Replacement parts Accessories tips and ideas simulate broken nails electric files progress cards the essential techniques progress card the whole hand practice card how you learn: run, repeat, read & review time management and practice regime setting up to practice answer tost paper 1, tools products & systems chapter 5. salon skills attitude and personal appearance preparation and your surroundings client consultation manners and courtesy your colleagues ethics retail sales answer test paper 2, salon skills chapter 6. chemicals, hazards and safety procedures

understanding health hazards. Safe use of nail tools The file The buffer block The brush Cuticle knives The electric file The UV lamp Know your nail products and chemicals Inhalation, absorption and ingestion Extension tip remover Acrylic primer Nail polish remover Gel prep and residue remover. Accelerator Acrylic liquid Acrylic powder Nail adhesive Filing dust A quick guide to understanding the risks! A quick guide to working safely with nail products Storage of chemicals Disposal of chemicals Extension tip remover Nail polish remover Gel prep and residue remover The chemical reaction The nail systems

Acrylics Gels Fiberglass Answer test paper 3, chemicals Health and safety procedures Hygiene Disease and bacteria Infection How infection occurs Minimizing infection Sanitation Disinfection Sterilization Other nail tools

Chapter 7. the nail The part of the nail The matrix The eponychium The proximal nail fold The cuticle The lunula The perionychium The nail grooves The distal grooves The hyponychium The nail bed Different nail shapes

How the nail grows Chapter 8 common nail diseases Disorders and contra actions Disorders of the nails Disorders that must not be serviced by a nail technician Bacterial infection Paronychia (paro-nik-ia) Onychia (oni-komi-ko-sis) Onychia (on-nik-ia) Onychogrypasis (oni-ko-grey-pasis) Onycholysis (oni-kol-i-sis) Onychocrptosis(oni-ko-krip-toh-sis) Onyychomadesis (oni-ko-mad-esis) Onychatrophia (oni-chat-troh-fee-ah) Psoriosis (sa-ria-sis) Disorders that may be serviced by a nail technician Bruised nail Corrugations Discoloured nails Eggshell nails Habit tic Hong nails Koilonychia (kol-on-ik-ia) Leukonychia (loo-kon-ik-ia) Onychoclasis (oni-cho-klas-is) Onychauxis (oni-kik-sis) Onychophagy (oni-kof-aji) Anychorrhexis (oni-kor-rek-sis)

Pterygium (te-rij-ium) In case you are not sure! Contra action Pre-service checklist Answer test paper 4, parts of the nail and the pre-service rules. Part 2. Essential techniques Chapter 9. basic techniques Filina Grips and positions The file grips The correct sequence The corresponding finger positions Combining positions and grips Groove positions and grips First joint position and shape grip Side positions and grips Free edge position and grip Practising the positions and grip Practice regime

Chaapter 10. Six steps to perfect gel nails How you will learn Initial speeds Step 1. Removing nail polish Acetone based polish remover Step 2. Preparing the natural nail Object of the exercise The procedure

Equipment and product required Clean the nail with gel preparation Push back the cuticle Removing the shine To key or not to key? Dust Salon speed demonstration Salon target speed Practice regime Answer test paper 5, basic techniques and preparing the nail. Step 3. Nail tipping and blending Object of the exercise Nails tips How are tips made? How to choose a nail tip Applying a tip The procedure Equipment and product required Choosing the correct size of tip Shaping the free edge Sizing the tip`s width Cleaning the tip`well Tip adhesive Applying adhesive to the tip Judging the correct amount of glue Burp the bottle Placing the tip on the nail; the correct angle Rotate the nail and look out for air pockets

Problems sticking on tips Glue setting times Cutting the tip Streamlining the edges of the tip Shoping the free edge Free edge shpes Thinning the free edge of the tip Blending the seam Blending the centre of the seam Blending the left side Blending the right side Fine blending Salon speed demonstration Suggested practice regime Answer test paper 6, nail tipping. Step 4. The gel overlay Object of the exercise The procedure Equipment and product required Cleaning Acetone problems Application 1. The bonding layer The power of light boxes Cure application 1, the bonding layer Remove the hand from the UV lamp Application 2. The building layer The correct shape Cure the second layer

Checking the shape Why is the cured gel still sticky? Remove the sticky residue Salon speed demonstration Practice regime Step 5. Finishing The correct shape To file or not to file? The procedure Equipment and product required Tidy Smoothing the nail Smoothing the top Smoothing the middle/left Smoothing the middle/ right Buffing Dust the nail The final application of gel Cure the final layer Remove the sticky residue Streamlining the left edge of the nail Sreamlining the right edge of the nail Final check of the free edge shape Clean your brush Buffing to a high shine Applying cuticle oil Keys and money Clean hands

Salon speed demonstration Salon target time Practice regime Answer test paper 7, the UV gel overlay Step 6, polishing The object of the exercise Base coats Nail strengtheners/ hardeners Ridge fillers Nail polishes Which colour? Type 1 spring colouring Type 2 summer colouring Type 3 autumn colouring Type 4 winter colouring The procedure Equipment and product required Mix the polish Lood the bursh with polish Polish perfect nails Topcoat Interlocking Other tips on polishing Salon target speed Suggested practice regime Anwer test paper 8, finishing and polishing Part 3. Working the whole hand Chapter 11. creating your first set of 5 nail

The procedure Using the light box on the whole hand Time Click the nails into the nail trainer The maintenance nail Working on the hand Preparation Tipping Apply the bonding and building layer of gel Finishing Polish Practice regime Test results, your ENP certification and route to further skills What happens if you fail? Putting it all together What to do next Maintaining nail extensions Acrylic tip and overlay nails Acrylic sculpting Fibreglass Airbrush nails Part 4. Maintaining gel nails Chapter 12. defining the maintenance tasks Rebalancing What is rebalancing? The procedure Pre-service Remove any lifted product

Re streamline the side walls left and right Reshape and shorten the free edges Smooth the re greowth ledges Move the crown back Clean awaythe debris Apply antiseptic Apply gel nail prep Apply first thin layer in regrowth area and cure Buikd the crown and cure Shape the nail, if required Buff nail Dust away the debris Apply final thin, sealing layer of gel Apply cuticle oil Clean nails Polish, top coat or buff as required Cracks in overlays Some common causes Tips stressed Poor adhesion of product. Repairing cracks Lifting overlays What is a lifting overlay? Why do enhancements lift? Cleaning Remove cuticle and pterygium completely Dehydroting Avoid contamination by finger oil

Avoid product contamination Make your first gel application thin Avoid long immersion in water Mechanical shock Make the overlay thin at the cuticle Keep the product off the sking How to repair lifting overlays When to start ofresh Use of nippers to remove lifted product Repairing chips in the free edge Removing nail enhancements Bad reaction A fresh set The latest thing in nails Bad workmanship How to remove gel enhancements Soaking off. The tools and products you need The procedure Chapter 13. practical maintenance. Gels Initial inspection The procedure Complete pre-service Clean up re-tip the thumb and index finger Rebalance the remaining three nails Application of thin bonding layer to thumb and forefinger.

Welcome to "Essential Nails, a practical guide to creating great nails". This is the companion book to the "Home Learn Gel Nails" course and will provide an invaluable reference as you work through the course as well as provide addittional information that is not covered in the video. although written specifically for the video based nail course, it provides a wealth of information about the art of nail enhancements whether you are a student, a professional or just curious.

This book is split into four parts:

Part 1, "Foundation", which provides you with general information on working in the nail industry, in a salon, from home or as o mobile Nail Technician. It'll tell you about the different nail systems, how they work and the tools ond products you'll be using to service your clients. You will learn about the natural nail and about same of the diseases and problems that affect it, you'll learn the correct way to deal with your clients and the importance of good hygiene.

In Part 2, "Essential Techniques", you'll learn the basics of the Nail Technicians art: how to file correctly, how to prepare the nail and apply and blend a tip. How to apply an cure the Gel ond finally how to finish and polish the nail.

In Part 3, "Working the Whole Hand", you'll learn about practising for speed and efficiency in the salon and working on different shapes and sizes of nail.

In part 4, "Maintaining Gel Nails, you'll see how to provide the common maintenance tasks such as rebalancing and in-fills, as well as how to repair lifting, cracked and chipped enhancements.

Part 1. Foundation.
In this part you will learn useful background information about the nail industry, nail physiology and diseases. You'll find out obout the salon environment, and how to safely handle the tools products and chemicals you'll encounter.

Chapter 1 - Why nails?

Extending and decorating nails is not new, evidence exists proving that the oncient Egyptians adorning their nails centuries ago. Nails is one of the fastest growing beauty industries in Europe, it will not be long before 'having your nails done' is thought of in the some way as 'having your hair done', just like it is in the USA, where there is a Nail Bar on every street corner and there are 250,000 working Nail Technicians. There is a growing demand for the services provided by skilled Nail Technicians working either in the salon, from home of as a mobile, visiting clients in their own homes. This course will help you achieve the skills required to meet this demand and charge a premium for your expert services. If you provide a good service to your client, she will come back to you again and again and recommend you to her family and friends, in a few months you will have built a client base that will keep you fully employed.

The advantages to the client.

Nail enhancements started as a service for women with soft or easily broken nails and has now expanded to be a fashion statement for all women. Anyone can now have the nail style of their choice. Natural or outrageous, French manicured or airbrushed. Enhanced nails improve the beauty of your clients hands and help boost their overall confidence.

Nail extensions: some common names.

Set of nails. Nail enhancements. Tipped nails.

Nail extensions. False nails. Nail treatments.

All of the above are phrases used to describe what a Nail Technician does when she creates a set of nails, they all pretty much mean the same thing: The clients natural nail is extended by gluing on a plastic tip or by sculpting an extended free edge with product. Then the extended nail is covered with more product (Gel, Acrylic or Fibreglass) and shaped with files and buffers. Finally the nail can be decorating with polish or other materials if required by the client. For clarity we use the phrase 'nail enhancements' to mean any treatment to the nail to extend or cover the nail with product, this is then split into three sub treatments:

Natural nail overlay: where the natural nail is not artificially extended in length.

Product is applied over the natural nail to protect the natural nail or to correct a defect. Tip and overlay: where the natural nail is mode longer by gluing on on extension Tip

and then both the natural nail and extension is covered with product. sculpted nail: where the natural nail is made longer by sculpting an extension purely

using products such as Acrylic or Gel. A plastic tip is not used.

The different nail systems.

There are three main nail systems: Acrylic, fibreglass and Gel. Although this book and the nail course you are undertaking is purely Gel, you will come across the other nail systems as you pursue your career. Indeed, at some stage it's a good idea to learn all the systems, so you never need turn a customer away.

Acrylic Nails.
Also commonly known as 'liquid and powder'. Acrylic Nails is the original nail system, the techniques emerged in ihe USA about 25 years ago and still the most popular system there. Acrylics come in two parts : a powder (called o polymer) and a liquid (called monomer) that you mix together on a small brush. The resulting paste con be applied over a nail extension or sculpted over a 'nail form' to extend the natural nail to the desired length and shape. After a few minutes the paste sets hard and files and buffers are used to finish and polish the Acrylic to a high shine. Acrylic powders come in different colors and a popular method of creating a dazzling 'French manicured' look is to apply pink and while Acrylic to the body and free edge of the nail respectively. The advantages of the system is that the nails are strong, thin and natural looking, the paste can be used to easily correct misshapen nails and repairs and maintenance are relatively straightforward. The disadvantages are that they have a strong odors that many people object to, they are the most difficult of the three systems to master and there is currently o debate within the EU os to whether one of the constituent chemicals is safe. This has effectively stifled the demand for acrylic nails in some EU

Fibreglass nails.
Fiberglass nails, are also known as 'silk nails' or 'wraps'. After lengthening the natural nails with a plastic tip, strips of fiberglass ore laid over the nail and bonded onto the nail using a fast setting resin. More layers of fiberglass ore added to increase the strength of the nail as required and more coats of resin are added to produce a perfect finish. The resin soaks into the weave of the fiberglass and makes It invisible. The advantages of fiberglass nails are that they are thin, light and natural looking, there is little odors (although, as with all nail enhancements, ventilation is required) and are easy to remove, leaving the natural nail almost completely untouched. The disadvantages are that it's fiddly for beginners and some products require a spray-on 'activator' which means masks must be worn by the Nail Technician and client.

Gel nails.
Gel nails are similar to Acrylic nails except that the paste is already mixed and cames in a single small pat. It's applied to the nail with a small brush just like Acrylics, but is hardened by exposure to ultra violet light. The advantages of Gel nails is that the Gel is easy to apply, has no odors (but you still need to work in a ventilated area), looks natural and has a high shine. Some of the disadvantages are that they are not as strong as Acrylics and are harder to remove and repair.

Common techniques.
It's too much to attempt to learn all three systems at once. There simply too much information to absorb. Most Nail Technicians start with one system and then learn the others later. Many of the techniques you learn for one system are common to all three, for example sanitation, preparation, tipping, blending and polishing. So, you'll be well on the way to learning all the systems by the time you've completed your initial course.

Why be a Nail Technician?

If you like working with people, are reasonable good with you hands and enjoy beauty and fashion then the Nail Industry is for you! The great thing is, once you are competent, you can work on many different levels, work as little as you like or as much as you like, for example, you can: Work from home, with clients visiting. Work in a nail salon, hair salon, sports or fitness centers, boutique, hotel or cruise liner. Work as a mobile Technician, visiting clients in their homes. Set up your own salon. Teach in a college, or as a demonstrator for o nails Product Company.

One thing is certain, every Nail Technician in the world, no matter how successful she is now, started by enrolling on o beginners nail course and went from there. Once you start doing nails, the sky is the limit, you can spend a lifetime learning new techniques and following or creating nail fashion.

You'll be surprised the amount of activity in the 'Nail world' once you've been along to see one of the Nail and Beauty shows. There you will find a constantly evolving range of new tools, products, demonstrations, competitions, designs and ideas. The next time there's a show in your area, go along and have a look, you'll be hooked.

Maybe you'll be one of those Nail Technicians who has their designs on the front of a magazine, or wins nail competitions, or is good enough to work on pop stars nails, or demonstrates on manufacturers exhibitions stands, or sees the world working on holiday cruise ships.

Chapter 2. Introduction to Home Learn

Why home learn?
Home learn has been made possible by a single significant development: The Nail Trainer practice hand. Until The Nail Trainer was invented, all nail techniques had to be demonstrated and practiced on live models.

The practice problem.

Relying on live models for practice meant that training was a unstructured and sometimes chaotic affair, completely dependent upon being able to find enough willing models to sit and be experimented on for free. There were many problems. The student Technician would often be disappointed when their model cancelled.

Most Technicians practiced on their family or friends, usually it's mum that helps out.

She would sit there all day as her daughter spent hours and hours fiddling with product, making painful filing errors, and gluing poor mum's fingers together!. Ultimately, mum would wisely refuse to be used as a model ever again.

Maybe the local salon would let Tracey do half-price treatments while she's learning. Well, customers can be very intimidating, especially if the student is making mistakes, which is inevitable while learning. Also salon clients, your friends and family are your first potential paying clients, the very people who should only see your best work, not your worst!

If you practice at home, the temptation to have the TV on to relieve the boredom for your model is overpowering. But how can you concentrate with such distractions?

People are happy to have their nails done when you are skilled, but you can't get skilled because people won't let you practice on them Until The Nail Trainer was invented, most student Technicians could not practice enough and simply give up altogether, loosing all the time and money. They had invested.

Your perfect model: the nail trainer

The Nail Trainer now being used widely in the classroom to train absolute beginners. it mean that teacher has complete control over the pace and content of the learning process, the teacher is not constrained by the health and safety of the models, if necessary the student can practice on the same nail over and over and over again until she gets, it right, something that is complete impossible on a live model. Do you want to see how thickly you have applied the Gel? Simple, remove the nail trainer`s nail an cut it in half. Try doing that on a live model learning and experimenting using the nail trainer , the student only ever starts work on a live hand, after she is acquired the skills to successfully complete a full set.

Chapter 3. Gel nails.

The Products:
When a Nail Technician talks about 'products' she is normally referring to the chemicals that form o particular system .For example the primer, liquid an powder used in acrylics, We prefer a wider definition that encompasses any items nail that are used up as you create nail enhancements. Here is a brief description of the products that you'll use during the gel course when they are used.

Cuticle massage oil. This perfumed oil comes in a small bottle and is dispensed by squeezing the rubber bulb in the cap. it's rubbed into the nail and surrounding nail wall and cuticle to keep the skin soft and supple.

Tip glue. Tip Glue is used to fix the nail tips to the natural nail. It's a fast setting cyanoacrylate resin, and you only need a tiny amount on each tip. There are various formulations of the glue, some runny some thick, some are applied form a tube, others come is a small bottle like this one.

Nail polishes. Nail Polishes come in thousands of colures and finishes and usually the client will choose her own color. There is a small brush inside the bottle which used to apply the polish to the nail.

Top coat. Top coat is a clear sealer applied over the colored polish to seal and protect and to produce a high glass finish on the nailNail tips. Nail tips are used to lengthen the front - or free edae of the natural nail. They come in many shapes, le and sizes, you get a selection of tip with the gel course which have been chosen to fit The Nail Trc nail. There are many more sizes shapes and styles available . you'll get to know more about them ar their uses later in the course. Nail sanitizer and cleaner. This liquid does three jobs. It sanitizes and dehydrates the nails surface before application of tips and also removes the sticky residue left after curing the Gel. It has been supplied to work specifically with the Ego Gel and The Nail Trainer. This particular product is not recommended for use on real nails, as it works best on the plastic. When you have finished training you will need The Ego Edense, which is designed for use on real nails. Some Gel systems have separate liquids for sanitation, dehydration and for removing the Gel residue after curing. If you swap brands, always check with the manufacturer or other Technicians using the products before assuming that the application is the same as you are used to.

Extender nozzles.
Extender nozzles are replaceable nozzles for your glue bottle. These are disposable items, as you dispense the glue they gradually get blocked. Use a new one for each client as the replacement cost is low. Gel The Gel supplied in the Home Learn course is a bonding, sculpting and finishing formula in one. It forms the hard protective and decorative shell over the extended nail. Do not expose the Gel to sunlight, or leave it near your UV light when its on or it will go stiff and useless. You should be aware that other Gel systems may have three different Gel products to bond, build and coat. Always follow the manufacturers instructions if you swap brands.

Your tools: What they are and what they do.

Here is brief description of the tools that come with the Gel course, each tool is discussed comprehensively later in the course when they are used. Some of them are disposable; some can be sanitised and used over and over. All of them are required to do a good, professional job. You should keep them in good condition, clean, and sanitized. UV light box. This box provides the source of Ultra Violet light required to cure the Gel. It plugs into your 220 volt power supply and has a switch to turn on the light. The Buffer. The Buffer is a block of foam coated on each side with various grades of abrasive. Some buffers have the same abrasive on each side, others have o coarse abrasive on one side, (which removes material quickly) and a finer abrasive on the other, which is used to buff and shine. Some are colour coded to help you identify the different abrasive grades.

Safety Advice The edges of the buffers are sharp, you must blunt the edges with a file before use, or you may well cut your client when you use them. Hygiene Advice To prevent spreading inflection between clients, either throw the buffers away after use or bag and label them for future use only on that client.

The nylon brush. The nylon brush is used to apply and shape the layers of Gel over The nail's surface. This is your no I look so take very good care of it,

The cuticle pusher. The cuticle pusher is used to gently push back the cuticle off of the nail and to remove any cuticle adhering to the nail surface. You cannot apply product to the cuticle, only to the nail surface. Cuticle pushers are made of wood, plastic or metal.

Hygiene Advice To prevent spreading infection from one client to another, either throw the cuticle pusher away after use if it's wooden, or sterilise it if it's metal or plastic.

Manicure brush. The manicure brush is used to dear dust off of the fingers and nails after each filing process.

Files. We supply three different files for Gel. The 'coarse' black file is 100 grit on one side and 180 on the other, the white 'medium' file is 180 / 180, and the yellow 'fine' file is 240 / 240. The lower the number, the more coarse the file or butter is, so 100 grit will file away material quickly, but leave big scratches on the surface, 250 will remove material slowly and leave the surface nice and smooth, you will see where to use the various files later.

Safety Advice The edges of files are sharp, you must blunt the edges with another file before use, or you may well cut your client when you use them. Hygiene Advice To prevent spreading infection between clients, either throw the files away after use or bag and label them for future use only on that client.

Nail clippers. Nail Clippers are used to shorten the tips after they are glued to the nail.

Cotton pads. Cotton pads are used to apply any liquid to the nail during the enhancement process. You should always use 'lint free' pads that will not leave fibers on the nail after use. The pads are used to apply cleanser, alcohol, polish remover or antiseptic. You only ever use each pad once and then throw is away.

Kitchen towels. It's very useful to have a clean kitchen towel permanently on you work area. After each process of the nail build you can dispose of it and any dust or product on it, and replace with a new one. This drastically reduces the amount of dust and fumes in the atmosphere, keeps your work area clean and fosters a professional image. They do not cost much, so it's well worth it.

Orange wood or birch wood sticks. These thin, soft sticks are used to gently prise old product of the nails surface during maintenance.

Three way buffer Although this looks face a file, it is actually a buffer .it is have three very fine grits, black being the coarsest, white being medium and grey being very fine indeed. It's only use is to bring up the surface shine on the nail.

Hygiene Advice Throw orange wood, birch wood sticks and 3 way buffers away after use or bag and label them for use next time for that client. Never use an orange stick or three way buffer on more than one person, why not give them to yours as a gift for their own use

Chapter 4. The Nail Trainer.

With The Nail Trainer at the centre of your training program you have embarked upon the fastest route to becoming a highly skilled Nail Technician. By practicing on The Nail Trainer you have eliminated the biggest obstacle to becoming a professional Nail Technician the requirement to find a group of willing models to practice on! The Nail Trainer is all the models you will ever need. You can now practice when you want, for as long as you want. You can practice on the same size of nail over and over again until you have perfected a particular skill, you can practice any of the nail systems, even nail art, airbrush and nail adornment. The continuity of practice, the variation and realism of The Nail Trainer's finger tips, fingers and nails, will speed you to a lucrative career in the fast growing world of nail beauty.

When to use The Nail Trainer.

The Nail Trainer is featured throughout all Home Learn courses. All techniques are shown on The Nail Trainer. You can use The Nail Trainer on the course and for practice after the course at any lime to suit you. Even after you have mastered a particular system, you can continue to use The Nail Trainer to expand your skills into other areas. You can practice Acrylic Tip and Overlay, Acrylic Sculpting, Fiberglass, Gel, Airbrushing or Nail Art. Whatever the future holds for nail processes The Nail Trainer will provide the practical solution for your training requirements.

Finger tip parts.

Nail retaining frame, tip sheath, natural nail

Setting up to practice.
The practice area. You should find o comfortable chair and small table. Ideally the size of the table should be similar to the compact tables used in salons. position your chair on one side of the table.

The desk clamp. On the end of The Nail Trainer flexible arm is the desk clamp .This will clamp to any desk edge with a maximum thickness of 50 mm (2 inches). Open the jaws of the desk clamp by rotating the thumb screw anticlockwise.

Positioning The Nail Trainer. Clamp The Nail Trainer to the opposite Side of the table, slightly to your right (The Nail Trainer is a model of a left hand, so it should be presented to you slightly from the right). Tighten the clamp by rotating the thumb screw clockwise until it grips the desk securely. Make a curve in the flexible arm so that The Nail Trainer hand is located in front of you. Making a curve in the arm allows you to move The Nail Trainer hand towards you or away from you as necessary.

The natural nails. The natural nails mimic the different shapes and sizes of nails found on hands in real life. You choose the shape you want to work on and fit it to the finger of your choice. The Nail Trainer, when unpacked from the box is fitted with a selection of natural nail sizes, fitted in various positions and depths on the finger tips. During the first part of the Home Learn course you work on the easiest' of the natural nail shapes fitted on the easiest finger. This is the number 13 natural nail, which will not need too much preparation to take a tip. It is fitted to the ring finger, which is the easiest to work on. You should work on this finger, refitting the same size nail to the finger until you are happy with your work. Later on in the course you will work on the other nail shapes.

The different nail shapes.

There are five natural nail shapes included with The Nail Trainer. The shape and size of the nails have been chosen to present a variety of problems and difficulties to you during your practice sessions.

no 6 4/10

no 9 4/10

no 13 3/10

no 18 7/10

no 8 8/10

Difficulty (1 = easy, 10 = hard):

The no 13 nail is the easiest; it does not need much filing and is nice and symmetrical. The number 6 nail is slightly harder, the long free edge makes it ideal for practicing airbrush and nail art. The number 9 is the widest nail, it is fitted to the thumb and is quite an easy nail to work on. The no 18 'maintenance' nail has a 'regrawth' area at the cuticle and a chip on the free edge. You can practice filling the regrowth area, repositioning the crown, thinning and reshaping the free edge or repairing the chip. The small number 8 nail can be embedded in a deep nail bed to mimic a chronic nail biters finger, this is a tricky nail to work on as file access is difficult.

Fitting the natural nails. Any of the natural nails can be fitted to any of the fingers or the thumb. Obviously the larger nails look more realistic when fitted to the thumb and the smallest to the little finger, but there is nothing to stop you fitting the smallest nail on the thumb to imitate a chronic nail biter with fat fingers. Positioning the natural nails. position the natural nail over the aperture in the top of the tip sheath and click down one click (FIG1) and slide to the front or to the rear of the finger tip (fig2)

do not have too much free edge or the nail will pop out when you file.

Adjusting the nail bed depth. Click down once more for a shallow nail bed, continue to press and click down to form a deeper nail bed. The easiest way to do this is to place the finger on the table surface and press the nail down from above. We suggest you practice on some nails at 2 clicks deep and some at 3 clicks, some at the front and some at the rear of the finger tip.

Removing completed nail work.

When you hove finished your work on any particular finger, you remove the natural nail, the work done on it and the tip sheath together. Pinch the tip sheath between your thumb and index finger, with your thumb pressing on the surface of the nail. Hold the nail retaining frame with your other hand (pinch the two white joint wheels with your thumb and forefinger) and pull the nail and tip sheath off the front of the nail retaining frame and initially you might find it quite hard to pull them off. Continue to pull hard and it will eventually slide off. Warning! Only remove nails by sliding the finger tip forward. Pulling the nail up out of the frame without sliding the finger tip forward may damage the nail retaining frames.

Separating nail from tip.

After sliding the finger tip off, remove the completed nail from the tip sheath by gently pulling the nail off the top of the finger tip. If you find there is excess resin adhering to the edge of the nail and the surrounding tip sheath, pull apart gently rocking the nail as you pull to break the resin seal, so as not to rip the surface of the tip sheath. Discard any unwanted nails, you cannot 'soak off' in acetone, as the acetone will dissolve the Nail Trainers nails as well as the extension lips. The finger tip sheaths are reusable.

Refitting the tip sheath Refit the tip sheath on the nail retaining frame by sliding it back on the way it came off.

Working on the fingers. The fingers move in a similar way to the joints of a real hand. While you are working on a nail, hold the underside of the finger with your left hand (assuming you are right handed) and work on the nail with your right hand. Rotate the finger and hand as required to access different parts of the nails surface with you tools.

Working on the thumb. Rotate The Nail Trainer about the wrist so the thumb nail is uppermost . Caution: you cannot rotate the hand at the wrist by twisting the thumb as you would with a live model, normally the model would rotate her hand herself lo follow the twisting. The Nail Trainer cannot do this!

Care of your Nail Trainer. With appropriate care The Nail Trainer will give years of service, all parts are easily replaceable should they become damaged or scruffy.

Cleaning We recommend that The nail Trainer is washed In warm soapy water at the end of each practice day. Acetone can be used to remove excess product from The Nail Trainers surface. The rubber tip sheaths can be wiped over with acetone of nail polish remover, but you should avoid total and continuous immersion as this will damage the surface. Replacement parts. All the fingers, the thumb. Nail Retaining frames and other parts can be removed and / or replaced. Should you require spare parts for The Nail Trainer please contact us. Accessories As you use The Nail Trainer you may need extra natural nail and possibly more adhesive, finger and thumb tips. The rate at which you use them it obviously dependent upon your own work rate and in the case of the finger tip sheaths, how accurate you are with your filing and application of resines. We have the following packs of parts available ! NTA3002 - Refit Nail Pack consisting of 100 natural nails (20 of each site). NTA3003 Standard Finger Tip pack (4 fingertips, 1 thumb tip). NTA3005 - Nail Trainer adhesive. AC 102 Nail Trainer Acrylic primer ACIOI Gel prep and residue remover(Nail Trainer use only). PR029 - NaJ Trainer user manual. PRO20 & PR023 - Progress cards.

Tips and Ideas

Simulate broken nails. There is nothing to stop you filing or cutting the natural nails into odd shapes. You can imitate cracked, broken and brittle nails by reshaping the larger natural nails with clippers or scissors. Electric File The Nail Trainer is the ideal aid to try out electric files. Use of powered tiles are discouraged until you have acquired a high degree of manual dexterity as it is very easy to damage the nail or nail bed with these tools. You can use them at an earlier stage in your training when practicing on The Nail Trainer as there is no possibility of hurting anyone. Progress Cards There are two types of progress cards supplied with The Nail Trainer or Home learns courses. The 'Essential Techniques progress card', which stores nails at different stages of the nail build, and the Whole Hand Practice card, which stores 'sets' of nails. As you work through the Home learn course, you save the nails on these cards. At the end of the course you send the filled cards to us so we can see the quality of your work. Let's have a look at the cards individually.

The essential techniques progress card You only use one nail shape on this card, in the home learn course it will be the number 13, but other training organizations may instruct using a different nail shape.
In the right hand top corner are some tick boxes where you should indicate which nail system you are learning. The cards can be used for any system

At the top is a place for your name and address and the training organisation you are enrolled with if you are using the nail trainer in a classroom

Across the top are the nail numbers you are working on, the card holds 10 nails. Down the left side is the description of each step of the nail build. Step 2, preparation, through step 6, polishing.

Although there are 6 steps you go though to build a nail enhancement, we skip the first step (removing nail polish) as far as the card is concerned, only saving two nails at step 2 through 6. The steps are: 1. Removing nail polish (if there is any). natural nail. 3. Nail tipping. overlay. S. Finishing. 6. Polishing. 4. Applying the 2. Preparing the

This cord is used during part two of the Home Learn course 'Essential Techniques' where you are learning the basic skills of how to build nail enhancements, you are instructed on the video to prepare 10 number 13 nails.
You save two of them, the first and last nail, in position 1 and position 10 and you write down the amount of time it took you to prepare each of the saved nails.

You then have 8 nails left. You tip and blend them just as you see on the video, and again save two of them, the first and last, in positions 2 and 9, again noting the times.

The remaining 6 nails you overlay with gel and save them in position 3 and 8. The next 4 nails, are finished with your files and buffers and are saved in positions 4 and 7. The last two nails ore polished and saved in positions 5 and 6.

When the card is complete it provides a unique record of your competency at each stage of the nail build. When it is returned for examination we can see exactly how you have built the nail, how good you are and where you are making mistakes.

This way of working is far superior to working on live models, where each step is covered up by subsequent layers of gel and polish and your nail work walks out the door on the end of a finger, or is soaked off, never to be seen again. By working on The Nail Trainer and saving your work you will have a unique record of your competency and steadily improving standards as you gain experience through practice. On the right hand side of the card are 10 boxes which our tutors will fill in when they mark the card Next to the boxes is a brief description of what the examiner is marking on any particular step, a maximum of two points con be allotted to each criteria. the highest possible mark for the card being 20 points.

The Whole Hand Practice card This card is used when you are practicing on the whole hand, on different fingers and different nail shapes and sizes. Across the top you should enter your name and address, and nail system you are learning (Gel, fiberglass, Acrylic etc). The card has positions for 30 nails in six sets of five nail shapes. The card's purpose is keep a record of your improving nail skills and quickening speed As you work through 60 sets of nails. In the Home Learn course it is used in part 3: 'Working the whole hand', where you are instructed to click in the five shapes to the five fingers of The Nail Trainer, size 9 nail in the thumb, size 6 in the index, size 13 in the middle, size 18 in the ring and size 8 in the pinky finger. You then work through the whole hand, just as you would on a live client and at the end save all five nails on the card, noting the time it took you to complete the set in the boxes on the left hand side of the card. You only save every tenth set you complete, and by the time you've completed 60 sets, and saved the

on the card you will really see a difference in quality between the fist set and the last set you completed. You should see your times improving to about 45 minutes a set.

On the right hand side of the card are five boxes for each set of nails, this is filled in by our tutors when they mark your work. They are looking for a high standard in the following five categories: Thickness. The overlay should be the correct thickness at the crown, cuticle and free edge. Apex. The apex of the nail (high point of the arch) should be in the right place and should form a nice curve back to the cuticle and forward to the free edge. Free edge. The free edge should be nicely shaped and thin. Consistency. The five nails should be o set, looking like brothers and sisters, having the same overall style and shape. Surface. All the nails should have smooth, shiny and nicely curved surfaces. Each of the above categories has o maximum possible mark of 2, or 10 marks per set, 60 for the card. 8oth cards are marked and returned to you with any comments the tutor have made about your work.

Setting up to practice. It's ideal if you can set up your nail equipment in a separate room, away from the daily hustle and bustle of family life. Find a small table, camp The Nail Trainer on the opposite side of the table and position the hand in front of you. Arrange your product and tools to your right and your right box to your left. Have the TV opposite you and use a video player with a remote so you can easily pause and rewind and place a kitchen towel under The Nail Trainer. You'll also need a clock, so you can make a note of the time it lakes for you to complete each step, and a rubbish bin with a top that can be closed. The lid helps trap fumes from discarded towels and cotton pads. Time management and practice regime. Building nails looks easy. For a skilled Technician it is easy, purely because they have been practicing for years! As a beginner you are learning new skills which involve fine control of tools and products. The difference between producing a perfect nail as opposed to a horrible misshapen one can be a single wrongly placed stroke of the file. You have to acquire accurate eye to hand coordination and develop an eye for what looks 'right'. You may remember how difficult it seemed to drive a car, press the clutch in, select a gear, look in the mirror, accelerate, let the clutch up, release the Hand brake, steer. It seemed overwhelming at first,but now you drive away without thinking about it at all. It took instruction, but mostly it took practice. You're teaching your muscles to move in a new way and they take time to learn. The good news is, if you persevere d they will learn, and in a few months you'll be chatting to your clients as you build their nails, almost automatically, without thought, Learning is hard work, most things that are worth doing require effort, but it is fun and you'll get a great sense of satisfaction when you see the standard of your work improving.

You need to get into the frame of mind to learn. Each time you sit down have at least one hour put aside for uninterrupted practice. Work hard for that hour, then give yourself a break and come back to it later. Don't push yourself to the point of frustration. Be critical of your work, because your customers will Work at learning the correct techniques and in a few weeks you'll be amazed at your improvement.

Answer test paper 1, tools products & systems.

Now is the time to test your comprehension of the subjects covered so far in the Home Learn course and this book. Test paper 1, tools products and systems, contains a set of multiple choice questions based on these subjects. Tick the box next to the phrase that you think correctly complete the sentence. Please note that one, two or three answers may be correct, in which case tick them, or none of them by be correct, in which case do not tick any. Your answers are marked in the following way: A tick in a correct box = 1 mark. A tick in an incorrect box = lose a mark. A tick missing from a correct box = no mark.

Chapter 5. Salon skills,

There is more to being a great Nail Technician than creating beautiful nails. To establish yourself as a successful, busy Technician you also need to understand how to deal with your clients and work colleagues in a positive professional manner. We call these wide ranging abilities 'salon skills' though they are also very relevant to mobile Technicians. Think of yourself as someone who is providing a service that includes nails, not just a nail service. Working to improve your salon skills will help you build your clientele and support the prices you charge

Attitude and personal appearance.

Even when you're practicing at home on the Nail Trainer, try view it as if it was a critical client, rather than a plastic hand. Make sure everything is clean, tidy and well presented and bring out fresh kitchen towels, empty the waste bin and wipe down your work surfaces and tools with disinfectant every day. Then when you start working in a salon your good attitude, good hygiene, great appearonce and professionalism will already be second nature. It may seem obvious that presenting yourself well goes a long way towards being successful but you would be amazed at the number of Nail Technicians that shower, do their hair, apply beautiful make up - and then get into a dirty uniform! Cleanliness and smart personal appearance tell your client that you are a competent professional that can be relied upon. A dirty uniform suggests that your concern for high standards is somewhat superficial and that this may extend to the quality of your nail work. Remember you are in the beauty industry!

To charge premium rates, everything has to be perfect. So the following check list provides the minimum standards you should strive for:

Wear a clean uniform every day, you will feel better

and look great.

Shower or bathe daily and wear deodorant. Your hair and make up should also be well presented
and long hair tied back so it won't dangle over the work area.

Jewellery is acceptable though it is not a good video

to wear a lot of rings as this looks untidy and the filing dust will get under the rings and irritate your skin.

Avoid eating spicy food or garlic and keep a toothbrush and mints with you so that you
can freshen your breath regularly.

Your nails must enhance your standing as a professional. You should wear beautifully
maintained extensions in a style that reflects the preferences of the majority of your clients, but wear them fairly short so they don't get in the way when you're working.

Never smoke whilst performing nail services. As well as being a big health and safety risk
it looks very unprofessional and many clients will object and not use your services again. This also applies to chewing gum which creates a casual impression, the suggestion being that this could extend to the standard of your services.

Preparation and your surroundings. Always be on time and well prepared for your client's arrival. Have your work station smartly laid out and clean even for the last appointment of the day, this will go a long way towards making each client fell special. if you are late and disorganized it will appear that you are not that concerned about them, your work will suffer as you will be stressed and under pressure to catch up. Make sure your tools hove been sanitized and that there are sufficient product supplies on your desk. Review the appointment book at the beginning of the day, recall the clients listed and consider if there is anything special they might need. Some clients will always require more work than others during maintenance treatments, due to their nails or their lifestyle. Have your maintenance tools, including warmed acetone ready in anticipation of this. It can be useful to keep a copy of the days appointments to hand so you can review the treatments coming up without having to go to the appointment book. Preparation and planning are the keys to appearing confident and assured. Client consultation Opposite is a client consultation card that you might see in a salon, it is important to fill in the relevant sections for each client. It fosters a professional image, gives you valuable information on your clients, their treatment histories and possible allergic reactions. Get the clients name, telephone numbers, and address. Discuss the treatment she requires and establish the length, style and shape of nail she prefers. Explain that extensions need care and maintenance to keep them looking good and this needs a commitment from the client. Every two to three weeks she will need to come back for maintenance. Explain about the possibilities of infection and what to look for. Show her the home care rules, and give a copy of which you will give her.

Manners and courtesy.

When you greet your client make them feel welcome, look them in the eye and smile. Hopefully you will gel to like most of your clients eventually so you won't have to act for long! Address them by name, using their title if you haven't met them before or their Christian name if they are regulars, people will always feel pleased that you have remembered their name. Offer to take their coat, show them to the waiting area or lo your work station. Some of your clients will be shy, some will be having nail extensions for the first time, it's part of your job to learn how to greet your client in a way that is appropriate for them. Some clients visit a salon mainly for social reasons so these people will probably enjoy chatting, others just want their nails to look great and prefer to remain quiet during their treatment, they may be shy or could hove a lot on their mind. In any event an important part of becoming a successful Technician is judging the extent to which you engage in conversation. If you get this right you stand o much higher chance of your client becoming a regular. It is not uncommon to see Technicians with their head down, hardly talking to their clients. This is because they are concentrating hard on building the extensions and do not have enough mental capacity left to engage in conversation at the same lime. This is far from ideal and indicates that the Technician's nail build techniques are not good enough. The result is that the client feels ignored and the Technician feels stressed.

This is one very good reason to work at your technique until it is second nature, so you have time for your clients social needs as well! Never complain to your client or argue with your her, the old adage; 'the customer is always right', still holds true, especially avoid talking about religion or politics, this inevitably ends up in a row! Avoid taking phone calls whilst treating your clients, so switch your mobile off. Taking calls during a treatment simply tells your client that your personal life is more important than her time. She is effectively paying you while you chat on the phone. Communicating. In order to work harmoniously with your colleagues and clients it is important to know how to communicate. Certain guidelines will prove useful. Be clear and to the point when discussing work issues with colleagues. If your client has some concerns listen carefully and answer honestly. If your client wants to know more about her treatment, don't be shy of explaining the procedure, often inquisitive clients who express an interest in what you do are your most valuable clients. The appointment book is the heart of any salon and is should be used as the starting point for building the relationships with your clients. Enter your client's full name, the treatment required, her telephone number and any other relevant details. There will be many occasions when your colleagues will need to communicate with a client in your absence.

Your collage There are some simple guidelines that will ensure that you maintain good relations with your work colleagues. Always have time for their opinions even if you don't always agree, be willing to learn from them, whether you are the newest Technician in the salon or the most experienced. However don't be shy of offering advice, and try to help out if the opportunity arises. Inevitably they will be occasions when you will be asked to do extra shifts so a helpful attitude will be appreciated by all. Avoid borrowing money from work colleagues, it's got to be paid back and if you get into difficulty with the repayment then the resulting tension between you and your colleagues will have an effect on the performance of the whole salon. If you have a problem of any sort, talk it over with your employer, this is always better than grumbling to your colleagues. Try not to take your personal problems to work, if you should have a bad situation and you are not in good shape for work it is best to explain the problem to your employed and take time off. The same goes for illness, struggling in with a cold may appear heroic but unfortunately the usual result is that more people are infected, including your clients. ethics. It is good to be ethical in your dealings with clients and colleagues. For example if a client has requested a certain treatment, carry it out fully without cutting corners, even if time is pressing. If a Technician is off sick and it's impossible to get the shift covered, phone the affected clients and explain the situation. Invite them to reschedule their appointment or, if they would rather keep the appointment, be sure they are aware that their appointment time may slip or that they may be treated by a different Technician. Do not favour any clients, even if they bring you gifts. This is not lair on other clients who are paying the same for your services. Never instigate gossip as this will ultimately drive you away from your colleagues and clients. Stay neutral when you hear a client, or colleague, complain about another Technician. Rarely are things as straightforward as they seem. Never criticize other Technicians to your client, you are criticizing the whole salon if you do this.

When you are offered your first position in a salon make sure you understand the conditions of employment that you are signing up to. If you have a question ask it, don't just keep quiet to be sure of getting the job, once the reason for the condition has been explained hopefully you will understand why it is needed. If you find yourself agreeing to something that you are uncomfortable with, you are only storing up trouble for yourself in the future. Retail sales All clients require additional nail treatments and polishes to protect and maintain thier nails at home. These additional sales are a vital source of income so it's smart to learn how to become good salesperson. This is easier than you think, in fact without realizing it you are selling yourself when you first meet your client, remember, people buy people first! There are three keys to achieving regular retail sales in the salon. The first is to listen, the second is to make it happen, I'll come to the third in a moment. When chatting to your client learn about their lifestyle, not in an obtrusive way, just be aware of the clues they provide. You are not being nosey, you are being a true professional and establishing how you can best service their needs. Are they a keen swimmer? Does their work mean their hands are frequently dehydrated? What are their favorite polish colures? Are they the sort of person that loves trying something new? These are the clues telling you which products your client would probably buy. Now for the difficult bit! You have to make the effort to suggest a certain product would be perfect for them. You don't need to rehearse a fancy sales script, just talk about the product enthusiastically. If it helps you be more natural, pretend to yourself it's free, then your enthusiasm will be infectious! And the third key? You need to do this for every client, not just on an occasional basis. Then the laws of averages will start to work in your favors and you will accumulate significant additional retail sales.

Answer test paper 2, Salon skills. Make yourself a cup of tea and have a go at the multichoise tests 2. For each question none, one, more than one or all the answers may be correct. You'll find the answers somewhere in this book or on the video.

Chapter 6. Chemicals, hazards and safety procedures.

Nail products are chemicals, and if used properly they are safe. However, if nail products are used or handled without paying attention to correct procedure, adverse reactions can occur, and health can be affected. For this reason it is very important that you learn how to deal with your tools and products in a safe and professional manner. Health and safety for a Nail Technician means five things: Safe use of nail tools. Safe use of nail products and chemicals. Safe storage of nail products. Safe disposal of used and unwanted chemicals. Effective application of health and safety procedures.

Use these 'five facets' as a mental checklist to help you develop an awareness of the health and safety issues that affect you and your client. Trainees are naturally more likely to cause damage than a skilled Nail Technician. So by making all your early mistakes on The Nail Trainer you are already employing the best health and safety principles. By learning and implementing the following principles you will have no cause to harm yourself or your client throughout your career.

Understanding health hazards There are five main ways in which Nail Technicians or their clients can be harmed through providing or receiving nail enhancements, these are:

Damage through misuse of nail tools. Inhalation of vapour. Inhalation of dust. Absorption of liquids through the skin. Ingestion of chemicals.
None of these need become a problem as long as they are kept under control. For example it is inevitable that both client and Technician will be exposed to vapours and dust, indeed this applies to us all in everyday life and it rarely gives cause for concern because our levels of exposure are extremely low. Problems occur when exposure levels rise to the point when overexposure occurs. As a professional Nail Technician, a vital part of your job is to ensure that exposure levels are kept at o low and manageable level by following sensible precautions and good workplace procedures.

Safe use of nail tools.

Clumsy use of certain nail tools, in particular files, is the most immediate way damage can be caused. These tools are designed to remove and shape hardened nail products, and to do this they have to be sharp. Files and buffers may not appear sharp in the same sense as a knife, but in fact these tools are really thousands of tiny cutting blades working together and if allowed to wander on to the client`s skin can cut and cause bleeding! The way to avoid harming your client is to develop good tool control technique, as shown on the Home Learn videos. By mastering these skills you will be able to work quickly and with precision. Your tools will be cutting the nail enhancement materials, and not your client's skin! Here is a list of the tools that have the potential to cause harm.

The file.
This is the tool most associated with harming clients and the damage is usually caused in one of two ways. Firstly, with Gel nails and to some extent Acrylic nails it is necessary to use the file to remove an old enhancement. As the hard nail product is filed away it is not uncommon for an unskilled Technician to continue filing even though all the product has been removed. The file is then cutting into the natural nail plate and if continued for too long, great damage will be done to the nail plate. Secondly, damage is caused to the surrounding flesh by inaccurate filing during streamlining, shaping or blending the enhancement. The edges of files are extremely sharp (even after the edges have been blunted, see stripping files and buffers) and if allowed to rub over the surrounding skin can easily draw blood from the resulting v shareped cut or filing graze. Cutting your client in this way is potentially the most serious form of damage as open wounds are an invitation to disease and infection. Both of these accidents are caused by lock of understanding and poor technique on the part of the Technician. Work hard at your file control technique by practicing on your Nail Trainer until your use of the file becomes accurate and effective, thus eliminating the possibility of harming your client.

The buffer block. The buffer is less likely to cause damage as it has a finer abrasive surface than a file so the cutting action is gentler, although just like files the edges are sharp and need to be blunted before use. As the effect of the buffer is quite subtle, some technicians get in the habit of using it too vigorously, which in combination with inaccuracy can cause soreness and redness of the skin around the client`s nail. As with all of your tools accuracy is the key avoiding problems. The brush. Many different nail products are applied with a brush. You have to avoid letting these chemicals touch your clients skin. Most nail products are categorized as hazardous as they are usually either irritants or corrosive. Allowing your brush to contact your client's skin can cause irritation and pain and even start an allergic reaction. Therefore an important aspect of your technique training on The Nail Trainer is fine control of product application to the nail and extension only. A detailed explanation of the health and safety issues relating to the various nail products is provided in the next section. Cuticle knives. These sharp knives are used for cutting away excess cuticle during the nail preparation process prior to applying nail product.

We do not advocate the use of cuticle knives in the Home Learn course, our preferred tool being the cuticle pusher. However you will come across them during your career so it is important to mention them. These knives are very sharp so care is needed not to let your hand slip during use. Should you decide to start using cuticle knives later in your career, here are a couple of tips to help minimize the chances of accidently cutting your client. Always work in a good light so that you have the best possible view of the blade and the cuticle. Whilst cutting, move your client's hand close to you so that you maintain an easy and relaxed grip on the knife. Don't work at an awkward angle. Before using the knife for the first time practice on your Nail Trainer by drawing cuticle shaped lines on The Nail Trainer's fingertips and then using a light pressure practice cutting along these lines. This will familiarize you with the feel and effect of the knife prior to working on a client.

The Electric File. Electric files ore controversial tools. Originally used as miniature drills for industry and hobby markets, their use has been adopted by Nail Technicians in many countries, particularly the United States. The drill bit rotates at high speed and the rate at which the nail product is removed is much greater than with a hand file. It is this efficiency, commonplace amongst all types of electric tools compared with hand tools, that gives the electric file the potential to do a great deal of damage in a short period of time.

There are two main ways that the electric file can cause harm in untrained hands. The friction of the spinning bit on the nail generates a lot of heal so the file must be used with a light pressure and constantly moved across the nail surface to avoid the risk of burning the client's nail. Secondly it's very easy for the drill to skip across the surface of the nail on to the client's skin, causing a bad cut or tear. It is problems like these that have lead to the electric file gaining a bad reputation, though this is somewhat unfair as only on unskilled Nail Technician will cause damage, not the tool! Electric files are safe, useful tools as long as two important rules are observed. Firstly, it is vital that full training is taken and this should be of a very high standard. The Nail Trainer is perfect tool for learning on as the techniques can be practiced to perfection. Secondly, only use electric files recommended by nail companies or responsible beauty trade suppliers. There are many electric files available designed for the hobby market that ore too powerful and unsuited for safe use on nail extensions.

The UV lamp.
People sometimes assume that because the light boxes used to cure Gel emit ultra violet light they possess the same potential for harm as a high powered sun bed. This is not the case as the wavelength of light produced by the tubes in nail light boxes is UVA, which lakes a long while to burn or tan the skin. Sun beds are usually over a hundred times more powerful than nail light boxes, and they emit both UVA and UVB light. It is the UVB light in sun beds that accelerates the tanning process and this can be harmful if overexposure occurs. As long as a modem nail light box is used with 9 watt or lower power tubes your client is not at risk.

Know your nail products and chemicals. Either when practicing at home or working in a salon, you have to know about the chemicals in the products you are using. By learning your art on The Nail Trainer you are already dealing with health and safety in the most responsible way possible. You cannot harm your client through inexperience and you are learning in an environment that enables you to acquire a great technique before working on real people. When we talk about nail products we are mainly referring to the liquids and substances that come in bottles, jars or other containers. Typical examples are acrylic primer, acrylic liquid and powder, Gel, tip remover, nail polish remover, extension tips and nail polish. These are all 'products' as opposed to 'tools'. Most nail products are termed 'hazardous' and they can enter the body in the three ways already identified: inhalation, absorption and Ingestion. Many are also flammable. Inhalation, absorption and ingestion, Absorption is the action of a liquid being absorbed through the skin. Inhalation is the action of molecules of a liquid or other substance being inhaled through the nose or mouth as vapour or dust. Ingestion is the least likely route of entry as it happens as a consequence of tiny particles of product transferring from the Technician's fingers on to food and then swallowed. This can easily be prevented by washing the hands thoroughly before eating.

Some liquid products can enter the body through both absorption and inhalation. This most commonly occurs when liquid is spilled directly on the skin or when handling contaminated tissues or when sloppy brush control causing small amounts of liquid to contact the skin at the side of the nail. The following is a description of the common nail products capable of entering the body either as a consequence of the way in which they are used or due to the chemistry of the product. Bear in mind that this list is not exhaustive and new products enter the market all the time so if you have a product that is not on this list, seek advice from the manufacturer.

When assessing the relative safely of a particular chemical and thinking about the health and safely implications of its use in your work place, we ask ourselves 'what is an acceptable level of exposure to this chemical?' Nail products are safe, as long as exposure is minimized through good working practices. Let`s look at some of the common products and chemicals used in the nail industry.

extension tip remover.

The most widespread chemical used to remove nail tips is acetone. This is a liquid which is also a solvent, i.e. it has the ability to dissolve certain materials, for example some plastics. Absorption. Acrylic and fiberglass extension tips are commonly removed by either immersing the nail extensions in a bowl of acetone or soaking cotton wipes in acetone and then wrapping them around the finger tips. Inevitably the acetone comes into contact with the skin surrounding the nail and a small amount of absorption will take place. Al the same time the acetone is producing vapours that will be inhaled as it evaporates. Acetone is highly flammable and is closed as an irritant. If you use a soak-off bowl fill it so that only the linger tips are immersed. Warm the acetone by placing the bowl in a larger bowl of worm water. This is the only sale way of warming acetone. Soak the nails for about.

By only filling the soak off bowl so that the finger tips are just covered you are minimizing the client's exposure level. As the client will only need her extensions to be soaked off once every 6 to 8 weeks this represents a low amount of exposure and is therefore considered to be safe. However, as acetone is an irritant it is possible that a client could develop an allergic reaction. This is rare but does occasionally happen. In this event the course of action is to recommend your client has extensions removed by filing only. Inhalation. Acetone can also enter the body through inhalation. As the acetone evapourates it`s molecules float in the air and are breathed in. With acetone you can smell these fumes, but be aware that some chemicals have no smell, but can still be harmful!. The way to minimise exposure is to remove the fumes from the work area as quickly as possible. Open a window and avoid using acetone in a sealed room, whether at home or in a salon. Be aware that using a fan does not improve ventilation, it simply circulates the air and the air boume fumes.

Acrylic primer.
This liquid is not used for Gel nails, but is common in salons offering acrylic nails. The acrylic primer for use on The Nail Trainer is a very weak formulation of methacryfic acid and water and is suitable only for use on The Nail Trainer. However acrylic primers for use on human finger nails usually contain a high proportion of methacrylic acid. Once again this chemical has a very pungent smell.

This acid is corrosive and therefore an irritant if it comes into contact with skin. If left on the skin it will cause a mild burning sensation and will cause redness.

The primer is applied with a small brush (attached to the screw cap of the bottle) to the natural nail between the end of the extension tip and the cuticle. Acrylic primer is safe as long as it is only applied to the natural nail. This is an easy operation to perform so there is no reason to get the liquid on to the cuticle or skin. If this should happen wash the affected area several times with a cotton wad soaked with water. As long as this is done quickly there should be no harmful effects through absorption. Inhalation. Methacrylic acid produces very strong vapours. This is one of the reasons why acrylic primer is always sold in tint bottles. The opening of the bottle is small allowing the minimum amount of vapour to escape when the lid is off.

Never lean directly over your brush when applying primer as this is the surest way to breathe in the vapour which can result in discomfort lo the nose and eyes. Should this happen move away from the vapour and breathe some fresh area. It is important to ensure adequate ventilation in your work area and as melhacrylic acid is also flammable do not allow any smoking.

Nail polish remover. This is similar to acetone in that it is a solvent and therefore has the ability to dissolve another substance. Nail polish removers commonly contain ethyl acetate and isopropyl alcohol which is also often used to sanitise the nail.

Absorption. The polish is removed by pouring a small amount of remover on to a cotton pad which is then wiped across the surface of the polished nail. Some of the polish remover will touch the client's skin, however this is a very low level of exposure and is therefore considered to be safe. Inhalation. There will be some inhalation of vapour, but this also be low as there is only a small amount of the liquid on a cotton pad. Nail polish remover is generally considered a safe product to use.

Adequate ventilation is advisable and it is highly flammable so do not allow smoking in your work area.

Gel prep and residue remover.

This product has three functions. It used to sanitise and dehydrate the natural nail prior to Gel product application and to remove the sticky residue from Gel after curing in a light box. It is similar to nail polish remover and acetone in that it is a solvent and it contains sopropyl alcohol, ethyl acetate end acetone. The Gel prep and residue remover included in your Home Learn course contains only isopropyl alcohol so it is a weaker solvent than the full strength version used on human finger nails. The method of application is the same for both versions and for both uses. It is applied by pouring a small amount on to a cotton pad which is then wiped over the natural nail to sanitise and dehydrate the nail. For removing the sticky Gel residue it is also applied to a cotton pad which is pressed firmly onto the nail and then pulled forward off the free edge. The residue is removed on the pad and the extension is left dry and shiny.

Absorption and Inhalation. As the method of application uses small amounts of the liquid, contact with the skin will be correspondingly low. So as long as it is used in a well ventilated area the risk to health through absorption and inhalation Is low.

Like most solvents Gel Prep is highly flammable so smoking must not be allowed in the work area.

When building fiberglass extensions the resins are coated with an accelerator in order to cure and harden. Nowadays most accelerator liquids are brushed on to the resin, though 'spray on' accelerators used to be widespread. These were not as good from a health and safety standpoint as the spray would inevitably some land on the client's skin and is easily breathed in. Also if too much accelerator is used a lot of heat is generated as the curing process is over accelerated, causing discomfort to the client.

Use in a well ventilated area, do not breathe in the fine mist generated.

Acrylic liquid. This is not used in Gel nails, only acrylics. When combined with acrylic powder this becomes a soft paste which is used to build acrylic nail extensions. As the name suggests acrylic liquids usually belong to the methacrylate family of chemicals. Inhalation and absorption. The adour of acrylic liquid is the most common smell in the nail industry because in many countries acrylic is the most popular system. The acrylic paste is applied with a brush and like all nail products this should not be allowed to come into contact with the cuticle or the client's skin.

It is the acrylic vapour which is considered the greater risk and inhalation is the most common way for it to enter the body. It is very important that the work area is well ventilated in order to disperse the vapour.

To use acrylic liquid safely a small amount should be decanted from the bottle into a dappen dish. The bottle should then be immediately re-sealed. The dappen dish should have a lid so that it can also be sealed when the product is not being used. Sometimes it is necessary to clean the acrylic brush by immersing it in the liquid and then wiping it on a tissue. When this is done put the used tissue in a metal bin with the lid down. These measures limit the amount of vopour entering the work environment and so minimise the exposure for both Technician and client.

Acrylic powder This is the other component of the acrylic system, used in combination with acrylic liquid. Components of the powder include copolymer and bezal peroxide The liquid and powder come into contact on the brush and the paste is applied to the nail to create the extension. Once the liquid and powder mix the paste begins to harden and it is this hard acrylic plastic that forms the nail extension. Depending on the skill of the Technician, it is usually necessary to file the extension to refine the shape of the nail and of course this produces acrylc dust. Inhalation. Dust is perhaps the Nail Technician's biggest enemy, it is harder to control than liquids as it is very light and can travel in the air. It will not enter the body through absorption but can easily enter through inhalation. This is not likely to cause a risk to health to the client as the exposure only occurs every two to three weeks. It is also not a problem for the mobile Technician as the work environment is constantly changing thus avoiding exposure to a build up of dust over time.

It is the Technician working in a busy salon that should be aware of the correct way to deal with dust. She will be exposed to other Technicians dust as well as her own.

Technicians should consider wearing a face mask and consider the following advise: Wipe down the work surface after every treatment with a damp cloth and then wash this out under a top.

This will remove the dust on the work surface but not the dust in the air.

The only way to do this is to use a clean air system that sucks the dust on to a filter as it is produced, these systems can be portable or built into the tap of a workstation. Using a system such as this is the best way to minimise exposure to dust as it will collect around 80% of the dust produced as long as the filter is changed regularly.

Nail adhesive.
The adhesives or tip glue used for fixing extension tips to the natural nail or building fiberglass extensions are from the cyanoacrylate family of chemicals.

They are also referred to as 'resin' and give off harsh vapours which can cause irritation to the eyes. The Technician should therefore avoid leaning directly over the bottle as the adhesive is being applied. In terms of risk from contact with the skin it is very unlikely that cyanoacrylate will do any lasting harm though it will stick skin together very quickly. Should this happen, wash with soap and water when the adhesive has softened and gently peel apart or soak and de-bond in acetone. The person most likely to be harmed by nail adhesive is the Technician. Some acquire the bad habit of biting off hardened adhesive from the nozzle, sometimes the Technician inadvertently squeezes the bottle at the same time and when the blockage is cleared, fresh adhesive squirts out of the nozzle and into the Technician's eye. As the adhesive hits the eye it comes into contact with the tears around the eye which acts as an accelerator and the eye is subject to the painful effects of the heat generated by the curing process as the adhesive bonds to the eye. Almost certainly the eye will shut a fraction after it is hit by the adhesive, thus trapping the adhesive and bonding the eye shut. If this occurs, do not attempt to force the eyelid open, bathe the eyelashes with warm water so that they can de-bond and release. Do not force the eye open, keep it covered, seek medical advice, and after a couple of days the adhesive will release from the eye and it will open.

Filing dust.
When building fiberglass extensions dust is produced as the shape of the nail is perfect with the file. Follow similar rules to those explained for acrylic filing dust, i.e. make sure you work in a well ventilated area and if possible use a dust extraction system A quick guide to understanding the risks!


chemical name

common routes of entry

other risks

Extension tip remover Nail polish remover

Acetone Ethyl acetate Isopropyl alcohol

Absorption and Inhalation Absorption and Inhalation

Fire fire

Gel prep & residue remover

Ethyl acetate Isopropyl alcohol Acetone

Absorption and Inhalation


Acrylic liquid


Absorption and Inhalation


Nail tip Adhesive


Absorption, Inhalation and Ingestion.

Fire . The eyes are vulnerable.


Alcohol, Alkaline

Absorption and Inhalation


A quick guide to working safety with nail products. Always read the caution notes on the bottle or packaging. Always read the MSDS {materials safety data) sheets. Always be aware of the correct course of action in the event of an accident. Ensure your technique provides you with the dexterity and control of your products. Vapours can collect behind contact lenses so when treating clients wear glasses. Storage of chemicals. Nail products must be stored and disposed of in a way that minimises the risk of an accident. Many of the products are flammable, and the storage area will contain the highest concentration of products thus making it potentially the most dangerous part of the salon. All nail products should be stored in a lockable metal cupboard, they are quite heavy so make sure the wall and fixings can support the weight. Store the largest containers on the bottom shelf and ensure that all products are clearly labelled. Locate the store cupboard away from general access and direct sunlight and have a work surface nearby so that you can comfortably decant liquids from one container to another without the risk of spillage. Keep the MSDS sheets and suppliers contact details nearby. Keep a first old kit and fire extinguisher in the storage area and learn how to use them! Like all areas of a nail salon adopt a strict no smoking policy.

Disposal of chemicals.
Do not tip chemicals down sinks or drains as many chemicals will melt the plastic plumbing. Dispose of unwanted chemicals as follows:

Extension tip remover.

Tip remover is mostly acetone, so dispose of it tipping it onto an absorbent material. Place the contaminated material in a material bin outside and allow the liquid to evopourate. Used acetone from the 'soaking off' process is the only liquid waste product you need to dispose of. Do not pour it down a sink as the blobs of dissolved nail extension will block the waste pipe. if the pipes are plastic, they may well melt. This is not an environmentally acceptable method of disposal.

Nail polish remover.

Nail polish remover might contain acetone or Isopropyl alcohol, dispose of your used wipes in a metal pedal bin where any residual product will evaporate and store in a metal cupboard.

Gel prep and residue remover.

Used wipes should be put in a metal pedal bin where any residual product will evaporate.

The chemical reaction.

All the nail systems, be it Fiberglass, Gel or Acrylics use chemicals that come in a semiliquid form or as two products that have to be mixed together. In every case the liquid is turned into a solid by initialing a chemical reaction, this process is called polymerisalion.

For Gel, It's the exposure to UV light that initiates the reaction.

For Fiberglass it's by spraying on or painting on an accelerator.

For Acrylic the chemical reaction starts when the liquid and powder are mixed together and is accelerated by the heat from the surrounding air and from the finger. The time taken for products to set is controlled by the amount of light, accelerator or heat. Too much and the product will set too fast, too little and the product takes too long to set, wasting time.

All of the chemicals used for building nail extensions come from the acrylic family of chemicals. Acrylic is a common plastic which is used in thousands of consumer and industrial products around the world. One of the properties of acrylic plastic is that it is hard yet retains some flexibility, and this makes suitable for building nail extensions

The nail systems.

Let's recap. You now know there are three nail extension systems, their common names being acrylics, Gets and Fiberglass, and each system is applied in a liquid or semi liquid state and an initiator is used that causes the material to harden. Once the material is hardening a chemical within the product called a catalyst is used to control the speed of the hardening process. Lets look at the chemical reaction whereby each nail system goes from a liquid or semiliquid state to the solid plastic used as the overlay, or top layer, of the nail extension.

This system is also called liquid and powder, the liquid is called 'monomer' which means one molecule. When the liquid monomer is mixed with the powder on the end of the brush the initiator contained within the powder starts a heat reaction. This causes the initiator to split in half creating two molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are molecules in an excited, fast moving state. Each free radical energises a monomer which then attaches itself to another monomer and so a chain is formed. This chain of monomers becomes very Long and is called a polymer. The action of converting monomers to polymers describes the process called polymerisation. For polymerization to von to take place efficiently the room or product temperature must not be too low or a frostlike coating will appear on the surface of the product. Cool temperatures will slow down the polymerisation process allowing the monomer to evaporate before the chains are fully formed, leaving the surface soft and powdery .This problem is commonly called crystalisation, the surface looks white and frosted.

Gel Gel may appear different to the liquid and powder system in that it consists of a one part Gel ready for application with a brush. However, Gel is similar in that the product is also formed fromed chains of molecules, but these are shorter and called oligomers and are formed during the manufacturing process. The initiator for Gel is ultra violet light that penetrates the Gel and provides the energy to convert the oligomers into polymers. The relitively low level of energy provided by the UV light is sufficient to cause polymerisation because it is only required to join the pre manufactured short chains together, rather than form long chains from scratch with individual molecules. For perfect polymerisation to take place the Gel should not be applied too thickly or the UV light will not be able to fully penetrate causing only partial hardening of the product. Fibreglass. The Fiberglass system comprises of a lightweight glass weave impregnated by resin. Like Acrylics and Gels, the resin also comes from the acrylic family of chemicals. It is in fact similar to tip adhesive being a monomer called cyonoacrylate. The resin is applied to the fiberglass strips by either the nozzle of the resin bottle or a brush and if left it will eventually harden in a few minutes. However in the solon, to speed up the process, an accelerator or activator is applied to the resin by spraying or brushing. This contains the initiator that 'kick star` the polymerisation process. As with the other systems, long chains of molecules are formed though they are not as strong as Gel or Acrylics which is why the fiberglass weave is needed to reinforce the overlay. The speed with which resin hardens is influenced by the amount of accelerator used. If too much accelerator is applied, polymerisation will happen too quickly resulting in a cloudy appearance. Low strength and a lot of heat.

Health and safety procedures.

In the course of providing nail treatments the Technician's hands and tools come into contact with many different clients. The Technician and client usually sit facing each other less than a metre apart and most salons are warm with the air being moved around by ventilation systems. This is the ideal environment for the proliferation of disease and infection. For the Nail Technician, an infection can occur through hand to hand contact and this can be virtually eliminated by the implementation of good hygiene procedures. Airborne infection is a common risk we all face and is much harder to control.

Disease and bacteria.

All diseases are caused by bacteria and viruses. There are two types of bacteria pathogenic and nonpathogenic. About 70% of all bacteria's are nonpathogenic, and these are harmless or even beneficial. A good example of beneficial nonpathogenic bacteria are those found in the gut to aid digestion. Viruses are smaller and simpler organisms than bacteria and are pathogenic. pathogenic bacteria, or pathogens, are harmful. These are the microscopic organisms that cause disease and are commonly known as germs. They multiply incredibly quickly and are carried about in air, water, on tools and by bodily contact. Well known diseases caused by pathogenic bacteria include pneumonia, typhoid, tuberculosis and diphtheria. Viruses cause many of the very common diseases such as colds, flu, mumps and measles.

The nail salon is potentially the pended breeding ground for pathogens. They like warmth, dark corners, dirt and dust, air movement and human contact! As a professional Nail Technician it is an important part of your job to keep them under control.

Disease is acquired through infection and there are six main sources: By air, for example via coughing or sneezing By contact with infected blood By bodily contact By eating or drinking By the transmission of semen By insect bite

The sources of primary concern to the Nail Technician are contact with infected blood and bodily contact. There are many diseases that affect the hands and nails and these can easily be passed from the client to the Technician and an again to another client. The common link is the Technician who is also the person most able lo limit transmission.

How infection occurs

The Nail Technician's tools and hands are the vehicles on which the bacteria that cause nail and other diseases hitch a ride to their next destination. For example, as the Technician pushes back the client's cuticle, bacteria is being transferred from the cuticle to the cuticle pusher. This bacteria will be passed to the next client if the same tool is used again. Similarly, as the file is used to blend an extension tip, it's unfortunately quite common for it lo come into contact with the skin surrounding the nail where there might be the beginnings of a sore that is too small lo see. The file will collect bacteria from the sore and pass these on to the client's other fingers or, as with the cuticle pusher, the next client. The bacteria will also contaminable the filing dust being produced, which is perfect for harboring and carrying pathogenic bacteria around the salon in the air.

Minimising infection.
In order to minimise the chances of cross infection, it is the Technician's duty to understand the principles behind good hygiene and to implement and maintain a sound hygiene policy. Broadly speaking hygiene means cleanliness in order to limit infection, and this cleanliness applies lo the Technician, the Technician's tools and the salon or worth place. There are three methods of achieving cleanliness, or decontamination, the aim off all is to eliminate pathogenic bacteria as for as is possible. These methods are sanitation, disinfection and sterilization.

this is the simplest form of decontamination, and will remove the lowest volume of pathogenic bacteria. The most common example of sanitation is washing your hands with soapy water. Sanitation also refers to the many common tasks and practices that must be carried out in the salon in order to maintain good hygiene . these are the main practices to achieve good hygiene: Retail shelving should be cleaned on an ongoing basis but remember that dusting is going to push dust about rather than remove it. Clean shelves with a clean cloth moistened with antibacterial cleaner. Ensure you have enough uniforms so you can wear a clean one every day. Towels should be washed daily Each work station should have it`s own small, metal pedal bin. Remove and replace the dust bag daily as just tipping the debris into another bin will recycle dust back into the salon. If you must have food on the premises, keep it in a clean fridge away from the nail products storage area. Smoking must not be allowed in any part of the salon.

You should not eat at your workstation as the chance of ingesting dust is high. If drinking is allowed on the premises, then it should be in a separate area away from the treatment tables.

Both client and Technician should wash their hands before and after each treatment The Technician's hair should be tied back Other than guide dogs, animals should not be allowed in the salon.

This refers to the use of disinfectant for the cleaning of non-living surfaces, but not skin or nails. Disinfectant is a substance capable of destroying a much higher volume of pathogenic bacteria than the simple sanitation procedures outlined earlier. Disinfectants are designed to destroy harmful bacteria, viruses or fungus and a suitable disinfectant for the salon will be a single liquid capable of destroying all three. There are many brands available and it is important to carefully follow the manufacturers instructions regarding dilution and application. If the concentration is too weak the disinfectant can become ineffective. Many disinfectants are irritants and it may be necessary to wear protective gloves. The areas of the solon that should be cleaned with disinfectants are furniture, walls, floors and doors. As dust travels to the most inaccessible places the furniture should be moved weekly to allow thorough cleaning. Disinfectant can also be used to clean tools and implements by immersing them for around fifteen minutes. It is important to wash and dry the tools first or the disinfectant will become contaminated and less effective. Be sure lo select a disinfectant that contains a rust inhibitor or your metal tools could become blunt. This information will be on the label.

This is the process by which all living organisms on a non-living object such as tools are completely destroyed, leaving it sterile. Nowadays sterilisation of toots is more popular than disinfection. There are two ways of sterilising plastic and metal nail tools: by immersing them in chemicals or by placing them in a machine called an autoclave. In the salon the most popular way of sterilising is to use a sterilisation tray. This is a plastic box which contains a perforated tray. The nail tools are washed with soapy water, rinsed and dried and laid out on the tray. The sterilizing solution, or agent, is poured into the botton of the box and the tray is lowered into the agent. The lid of the box is closed and the tools are left immersed in the agent for about twenty minutes. Sterilizing agent must be prepared according to the manufactured instructions and they can be used several times before needing replacement. The amount of usage pror to replacement will be indicated on the manufacturers instructions. An autoclave is a sturdy, airtight container that sterilises the nail tools by exposing them to the extremely high temperatures of steam under pressure. Autoclaves suitable for salon use are electric and have a programmed cleaning cycle. The steam is produced by heating water stored in the autoclave and at the end of the cycle the pressure must be allowed to return to normal before opening the lid and removing the tools. Autoclaves are an effective way of sterilising tools but they are expensive and for this reason are not as popular as sterilisation trays in nail salons.

Bear in mind that freshly sterilised tools will start to accumulate new microorganisms as soon as they come bock into contact with the salon environment and so the process of sterilisation is ongoing.

Other nail tools.

Not all nail tools are made from metal or plastic, the obvious examples being files and buffers. There are several ways of minimising contamination of these tools. Washable files are available and these can be scrubbed with a manicure brush and washed at the end of each treatment with antibacterial soap. An alterative approach is to set your fees at a high enough level so that you can afford to use new files and buffers an each client. This would cost about 1 euro. Per client though this is more than offset by the time saved in cleaning and the value in impressing your client by your highly professional approach. Some people advocate having a set of files and buffers stored especially for each client. However this is not an ideal solution as they still need to be cleaned or they will just store contaminated dust to be released into the salon next time they're used. They are also clumsy to store in a file along with your client's record card.

The work station is perhaps the Nail Technician's most important asset, it's surface must be cleaned between each treatment and only the tools that are needed for the next client should be placed on top of the desk. Too much clutter on the work surface will slow down the treatment. Wipe down the work surface with a clean wet cloth that is then washed out under the tap. Avoid using a duster as this will just simply push the dust off the side and on to the floor

If your work station contains a dust filtration system be sure to change the filter in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations. If you clean the filter periodically prior to replacing it do this in a way avoids spilling the accumulated dust as this will just reintroduce it to the atmosphere.

Chapter 7. The nail.

The parts of the nail.
You'll need to memorise the common names used for parts of the nail

The cuticle, is the fleshy ridge at the back of the nail.

The lnula is the White crescent in front of the cuticle

The nail walls these are the fleshy ridges that run down the left and right hand sides of the nail The nail plate The nail bed is directlyundermeath the nail plate

The nail grooves at the side of the nail guide the nail plate down the finger The free edge this is White front edge of the nail extending post the end of the fingertip

The smile line is the line formed between the pink of the nail and the White of the free edge

These medical names ate less common, but you may come across them

The matrix This is where the nail is formed and the shape and thickness of the matrix determines the thickness of the resulting nail. The matrix is very soft and any damage to it will mean that the nail may not grow normally again. The eponychium Sometimes miss identified as the cuticle, this fold of skin resides of the back of the nail plate and forms o seal between the out side of the nail plate and the inside of the finger. if this is broken infection can set in, so be carefull with cuticle pushers, never push hard in this area as you can break the seal. The proximal nail fold This is where the nail root is anchored and it is a thick fold of skin. It should never be allowed to dry out, as cracking can occur. Keep it supple with cuticle oil. The cuticle The cuticle works with the eponychium to provide a watertight seal. It's the colourless layer of skin that forms out over the surface of the nail plate growing out from the eponychium and has to be removed to allow nail products to adhere to the nail plate. The amount of cuticle over the nail varies from person to person.

The lunula
Also known as the 'half moon', the lunula is under the thinnest part of the nail and is the visible part of the matrix which is coloured white, hence the lunula is white. Again, this is a soft area of the nail which is easily damaged.

The Pcrionychium.
Nail walls, lateral nail folds or Perionychium are all words for the fold of skin that runs down the left and right hand sides of the nail plate. The skin slightly covers the edges of the nail plate forming a watertight seal.

The Nail grooves.

These are not shown on the previous diagram but the point at which the nail meets the perionychium (down the sides of the nail) is often referred lo as the nail grooves.

The Distal grooves.

There is a dent or groove in the skin directly under the free edge known as the Distal groove.

The Hyponychlum.
Just behind the distal groove is the seal for the front of the nail. Similar in construction to the eponychium at the cuticle end of the nail, it keeps liquids and bacteria from getting under the nail plate.

The nail bed.

Where as the nail plate is essentially dead material, the nail bed is very much alive, crommed with blood vessels and nerve endings. Severe pain can be caused if this is damaged.

Different nail shapes.

When you work on people you will encounter many sizes and shapes of nail. Here are some pictures of the natural variation in nail shapes:

How the nail grows.

Irrespective of the final nail shape, the process of growth is the same in every case The cells that make up the nail begin their life in the matrix. These straight sided cells, filled with a tough protein called keratin, have the ability to lock together to form a hard protective layer that we know as the nail plate. The nail bed, under the nail plate is constructed from two distinct layers that can slide over one another on tiny rails, allowing the nail to slide out as it grows. It's fed by thousands of blood vessels and, unlike the nail plate, has thousands of nerve endings which can transmit severe paid if damaged.

Chapter 8, Common nails diseases

You have to know about the diseases that can affect client's nails. Some of them are quite common, others rare, but as a Nail Technician you will probably see a higher proportion of these problems than any one else, purely because many clients with this sort of problem will seek you out and request you disguise their problem by applying an overlay. Deciding what to do when you are presented with a diseased looking nail can be problematical, so read this next section carefully. Disorders and contra actions. It is the responsibility of the Nail Technician to be sure that a client's nails are in a suitable condition for receiving nail extensions. If there are any doubts, you must politely refuse to provide extensions, explain why and recommend that the client seeks medical advice. Applying extensions over an existing disease or disorder could worsen the condition, and could lead to a claim by the client that you, the Technician were the cause of the disorder. There are many disorders peculiar to nails and it is important that the Technician is familiar with these and can offer accurate guidance. There are two areas of concern for the Nail Technician. Disorders of the nails and contra actions of the nails, which are the adverse conditions that can result from nail treatments. Disorders of the nails. A disorder is o condition caused by either an imbalance or disease in the body or an injury to the nail. It is normal for nails to reflect a person's stale of health and a Nail Technician should be able to identify these different conditions and respond accordingly. Opinions vary as to which conditions con receive nail extensions without risk to the client. There are a few conditions that can be improved by a skilful Nail Technician but in the majority of cases it is best to identify the condition for the client and suggest they seek medical advice and undertake an appropriate course of treatment with thier doctor. This advice has particular relevance at a time when the number of negligence claims on a 'no win, no fee' basis are increasing.

Disorders that must not be serviced by a Nail Technician.

The following diseases of the nail should not be interfered with by a Nail Technician. Refer your client to her doctor and only agree to perform a nail service when the condition has disappeared. Offer her a discount voucher to encourage her to come back and as compensation for the disappointment.

Bacterial infection.
This condition is often wrongly referred to as mould or fungal infection. On a nail extension, the Infection can occur between the natural nail and a lifted section of the overlay which provides the ideal warm and moist conditions for the bacteria to thrive. It can occur with any nail system and appears green to yellow and block in colour.

Paronychia (paro-nlk-la).
This is a common infectious condition of the tissue surrounding the natural nail caused by many different types of bacteria and yeast such as Candida. The tissue will be swollen and red, quite hard to the touch and pus may be present. The nail can discolour red or black and it is usually very painful. There are several causes mostly relating to habits like picking, biting and tearing of the nails subsequently leading to infection. It is highly contagious.

Onychomycosis (onl-komi-ko-sls). This is an infectious disease that is caused by a vegetable parasite. In it's mildest form, caused by the fungus Trichophyton mentagrophyies, it appears as white patches on top of the nail plate which is soft and powdery. It can manifest itself in a more severe form where the fungus has broken through the proximal nail fold and cuticle and gets under the nail plate. It appears as yellowish streaks in the substance of the nail. In it's most severe form the deepest layers of the nail are affected to the extent that the whole nail is discoloured and infected layers peel off and expose the diseased nail bed. Onychia (on-nlk-ia). This is an infection of the nail plate that can be caused by a Nail Technician or manicurist using unsanitary tools. The base of the nail can appear red and pus may be present. Clients with this condition must be advised to visit their doctor.

Onychogryposis (oni-ko-grey-posis).
This is a condition which causes the nail to thicken and curve and is also known as clawn nails. It Is more common on toe nails where the cause is often badly fitting shoes. If left the nail will grow and curve over the end of the finger or toe and if the nail grows back into the skin inflammation and pain will result. In finger nails the reason for this disorder is thought to be occidental damage to the nail, trauma and hereditary defect.

Onycholysis (oni-koi-i-sis).
This condition can be caused by damage to the free edge, allergy to drug treatments or nail products, trauma or internal infection. The nail separates from the nail bed, starting at the free edge back towards the lunula, but does not come off . Nail will appear white to grey in colour due to the air under the nail, or may be appear colored by a yeast that can grow between the nail bed and

the nail plate.

Onychoptosis (oni-kop-toh-sis)
This is a condition where part or all of the nail is shed and comes off the finger. Occurrences are periodic and it can affect more than one nail at a time. Common causes are drug allergy, trauma or reaction to a disease of the body.

Onychocryptosis (oni-ko-hrip-toh-sis).
This condition is more commonly known as in growing nail whereby the nail grows into the tissue at the sides of the nail. It occurs most frequently on the toe nails due to incorrect cutting or badly fitting shoes. It can become extremely painful, infected and can even require remedial surgery.

Onychomadesis (oni-ko-mad-esis).
Most of us have experienced this condition, it describes the reaction of the nail when it has received a hard blow, perhaps by being caught in a door or hit with a hammer! The nail will probably bruise and blacken, it may lift from the base and fall off as the new nail grows out from behind.

Onychatrophia (oni-chat-troh-fee-ah).
This condition is also known as atrophy and it is the wasting away of the nail. The nail becomes dull and starts to break down. The nail looks like it's crumbling away and eventually the remnants of the nail will fall off, it is usually caused by internal disease or injury to the nail matrix.

Psoriasis (sa-ria-sis)
This is a skin disorder caused by excessive cell proliferation. Areas of the skin appear rough and pitted and this also applies to the nail's surface, sometime clients will not be aware that this a medical problem, simply thinking they have rough nails. Other effects are discoloration and extreme pitting Normally the condition is hereditary though it can be brought on by stress and may involve other conditions that cannot be seen.

Disorders that may be serviced by a Nail Technician.

The following conditions, in most mild cases are such that you will be able to offer a service, but be on the look out for extreme cases where it would still be advisable to refuse treatment and refer the client to her doctor. It's your decision but always err on the side of caution and safety.

bruised nails.
The medical term for this is subungual haematoma and although in rare cases it can be caused by blood vessel disease, in most instances it's caused by a blow to the nail. The nail bed is damage and bleeds which leads to maroon discoloration beneoth the nail. The bruise will darken with time and move towards the free edge as the nail grows. Sometimes the nail will fall off as part of the healing process. In mild cases it's OK to apply an overlay, but if the damaged area is large, only offer a basic manicure as the nail is likely to become detached from the nail bed if any other treatment is attempted.

These are ridges or furrows which run either along the length of the nail or across the width. Ridges which run along the length of the nail are usually a normal sign of ageing however those that run widthways can indicate poor circulation or other illness. The nails are usually fragile, so great care must be token when treating them. Extensions are not recommended but o gentle manicure is acceptable. The high points of the ridges may be lowered by careful filing with a fine grit file and the volleys between the ridges may be filled with ridge filler The nail can then be polished.

Discoloured nails.
This can be caused by poor circulation, a heart condition or the side effects of medication. The nail can turn many different colours including yellow, blue, green, grey and purple. Discoloration can also be an indication of a more serious illness, in any case the curious appearance of the nails can be hidden by polish or extensions.

Eggsshell nails.
These are very thin nails curved at the free edge, that are very fragile and easily broken. The condition can be caused by poor diet, a reaction to medication or a disease of the body. Nail extensions must not be applied though a very gentle manicure is acceptable.

Habit tic.
This condition is caused by the sufferer constantly picking at the soft surface of the nail near the cuticle. The picking causes permanent ridges across the which then travel towards the free edge as the nail grows out. Continued picking will cause the entire nail to be covered with ridges. Often only one nail will be picked, usually on the thumb and you can extension in only if the condition is very mild. Be aware though that the extension is likely to be picked off as the habit will continue.

Hang nails
This is a common condition in which the cuticle or pat of the skin around the nail is split. It is usually caused by dryness or excessive trimming of the cuticle. Regular manicures including application of cuticle oil will improve the condition.

Koilon (kol-on-ik-ia)
This condition describes a nail that is the shape of a concave dish and is also known as 'spoon-nails'. it can be caused by over exposure to certain chemicals such as oils or soaps or by on iron deficiency in the body. In these cases if is possible to effect a cure by stopping the contact with soap or oil or by correcting the person's iron deficiency. However it can also be hereditary in which case a cure is not possible. Given that the concave shape curves in the opposite direction to the well at an extension tip it is not recommended that this type of extension be applied, however a sculpted extension can be applied as a tip is not required.

Leukonychla (loo-kon-ik-la).
This condition is also called white spot and is bruising of the nail plate. It can result from aggressive pushing back of the cuticle during a manicure causing damage to the soft new nail growth. Extensions can be worn.

Onychoclasis (onl-cho-klos-lt).
This is a common condition caused by damage to the nail plate. It's a split at the free edge which may travel past the free edge and over the nail bed. If the split is restricted to the free edge, then the split area can be gently filed away and an extension applied. If the split has travelled past the free edge, there is a danger of the nail bed becoming infected through the crack and extensions must nail be applied.

Onychauxis (oni-kik-sis).
This is the opposite condition to Onychatrophia. The nail is thick and overgrown, which is caused by infection, an internal imbalance or genetic problem. As long as the nail is clear of infection the Technician can treat this condition by gently filing away the excess nail. Suitability for wearing extensions will depend on the severity of the condition and the shape of the affected nail.

Onychophagy (oni-kof-aji).
This is probably the most common condition a Nail Technician will encounter. Commonly known as nail biters, clients with this problem subconsciously chew the free edges and sides of the nail. In severe cases the free edge may be bitten back so severely that the residual nail may be only 25% of it's natural size.

Many sufferers see nail extensions as a good way to hide or stop their habit and often this is successful. However the Technician must carefully consider whether the nails are suitable for wearing extensions. If the skin surrounding the nail is in good condition and not infected, and if there is enough nail remaining on which to attach an extension, then the Technician may provide a set of extensions. However working on badly bitten nails requires great skill from the Technician who must possess sound technique and understanding of the problem. If you are unsure whether to treat bitten nails seek the advice of a more experienced Technician or help the client by recommending another Technician who you know to possess the appropriate skill and experience.

This condition describes a lengthwise split along the nails which could be caused by injury, overuse of cuticle treatments or poor filing. it is acceptable to apply nail extensions as long as the split does not extend further into the nail than the free edge.

Pterygium (te-rij-ium}.
This is a mild disorder whereby the cuticle grows forward towards the free edge. it is acceptable for a Nail Technician to help a client with this condition by careful removal of excess culicle.

In case you are not sure!

Should you be unable to accurately identify a condition and are in doubt as to the best course of action, the following guidelines should be followed: If the nail or the skin surrounding the nail is broken, inflamed, infected or swollen the Technician must not provide a nail treatment and must refer the client to her doctor. Broken means a tear, cut or crack in the nail or surrounding skin, that exposes and provides access to deeper layers of the tissue. Inflamed means the skin around the nail is red and sore. Infected skin is red and sore and in addition there will be evidence of pus or weeping. Swollen is when the skin surrounding the nail looks fat and bloated.

Contra actions.
A contra action is a reaction to a nail extension treatment. This could occur during the treatment, or appear some time afterwards and may be caused by an allergic reaction to a particular chemical or through the misuse of tools. It is possible for the same contra action to be caused by different chemicals. It is the duty of the Nail Technician to understand and know how to recognise contra actions, so that thier clients can be given accurate advice and guidance.

Pre-service checklist .
Before you carry out any treatment, you should follow a pre-service routine. You will find this routine invaluable in the salon environment.

Pre sterilise. Every day, pre-sterilise your tools by soaking in disinfectant. Wash. You and your client should wash your hand with an antibacterial disinfectant soap. Sanitise. Sanitise each of your clients nails. Client consultation card. Fill out client consultation and or client history card, it will help you to remember the following key items: Establish the service. Ask her what sort of service she requires, explain each service you offer. Nail disorders. Check for nail disorders and ask if she has had any problems with her nails. Allergies. Ask if she has allergies or sensitive skin. Client history. Find out if she has had nail extensions in the past and if she had any problems.

Home core rules. Inform her of the home care rules, explain that extensions do not last forever and that they have to be looked after and maintained. Give her a copy of the home care guide to take home at the end of the service. Problems. Explain about possible fungal problems and how to avoid them and encourage her to see you within 24 hours if she breaks a nail or has any other problem.

In this section you'll learn the practical skills you need to be able to create a fantastic set of Gel nails. take is slowly* and methodically and you'll be amazed how quickly you acquire professional nail skills.

Chapter 9. Basic techniques.

Ninety percent of nail treatments involve filing and to file efficiently and effortlessly you need to hold the clients fingers and the files correctly, so this is the first skill to master. Please note that all the pictures are of a right handed person, left handed students should use mirror images of the grips and positions shown.

Grips and Positions.

There are five ways of holding the clients fingers, we call these 'Positions'. Each position has a corresponding special way to hold the file, we call these 'Grips'. So you 'Position' your clients fingers and 'Grip' the file. You need the different Positions and Grips to enable you to file different areas of the nails surface without filing the fleshy nail wall, damaging the natural nail or filing into the cuticle. You need to be able to effortlessly swap between the Positions and Grips as you work. By the end of the course these ways of controlling the file and holding the clients fingers should feel very natural and comfortable

The file grips

there are five basic way of gripping the file:

Each grip is used when you file a different area of the nails surface. Used in sequence, you can effortlessly file the entire surface of the nail.

The correct sequence

It's important to note the order which you use these grips when you file the surface: 1. left Edge, 2. Right Edge. 3. Centre, A. Left side 5. Right side. This is the order in

which the areas of the nail are filed. Doing it in this sequence ensures that the nail's shape is well balanced and symmetrical.

You file the left edge first, then when you file the right edge you can copy the completed left edge, so hopefully the same amount of filing and the same shape has been achieved on the left and right. It's the same for the left and right sides. A common mistake is to work across the nail from left to right, during which you'll file more heavily on one side than the other and thus produce a lopsided nail. The corresponding finger Positions. Let's look at how you hold the clients lingers when you ore using the different file Grips.

Combining Positions and Grips.

Now we'll look at how you combine these Grips and Positions when you are filing different areas of the nail. It's really important that you get used to holding the files and fingers the same way each time you work on a nail. Alter a while it becomes second nature and you will be producing consistently good looking nails.

Groove Positions and Grips.

Why do we do it? Alter slicking a tip onto a natural nail there will be a 'step' at the left and right hand side of the nail where the plastic extension tip overlaps the natural nail. The Groove Positions and Grips are used to file it away as well as remove any product that might be trapped between the nail wall and the nail-This process is called 'streamlining'.

Left Groove Position and Grip.

Position: You cradle the clients finger with your thumb and index finger and use your thumb as a guide for the fife. Grip: Hold the file almost vertically so as not to cut your client's cuticle. Apply pressure to the side of the file to press it against the tip. Only one or two strokes are required, just enough to remove the step in the tip. Do not file into the natural nail.

Right Groove Posilion and Grip. This is an identical process to remove the step between tip and natural nail on the right hand side of the nail. position: You cradle the clients finger with your thumb and index finger as before, but this time use your index or middle finger as a guide for the file. Grip: Hold the file almost vertically as before, but this lime apply pressure to the right hand side of the file, press it in against the tip to streamline the right hand side of the tip.

Right Groove finger position, your indexor middle finger guides the file

Right Groove finger position and file grip

The file is always held almost vertically so there is no possibility of filing into the side of the natural nail near the cuticle

First joint Position and Shape Grip. Why do we do it? When the tip is stuck onto the nail there is a step , formed by the end of the tip. This needs to be filed away so it is not visible and so that the tip is blended nicely and naturally into the natural nail. You would also use this Position and Grip if you need to reshape the overlay in any way. Position: The First Joint Position allows access to the centre of the nail from top to bottom and allows you to rotate the clients finger from left to right while filing to prevent flat spots'. You place your thumb, index and middle finger along side of the first joint, which keeps your fingertips clear of the file. Shape Grip: grip the right side of the file between your index and middle fingers and let the left side press up under your thumb. This Grip ensures there is even pressure across the centre of the file.

Hold the fingers along side the first joint

Rotate the finger left and right

When shaping the centre of the nail

As you move the file over the nails surface you angle it down of the cuticle

Flat on the top

And angled up at the free edge

Side Positions and Grips. Why do we do It? After blending the centre of the tip there will be two 'steps' left. One on the left side and one on the right. Also if there are lumps in the Gel you may want to shape and smooth the left and right sides of the overlay. Left side Position: Hold the clients finger tip between your thumb and crooked index finger. You rotate the client's finger sideways to the right and use your thumb to pull down the skin of the left nail wall. This keeps the clients skin clear of the file. Left Grip: Hold the file towards the end and angle it back across the nail. This is the easiest way to get to the left side of the nail. It's also a great grip to use when thinning the tip's free edge.

Rotate finger tip to the right

And pull down nail wall with your thumb

File using the left grip

Right Side Position: Hold the clients finger tip between the side of your thumb and your index or middle fingers. Rotate the client's finger sideways to the left and use either your index finger or middle finger to pull the flesh of the nail wall down, out of the file's way Right Grip: Hold the file at the bottom and place your index finger flat on the file at the top to apply pressure at the contact area.

Rotate fingestip to the left

And pull down nail wall with your index or middle finger

File using the right grip

Free Edge Position and Grip.

Why do we do it? You need to shape the free edge of the natural nail before you apply a tip, and you need to shape the free edge of the tip after it's been applied. Position: You hold the clients finger quite firmly at the side of the nail. As you file the free edge there is a lot of sideways stress applied to the nail and tip, supporting the sides of the nail in this way helps reduce the likelihood of the tip tearing or popping off. You might find it helpful to hook your ring finger under the clients finger tip for even more support and control.

Free Edge Grip: Hold the file at the end between thumb, index and middle fingers. Hold the file at the end so you can use the centre section of the file. Move the file back and forth across the free edge

Support the finger tip with your ring finger

Use the shape grip shaping the free edge

Practising the Positions and Grips.

The sooner you get used to the different Positions and Grips the better. It's well worth just sitting in front of The Nail Trainer with your file and swapping between the various Positions and Grips until you're comfortable with them. A great exercise that will show you how these file Grips and finger positions allow you to accurately cover the whole nail surface can be seen in the video. Watch the section and copy what you see on your own nail trainer; Select a number 6 nail, this nail shape is similar to a nail with an overlay already applied. Using a permanent marker pen, cover the nail with colored ink. This will show you exactly where the file makes contact with the nail. Click it into The Nail Trainer and run through the sequence of positions and Grips in the following order:

1. Use the Left Groove Position and Grip to streamline the left edge of the nail. 2. The Right Groove Position and Grip to streamline the right edge. Make the same number of file strokes and use the same pressure as you did on the left side. 3. Use the First Joint Position and shape Grip to file a thick line down the centre of the nail. 4. Make sure this is nice and central, as you use the sides of the line as a guide when you file the next areas. 5. Use the left Position and pull the nail wall clear with your thumb. Hold the file in the left side Grip. Using the left hand side of the central filed line' as a guide, file down the left hand side of the nail. 6. swap over to the Right Position and Grip and smooth down the right hand side of the nail, using your index or middle finger to pull the nail wall dear 7. When you have finished, you should have no ink left on the nail, and you should have only used the five Positions and Grips as defined above.

The best way to learn is to restrict yourself to one step at a time, and for each of those steps: Run the video and watch step all the way through. Repeat the technique on The Nail Trainer while the video is still fresh in your mind and save the nails you have produced on the Essential Techniques Progress card Read further details about the technique in this book. Review your progress by answering the test questions supplied with the Home learn course.

Initial speeds
When you first start, you will feel very clumsy, everything is new and feels strange, don't worry, this is normal. Every Nail Technician feels like this to start with so initially, expect your own times to be 10 to 20 times slower than the 'Salon Speed Demonstrations' and target speeds on the video. Simply accept that this is going to be your speeds to start with and relax, learn the correct techniques and the speed will follow as a matter of course.

STEP I. Removing nail polish.

You do not have to remove nail polish from The Nail Trainer's nails. In the real world it s simply a matter of applying a little polish remover to a cotton pad and with a side to side, and down motion to remove the polish. If you wish to practice this simple process, then apply some polish to a Nail Trainer's nail, let it dry for 5 minutes then wipe it off with cotton wipes and nail polish remover. It's best not use cotton wool to remove polish as no matter how careful you are. there will always be fibres left in the nail groove or an the surface that can reappear in the overlay later. It's best to use lint-free pads similar to those supplied in the Home Learn course.
And from the nail trainer`s nail Removing nail polish from real nails

Nail polish remover is either alcohol or acetone based, both of which will dry out your and your client's skin. As a Nail Technician, it's you that is at most risk to the possibility of developing a reaction or allergy to these products purely because you'll come into contact with them day in, day out. It's a good idea, especially when you are servicing clients on a regular basis to either use pads with a tab on the back for you to hold, or wear surgical gloves which will minimises the contact you have with chemicals and therefore reduces the likely hood of you developing an allergy through over expo- sure.
A cotton pad is better tan cotton wool

Acetone based polish remover.

Acetone is a solvent that will dissolve lots of different types of plastics, it's used a lot in the nail industry for removing nail enhancements. (See more about acetone in 'Chemicals, hazards and safety procedures'). Some nail polish removers contain acetone. These are designed to remove polish that is applied directly to the natural nail where an extension or overlay has not been applied.

Never use these acetone based polish removers when removing polish from either real nails or The Nail Trainers Nails as this will dissolve the nails, tips, glue and acrylic.

The nail polish remover supplied in some Home Learn courses is Isopropyl Alcohol, which will remove the polish just as well.

STEP 2. Preparing the natural nail,

Object of the exercise.
The object of this step is to provide a clean. sanitazed and 'keyed' surface that the Gel can stick to. This is one of the most important steps in creating any nail enhancement, it's also the one step that gets rushed by a lot of Nail Technicians. If you do not pay meticulous attention to this step then you are likely to have customers coming back with lifting overlays after only a few days. proper preparation is the key to producing long lasting nail enhancements.

The procedure.
You clean and sanitise the surface of the nail with the Gel prep solution. Then push back and remove any cuticle growing over the nail's surface. Then remove any shine with the buffer block. Finally etch the surface of the nail with your file to provide a key for the Gel.

Equipment and product required.

You will need your coarse grit file (black), cotton pods, nail prep / residue remover solution, buffer block, cuticle pusher and duster brush.

Clean the nail with Gel Preparation

Deposit a few drops of nail prep solution onto the cotton pad support the underside of your clients finger tip and stroke the surface of the nail with the pad, press quite hard to get into the corners of the nail and nail walls. This will sanitize the nail and remove some surface oil. Do not use nail 'Primer' as a substitute for the Gel Prep solution provided in the course as this may contain chemicals that will melt The Nail Trainer's nail. Discard the used cotton pad into your waste bin and close the top.

Push back the cuticle.

Next, with the hoof end (coloured red) of the cuticle pusher, push back the cuticle and lift up slightly from the nails surface. Then, only if necessary, gently use the blade edge of the cuticle pusher to remove all bits of dried cuticle or other detritus off of the nail. Pay a grat deal of attention, because if you apply gel to the cuticle, dried cuticle, or anything else sticking on the nail, then the gel will not stick to the nail and your client will come back with a lifting overlay within two or three days.

Removing the shine.

Next you must remove every trace of the surface shine to ensure that the Gel will stick. The easiet way to do this is to use the coarse grit side of a clean buffer block (black). Before you use the block, make sure the edges have been blunted by stripping them with a file.

Select the fine abrasive side and holding it end to end, rotate the block over the nail surface from left to right, then down on both sides. Make sure you get right up the cuticle and into the sides and comers of the nail.

Key the nail

Keying (or etching) is the process of making tiny scratches in the nail's surface, this provides a series of grooves in the surface which the molecules of Gel can grab onto. Use gentle pressure fro the medium side of your black file and make sure you get right into the corners and sides of the nail.

This process also removes any remaining traces of material from the corners and sides of the nail.

To key or not to key?

There is some controversy over whether you need to key the nail like this, There is no doubt that modern Gels and Acrylics stick better than may ever have, and that therefore it may not be necessary to etch the nail at all, thus avoiding the damage and thinning to the natural nail that keying inevitably causes. Our advice is that it's better to gently etch the surface of the nail with a file to ensure there is no shine or cuticle is left on the nail. However if you swap branch, check with the manufacturer in case they offer different advice.

Dust .
Finally, dust the nail with the duster brush to remove the Debris, again any dust left on the nails surface will stop the Gel adhering and be visible under the finished Overlay, ruining the look of the nail

Salon speed demonstration.

This is the part of the video where the 'step by step approach' is replaced by the continuous series of operations that would lake place in a salon. Using a cotton pad and nail prep solution, the nail surface is cleaned. The cuticle is pushed back and any dried cuticle or pterygium is removed from the nails surface. The buffer block is used to remove the shine and then the nail's surface is keyed with the medium grit file. Finally, the nail's surface is dusted to remove all the debris.

Salon target speed.

When your working in a salon, the time taken for preparing each nail is about 1 minute, that s 10 minutes total for both bonds. Remember, you're a beginner so take your time, take 5 or ten minutes the first time you do it .You will speed up later

Practice regime.
This is where the practice begins and the fun starts! Select 10 number 13 nails and click them one at a time into The Nail Trainer. Prepare them all just as described above. When you have finished, you'll probably find that the time you take to prepare the 10th nail is half that taken for the first. Already you are speeding up. Don't throw the nails away, you will use them all later So we can see the standard of your preparation, save two of the nails, the first one you did and the last one in the slots marked nail 1 and nail 10 on your essential techniques progress card. Make a note of the time taken to complete each nail on the card.

Step 3. Nail tipping and blending.

Object of the exercise
The object of step 3 is to extend the length of the natural nail by gluing on an appropriate tip and then blending it into natural nail. The free edge of the extended nail is shaped as required by the client.

Nails tips.
Before applying a tip, lets have a look at the humble nail lip in some detail.

How are tips made?

Tips are made from a plastic called ABS which stands for Acrylonitrile Butadine Styrene. Lots of common household items are made from this plastic, it comes in lots of different colours and can be moulded into complex shapes in a process called 'injection moulding'. This process involves melting the plastic and injecting it into a cavity mould under great pressure and heat using what amounts to a giant syringe. The shape of the cavity in the mould determines the shape of the final product .The molten plastic cools inside the mould, which is eventually opened and the finished item ejected. In the case of nail tips, the mould has lots of small identical cavities, all shaped like nails, so that lots of tips can be moulded at the same time. Some tips are made from virgin ABS, other tips have 'reground' ABS added that is melted for a second time during the moulding process. This 'reground' material is scrap ABS being recycled. Although the recycling of waste material is generally a good idea, if too much old ABS is added, the resultant product is of poor quality, but it will be cheaper.

how to choose a nail tip.

You will see lots of different nail tips in all shapes andsizes, the selection we supply with the Home learn course is a high Qualify virgin ABS tip, with a 'middle of the range' shape in a set of sizes from small to large. Be aware that this range of tips will not be suitable for the vast diversity of shapes and sizes of finger and nails you will come across in a career doing nails. As a beginner, all you need to know at the moment is that there is a tip made to fit almost every conceivable shape and to satisfy every taste in style. Obviously you will have to have a wide range of tips on hand when you start to work professionally. Let's have a quick look at some of the issues involved In choosing a tip. material. Always choose a tip manufactured form virgin ABS. They will be slightly; more expensive than tips that contain a high quantity of regrind. but these cheaper tips will be more brittle and tend to turn a yellowish colour after a while. Length. All tips are moulded with an very long free edge. The reason is obvious, you simply cut them back to the length required by the client. She chooses how long she wants to wear her nails. Width. You will need the standard range of tip widths to fit nails from a thumb through to the pinkie. Tips generally have a tiny number stamped on the underside which indicates the size. 0 being a large tip and 10 being a small tip.

Be aware that this is not a universal numbering system. A 'number 4' tip from one manufacture will not necessarily be the same size as a 'number 4' from an alternate supplier. They will be roughly the same size, but not exactly. This goes for all the other attributes of the tip as well. You may occasionally come across a large nail for which even the number 0 tip is too small, the only way you can offer this client a treatment is to sculpt the free edge over a form. If you fit a tip that is too wide, the edges will press down into the flesh of your client, causing discomfort. if the tip is too narrow, then the tip will look horrible and be weak at the sides. Side walls. Some tips have straight side walls and others are tapered. Choose the one that best matched the side wall shape of your clients nails. Shape of the contact area. You will see nail tips with differently shaped contact areas. There are three main reasons for the different shapes: 1. Those with a cutout have been designed to minimize the time taken during blending by reducing the amount a material that has to be removed.

2. The contact area should cover no more than 30% of the natural nail, so different sized contact areas are required.

3. The popular white French tip has a small strip-like contact area which is also forms the smile line. You do not blend these tips and the contact area is very small.

Do not press down a deep C curve tip onto a flat nail as this will set up a stress in the tip which may crack later and will feel uncomfortable to the client, as the tip is always trying to 'spring oft' of the nail. Like wise trying to push the sides of a shallow tip onto a deep curved nail risks a problem with poor adhesion and air pockets at the side.

If you find that you have a good match of the 'C curve, but that the tip is too narrow, simply reduce the width of the tip with your file before application.

Stress area. Have a look at the apex of the tip (the highest point on the tip, where the top of the 'C curve and the upper arch intersect). The thickness of the plastic tip should be greatest here, this is point of maximum stress on a correctly applied tip, so therefore needs to be strong. Some cheaper tips save costs by leaving this area thin.

Applying a tip.
Now let's look at the practical aspects of applying a tip. Run the section on video.

The procedure.
First you select the correct size tip to fit the nail. Then shape the free edge of the natural nail to fit the well in the tip. And reduce the width of the tip if its too big. Then clean the natural nail. Glue the tip onto the nail. Cut the tip to length. Blend the top and sides of the tip into the nail. Finally shape the free edge of the tip to the desires of the client

Equipment and product required.

You'll need a manicure brush, tissue pad, tip adhesive, the box of tips, the coarse file (black) and your buffer block (black).

Choosing the correct size of tip

The primary requirement is to match the 'C curve' of the tip to the curve of the natural nail. The width of the tip has to be the same, or wider than the width of the natural nail and the arch has to follow the lines of the natural nail.
Match the c curves

Remember you don't a full range of tip sizes supplied in the Home Learn course, just a selection that will fit The Nail Trainer. We have deliberately chosen lips that are NOT a perfect fit as this will imitate what it is like in the real world, you rarely find a tip that is a perfect fit in every way. So choose a tip that looks about the right shape, we've chosen not to tell you which tip fits which nail as this would be too easy, it's your job to make the decision.
pick a tip that the same width or wider

Shaping the free edge.

Now you have to shape the free edge of the natural nail so its the same shape as the well in the underside of the tip. You must get a good fit for a strong joint. If there is a gap between the step and the free edge, dirt and moisture can get trapped which is unhygienic and will spoil the look of the smile line. Also a good fit here means that the tip will be really strong as the adhesive will bond the tip and nail together between the front of the free edge and the step in the tip.

Shape the free edge to match the curve at the stop point

A gap appears as a grey line

File the nail until there is no gap

4. This click is important, it Tells you that the step in the tip's well is located on the free edge of the natural nail.

Rotate the nail and look out for air pockets

5. Next, gently rotate the tip upwards, to a horizontal position, and push down firmly.

6. Keep pushing and hold still. For 15 seconds or so.

Rotating the tip in this way pushes air pockets out from under the tip.

Air pockets are visible, white areas under the nail tip.

Problems sticking on tips.

Applying tips properly, without air pockets, takes practice. Please don't get discouraged If the tip doesn't stick perfectly the first time you try, simply try again. Here are some common mistakes made by beginners and how to avoid them: 1. A common mistake is to keep the bottle tilted down when you are spreading the glue in the tip's well. so all the time more and more glue is coming out. When you came to put the tip on the nail there's far too much and the tip will not stack. 2. Your hand is moving slightly when you're holding the tip on the nail. Perhaps you are pressing down really hard and you're really tense which makes me muscles in your hand and arm jitter. You must hold the tip still for ten seconds, count it out slowly, and try and relax. 3.You are using old glue. Cynoacrylate tip glues lose about half of their gluing strength in about three months (it depends upon temperature, humidity etc.), so if you've got an old glue, it may not stick at all. We buy in glues in small weekly batches so as not to store them on the shelf for a long time, so hopefully they arrive to you still at full strength. But we know that some students delay starting their course for a few months after receiving the course and then find that the glue will not stick, because it's now out of date. 4.Cynoacylote glues set much quicker in a moist environment than a dry one. So the humidity of the air can drastically affect the setting time. You might find one day when the weather is warm and wet, that the glue works really well, another day when it's been dry for a while, or the central heating has dried out the air. the glue takes a lot longer to set. Placing a glass of water on the table sometimes helps under these circumstances. 5- The tips will stick easier to real people than The Nail trainer. This is because The Nail Trainer's nails are cold and dry relative to red nails. So, master the gluing technique on The Nail Trainer and when you move onto real clients you will find it a little easier.

6.Insieod of locating the free edge up against the stop point in the tip's well, the step is sitting on top of the free edge. This leaves a gap under the tip that the glue cannot possibly fill, the tip falls off when you let go. 7.The other common fault is to leave a gap between the free edge of the nail and the back stop in the tip. This makes for a weak tip and allows dirt to accumulate in the gap Practice positioning the tip up against the free edge and pulling down, listening for the click as the free edge locates in the step. Then rotate, keeping the tip located. 8. Can't get rid of air bubbles. This is due to not quite enough adhesive being applied, or too much pressure being applied so that the adhesive is squeezed out the side of the tip. We sometimes advise our students to practice the gluing operation using cuticle oil. Put a drop in the well of the tip, apply the tip as normal and then try applying different pressures to the tip. You can see the oil moving under tip, if there is an air bubble you can practice applying the correct amount of pressure to squeeze it out. Without the time pressure of having the glue set in 1O seconds. You can play with the oil for as long as you wish.

Glue setting nails

The Nail Trainer tip glue has been specially formulated to mimic the setting times of glues designed for warm hands where heat and moisture makes the glue set quicker. So do not use normal glues on The Nail Trainer as it would take 30 or more seconds to set. The tip adhesive supplied with the Home Learn course sets in about 15 seconds on the cold and dry Nail trainer nails.

Cutting the tip

You should have discussed the length and style of the nail required with your client, if it's her first set of enhancements advise her to have them fairly short. Cut the tip to the desired length using the clippers, clip the left side and the right side and twist the excess off. Do not worry too much about the shape at this stage, the final shape of the free edge is created with your file later.

There are clippers available that shear the tip of in one go, however we do not advise beginners to use these as it is possible to exert a lot of leverage onto the tip while cutting. Using the clippers to cut each side separately transmits for less shock and stress to the tip.

Streamlining the edges of the tip.

The object of the exercise. After the tip is glued on there will be a step at the right and left sides of the nail at the end of the tip contact area, there might also be some tip adhesive that has run into the groove between nail and side wall. Streamlining removes the step, clears any adhesive and also gives you a opportunity to straighten up the sides of the tip if they are not parallel.

Free edge shapes.

The shape of the free edge is chosen by the client with advice and guidance from you, the nail technician. If the client is happy to leave the choice to you, a good rule of thumb which always produces a well balanced looking nail is to copy the shape of the clients cuticle.

Other than this there are only a few basic shapes you need to learn: square, squoval (a mix of square and oval) or oval. Obviously you can then modify these basic shapes, for example by slightly rounding the edges of the square shape.

The shape of the nail simply depends upon the angle you hold the file. For a square nail hold the vertically.

For a squoval nail, hold the top of the file slightly towards you.

And for an oval nail hold the file almost horizontally.

The trick here is to keep the file square to the nail. In other words the file should always be 90 degrees (a right angle) to the centre line of the nail. As you are holding the file at one end, it is quite easy to be accidentally filing at an angle, which produces a lop sided free edge shape.

The other advice is to try and keep the pressure, angle of the file, and number of strokes constant from one nail to the next, in this way you are learning 'repeatability'. Your muscles, eyes and hands will start to memorise the actions required to produce the same shaped free edge time and time again. It's just like a guitarist playing a song, at first he learns the chords slowly, and by practicing the chord changes over on over, at some point he can forget what his hands are doing, they have 'learnt' how to form the shapes needed for a particular song and can be repeated at will to form new songs, This leaves lots of brain power left for singing, jumping around, posing, drinking beer and sleeping with girls.

Thinning the free edge of the tip.

One at the things that makes nail enhancements look false is the thickness of the lip when viewed end on, they always look thick and unnatural. This is because the tips are moulded to be thinnest at the extreme end of the long free edge, most of which will have been cut off. By trimming the lips back like this, you get closer and closer to the stress area, which you have already learned is the thickest and strongest part of the tip.

So to make them look more natural we reduce the thickness of the tip at the free edge. Hold the clients finger using the First Joint Position and the file using the left side grip and use the coarse side of the file. Lift the finger so you can look directly down the barrel of the nail. You want to halve the thickness of the tip, so beginning at the right side, hold the file at a slight upward angle off the back of the nail and file the edge of the tip using gentle, circular movements. Rotate the finger from the right to the left and continue to file until the whole of the edge is pleasantly thin to the eye. Do not 'over file' and make it wafer thin.

Blending the seam.

The seam line {or contact area) is the overtop portion where the tip has been glued to the natural nail. At the moment there is a huge step at the back of the tip and the tip looks as though if s simply stuck onto the top of the natural nail, which of course it has! By blending the tip into the natural nail you are trying to create the illusion that the nail and tip is a single item, not two parts stuck together. You want the pink of the natural nail to show through the tip and then the nail to turn while at a nicely defined and natural looking smile line.

Do not file further, or you will be damaging the natural nail. Use most pressure on the upward strokes, as down ward strokes have a tendency to pull the tip up off the nail at the featherd edge.

Blending the left side.

Remember the exercise you carried out with the number 6 nail and the permanent marker pen? You filed down the centre of the nail, this gave you a 'line' down the centre. Look for that line now, it won't be so easy to see as the inked nails, but it is there. You follow the left and right sides of this line when blending the left and right sides of the seam. Hold the finger in the Left Side Position, pull the side wall down with your thumb and hold the file with the Left Side Grip. Using the medium grit side of the file, blend the middle to the left hand portion of the nail tip into a feather edge where it meets the natural nail.

Use most pressure on the upward strokes, and hardly any pressure on the downward strokes. This makes the best feathered edge.

Blending the right side.

Swap over to the right side position and right side grip, use your index or middle finger crooked to pull the client's flesh clear of the file. Rotate the finger to the left and blend with the medium side of the file. Using pressure on the upward strokes, blend the tip into a feather edge just as it meets the natural nail.

Don't forget to look between each stroke when the tip starts to thin out, you want to stop filing when a feather edge is achieved.

Fine blending.
You use quite a coarse file to blend the tip because you want to remove the tip material quickly, but this leaves lots of tiny scratch marks which if left will make the final nail look cloudy.

You now need to buff these out using the medium side of the buffet block. The buffet will also help to smooth out any ridges or flat spots creates by your file. Buff the top, buff the tight side and the left side until all the scratches disappear Finally, using the manicure brush, sweep away the filing debris, ready for the first application of Gel.

Salon speed demonstration. This is the part of the video where the 'step by step approach' is replaced by the continuous series of operations that would take place in a salon. Watch the video as Gino runs through the tipping and blending process at normal speed. Choose the correct sized tip. Shape the free edge of the natural nail. Size the tip's width. Brush off the debris. Apply glue to tip. Place the tip on the nail at the correct angle, pull down, click to locate the free edge in the step Rotate the tip, beware of air pockets. Wait for glue lo set 10 to 20 seconds. Cut the tip lo length. Streamline the left edge. Streamline the right edge. Shape the free edge. Thin the free edge. Blend the centre seam. Blend the left side. Blend the right side. fine blending. Dust.

Suggested practice regime. When you try out tipping, take as much time as you need and work through the eight remaining nails that you prepared in step two (remember two nails were saved at the end of step 2). Concentrate on maintaining the correct grips and doing a good job, rather than speed, but note the start and end time for as you tip and blend each nail. When you have finished all 8, save the first and last one you did (nails 2 and 9) on your 'Essential Techniques Progress card' in the step 3 position. Fill in how long it took you to complete each nail, and keep the remaining six nails for the next step.

STEP 4. The Gel overlay.

Object of the exercise.
Gel is used to strengthen the join between tip and natural nail, to strengthen the entire nail and provide o blemish free natural looking surface.

The procedure.
First, you sanitise and dehydrate the nail with the Gel prep and residue remover. Then you apply the first thin, coating layer of Gel. You then cure the first layer of Gel in the light box. You then apply a second 'building layer' of Gel to add body, shape and strength Cure the second layer. Check the shape for lumps and bumps Decide whether to correct the shape by filing

Equipment and product required.

You'll need Gel prep liquid, lint free cotton pads. Gel, the light box, Gel brush, a kitchen towel, manicure brush and the remaining 6 nails from step 3. You'll also need a power socket close by for your light box.

Clean any debris away from the nail's surface with a quick wipe of the brush and sanitize and dehydrate the nail plate by tipping a little Gel prep onto a cotton pad and rub into the surface of the nail. Make sure you get right into the corners and that no dust is left on the nail. Do not use soap and water, the nail surface must be completely dry before application. The Gel prep liquid sanitizes, dehydrates and removes any sticky residue all in one. Check with the manufacturer if you are using different Gel products than those supplied with the Home learn course, you may have separate products for sanitation, dehydration, and cleaning, plus they may require a separate primer.

Acetone problems.
Some 3 in one products contain acetone. Look what happens if you put too much onto The Nail Trainer's nail. Acetone is used to soak off tips, Acrylics, Gels and Fiberglass off real nails, so it's designed to attack plastics. The Nail Trainers nails are plastic, use it sparingly on them. The Gel prep and residue remover supplied in the Home Learn course does not contain acetone, so it's fine for use on The Nail Trainer. If you swap brands check the ingredients of the Gel prep to see if it contains acetone.

The power of light boxes.

Light boxes come in various shapes, sizes and power. Some are expensive, being high power, 18 to 35 watts, with multiple lights and a timer. Some are cheaper, with a single 6 or 9 watt light. It's a trade-off, the low power units will take longer to cure, but are safer. The high power units, designed for rapid cure in the salon may cause the client to feel discomfort so you need to have some experience to use these. So while you are learning, where you don't need to Cure fast as in a salon. it's best to have a medium power light. The one supplied in the Home Learn course is a high Quality 9 watts unit. It will cure the Gel in about 2 minutes, but we advise you, as beginners to let the Gel cure for a longer period. You cannot 'over cure' Gel, but if you do not cure it enough, then the nails are ruined and the non cured Gel can cause irritation for the client. It's better to over cure than under cure.

Cure application 1. The bonding layer

Be very careful when handling client fingers with the wet Gel on the nail. It's very easy to drag the soft Gel on the side of lamp. Place the nail under the UV light and switch on. leave for six minutes, this is an extra long time to guarantee that the Gel is fully cured before are the next layer is applied.

Move your brush and Gel away from the lamp while Its on, or the Gel will cure there tool!

Remove the hand from the UV lamp.

After six minutes remove the hand from the UV light. The Gel will have hardened, leaving a sticky residue on the surface. Do not touch it, the sticky residue helps the next layer to bond, and touching it will contaminate the Gel with oil from your fingers.

Application 2. The building layer.

The correct shape.
You build up the shape of the nail with the Gel, you want a natural looking 'C curve' and a smooth curving arch.

You create this by applying the gel thinly at the cuticle Leaving it thicker at the crown

And sweeping down to a thin free edge

Cure the second layer

Put the lid on your Gel, place the nail under the UV light and leave for five minutes. Make sure the fingers are flat, with the nails horizontal as the Gel cures. If the fingers are at on angle the Gel will slide sideways as it sets and your client will have horrible lop sided nails! After five minutes remove the nail from the light box and switch it off-.Always switch off the light box when not curing nails, is preserves the life of the UV bulb which lose their power offer a few months. The Gel will have a sticky surface, don't touch it!

Checking the shape.

Have a good look at the nails shape. Does it look good or can you see some lumps or dips? Is it a nice shape or is there too much Gel on the free edge or sides? II the nail looks good you con skip the next filing stage and move straight on to applying the final layer of Gel. Now, the Home Learn course is for beginners, so your Gel application is likely to be for from perfect, tou will need to correct the shape with a file. Eventually with practice you'll be able to skip this as you'll be able to shape a beautiful layer of Gel that doesn't need filing. But before we can smooth the lumps with a file, we need to remove the sticky residue.

Why is the cured Gel still sticky?

After curing the Gel, you might be surprised to find a thin layer of a sticky substance left on the surface of the Gel, this is called the dispersion layer and it happens with all Gels. The Gel underneath the sticky surface is fully cured, the sticky layer consists of mostly non cured Gel. If you are applying more Gel you do not need to remove this layer, simply applying new Gel directly onto the sticky layer and cure again. The sticky layer can be removed by wiping over with residue remover (alcohol), but only do this if you have finished the Gel application, as new Gel will not stick to shiny Gel, only to the sticky layer or to a buffed up Gel surface.

Remove the sticky residue.

Tip a little residue remover onto a cotton pad and wipe over the nail surface to remove the sticky residue. Do not scrub the nail as this will spread the residue onto the nail wall, the best technique is to pull the residue. Off the front of the nail in one continuous motion, fold the cotton pad over and repeat the action using the clean side of the tissue. If you go back and re-wipe the nail with a dirty pad, then you are bound to deposit old residue onto your clients cuticle. So, for each wipe you make over the nail, use a clean piece of the pad and when working the whole hand, use a separate pad for each nail. This ensures that you won't transfer sticky residue from one nail to the next or onto the surrounding skin where it can cause an irritation. If you find that you cannot seem to get rid of the residue, and the surface is dull, the chances are that the gel has cured properly. Either you need to cure for longer, or your UV bulb is dirty or worn out, or the nail was not directly under the UV lamp. Remember the UV bulb in the lamp loses its effectiveness after 4 to 6 months (or about 120 hours continuous use). It will still glow blue, but it will stop curing the gel fully.

Salon speed demonstration,

Have a look at the video and watch as Gina runs through the first two Gel applications at salon speed. Remember, the curing times shown here, six minutes for layer 1 and five minutes for layer 2 are a little longer than you would probably use in a salon, but we want to make sure that the layers are fully cured. Also in the salon you would be curing 4 fingers at once, not just one I Brush away and debris. Prep the nail. Application 1. The bonding layer. Cure first application. Application 2. The building layer. Cure the second application. Check the shape. If the Gel needs filing, remove the sticky residue.

Practice regime
Take the remaining six nails you tipped and blended in Step 3 and apply the two layers of Gel to them. Remover the sticky residue and save two of them, {nails 3 and 8) on your card in the 'Step 4' position, When you send in your completed cards for examination, the tutor will be able to see the quality of your Gel application before you correct any irregularities with your file.

STEP 5. Finishing,
The object of the exercise is to smooth out any lumps or bumps in the overlay, create a pleasing shape, buff to a smooth surface and add a final sealing layer of Gel.

The correct shape.

The shape you want to achieve is a natural looking C curve and arch, not too high at the crown, sweeping down to a thin free edge. So the overlay thickness starts at a feather edge near the cuticle, thickens to its maximum thickness and strength at the crown, and back thin again at the free edge. At this point you can do one of three things, depending upon how good the nail looks.

1. If the shape of the Gel is generally OK, but there are a few lumps or it's slightly misshapen, then you correct the shape with your file, using the filing techniques you've already learned. 2. If you've managed to create a perfect shape, you can go straight on to the final Gel layer without any filing. 3. Or, if there's a dip, or not enough Gel on the nail, you can add more Gel. There's no rule that says you have to apply two coats, three coats or six coats. if you're not happy with the thickness or shape of the Gel, and you think that by adding more Gel you can improve it, go ahead. A note here, many people think you can't file Gels Of course you can! In fact unlike acrylics, which can take hours to fully harden. Gel nails are fully cured as soon as they leave the light box, so it's actually safer and easier to file them than Acrylics. The final Gel layer will bond just fine and look nice and shiny.

To file or not to file?

It's decision time. Obviously it's better and quicker if you don't have to file, so have a good look at the surface before you decide what to do next. Look side ways over the surface of the nail and try and catch some reflected light, the surface should look perfectly smooth and rounded. If it looks good, there's no point in spending time filing it, go ahead and apply a final coat of Gel, and you're done, but if you can see some imperfections we need to do a little work with a file! Because you're learning, your Gel application is likely to have lumps and bumps for the first few sets you create, so here's what you do to correct them.

The procedure.
You use the some filing techniques you learned earlier, but use the white file to remove big bumps, and the yellow file for minor blemishes.

You work over the complete nail surface with your chosen file. Then buff with the fine side of the white buffer block to remove any scratches. You then remove any dust and apply a final coat of Gel to seal and protect Finally you rub in some cuticle oil to rehydrate the nail surround and cuticle.

equipment and product required.

You'll need, your fine (yellow) or medium {white) file and buffer block (white), manicure brush. Gel, Gel brush, light box, a kitchen towel, residue remover, cotton pads and the remaining 4 nails from step 4.

The final application of Gel.

The final application of gel should be thin, like a coat of polish. You apply it in exactly the same way as you did the first bonding layer. Dip your brush into the gel, you need a small bead on the flat of the brush and apply it down the middle of the nail, spread it down the left side, being careful not to get any on the side wall and then down the right side. Stroke over the entire surface to smooth the gel.

Cure the final layer.

Place the nail under the UV light and switch on, leave it under the lamp for five minutes, make sure the nail is right under the lamp.

Remove the sticky residue. When the Gel is cured, remove the hand from the lamp and as before, tip a little residue remover onto a cotton pad and pull forward over the nails surface to remove the sticky residue. Fold the pad over so each wipe uses a clean area of the pad.

Clean your brush

after you've finished applying Gel during a treatment, you need to clean off any Gel adhering to the brush and bristles. If you don't, the Gel on the brush will eventually set hard due to the UV light occurring naturally in the environment. When this happens you have no alternative but to throw the brush away. To clean your brush, tip a little residue remover onto a new cotton pad, fold the pad over the bristles of the brush and pull through two or three times. Spread the bristles out onto the towel, when they stop sticking together the brush is clean. Put the brush away, out of sunlight, along with the Gel and other products.

Buffing to a high shine.

II your client wants her nails polished with colour polish, then it's not necessary to buff up to a high shine, the polish itself dries to a very deep shine. If however she wants to leave the nails natural looking, then you should do some more work to bring up the shine using the three way buffer. Start with black side, buff rapidly over the entire surface, switch to the white side and finally to the grey side. This will bring out the highest possible shine. You must use the three way buffer in this order; black, white and grey. If you use it the other way around, the nail will remain dull.

Applying cuticle oil

The nail building process uses chemicals that dehydrate the nail and surrounding nail walls and cuticle, your customer will notice that her skin feels really dry. To put some moisture and oils back, put a drop or two of cuticle oil on the nails surface and massage it well into the nail in all areas. You should now have a beautiful, natural looking nail.

Keys and money

At this point in the treatment you should ask your client to get her car keys out, and pay you for the service. You always do this now, before any application of coloured polish or top coat etc. because the last thing you want is your great, new nails damaged by your client fumbling in her purse for a pen or keys while the her polish is still wet.

Clean hands.
Then ask your client to wash her nails, nail walls, and finger tips, tops and undersides, using antibacterial soap and a manicure brush. Remind her to dry them thoroughly before she returns. This removes any chemicals adhering to the skin that could cause eventually trigger an allergic reaction in the client.

STEP 6. Polishing
The object of the exercise.
After spending so much time creating a perfect nail, it is a pity to spoil it by a poorly applied coat of polish. It's skill that many people find difficult to master because you have to be quick, deliberate and accurate and get it right first time! A blemish free coat of polish will compliment, protect and beautify your nail work, however many of your clients will request the natural look, in which case a coat of clear polish or top coot should be applied.

Base coats
You can, if you wish, apply a base coat prior to applying the final colour polish. Base coats have a different consistency than normal polishes, you will find they are stickier. The idea is that they adhere to the nail more easily providing a key for the colour polish. In our experience they are more effective when used on the natural nail than on enhanced nails, but if you are used to using a base coot, by all means use them on Gel nails. We do not use a base coat in the Home Learn course but the application is the same for base coat as for coloured polish or top coats. Nail strengtheners / hardeners. These are for use only on the natural nail, follow the manufacturers advice on these products.

Ridge fillers
Many peoples nails have ridges running length wise along them, by applying a ridge filler, the valleys are filled in so that when the polish is applied it looks nice and smooth. The liquid is even thicker than base coat and takes a while to set, they are only used on the natural nail, as the process of creating nail enhancements fills in any ridges in the natural nail. Ridge fillers are applied in the same way as nail polishes.

It's all too easy to spoil an elegant set of nails with a garish polish that can make the client look uncoordinated. Some colours can make your customers look radiant and healthy others will make her look sickly. if you want to investigate colour effects mote extensively than why not visit your local library or art shop where you will find a range of books on the subject. We can give you a very rough guide which splits people into four main skin types and suggests colours that compliment, but please be aware that it takes a considerable amount of time and experience to attune your sense of colour.

Type 1: 'spring' colouring.

These clients have fair complexions with a gold hue, the skin tones are described as 'peachy' or creamy. The colours that most compliment will be yellow based which will add warmth. Avoid blue's and dark red tones on the nails.

Type 2: 'summer' colouring.

She will have a delicate complexion with a slight blue hue and a tinge of pink or beige. You should avoid yellow based colours, orange and gold. Any yellow on the nail will tend to make the skin look unclean. Use colours with a blue base for the best complimentary look.

Type 3: 'autumn' colouring.

This client may be blond or redhead, and she can wear strong colours such as brown based terracotta, bronze or gold. Avoid blue based, pinks, reds and purples.

Type 4; 'winter' colouring.

This client will have either a bluish or yellowish cast to her skin, you'll find primary or blue based colours work best for her. Avoid gold, brown and orange-red.

1.Make your first stroke from just in front of the cuticle, without touching it, then press gently down to spread the bristles and make one stroke to the free edge of the nail. 2.Then repeal the process on the left side. 3.Then the right side, following the side of the nail each time.

You have to work quickly, as the polish starts to dry as soon as it's on the nail. Try and cover the nail with just these three strokes (obviously if the nail is huge you may need one more) and then leave the polish to find its own level. The second coat will cover any streaks or patches in the first, so don't try and remove them by continuing to stroke the nail, because the polish will dry and drug and you'll end up with even worse streaks and blobs. Add another coat, be quick or the polish will drag as it Starts to dry. Make sure you have a lot of polish on the brush, so the new layer slides over the first layer easily. Stroke the nail a couple of times in the centre to smooth the stroke lines, then leave it to find its own level.

Top coat
You can apply a clear topcoat in exactly the same way . The top coat protects the nail polish and brings out the colour and a high shine.

In the real world client often smudge theri polish when it's drying, to prevent this ask them to interlock their fingers like this.

Others tips on polishing

Sell your client a bottle of the same colour polish for touching up or matching her toe nails If you make a mistake during polishing, don't try and reactify it while the polish is drying. Leave it, continue to finish the other nails and then return to it when it's dry. Then you can decide to either cover up the mistake or remove the polish and start again If she has a really wide nail, leave a gap down the sides, clear of polish, this will make the nail look narrower. Tell your client why you are leaving the gap. Limit yourself to a maximum of six strokes for even the largest of nails. Three is normally enough Practice polishing on The Nail Trainer's number 6 nails, they are like a nail with an extension .You can wipe off the polish with non acetone remover and use them again. polish looks better if there a gap around the sides and cuticle, rather than if it touches the cuticle or side walls.

Salon target speed.

The salon target speed is 20 seconds for each finger, to do two coats and a top coat, that's about 3 minutes for both hands.

Suggested practice regime.

To complete this part of the Home Learn course, toke the remaining two nails you finished in Step 5, nails five and six and polish and top coat them as described above. Save these two nails in positions five and six on the Essential Techniques Progress card. You will get plenty more practice at polishing in the next section: Working the Whole Hand.

Part 3. Working The Whole Hand.

Improving technique and speed. Till now you have been working on one nail size and one finger. Now is the lime to start practicing on the entire hand to improve your technique and increase your work rate. The following exercises will teach you how to manipulate the whole hand and work on different nail sizes.

Chapter 11. Creating your first set of 5 nails.

The procedure.
This is more like working on a real client, but do not attempt it until you are happy with the basic techniques you learnt in part 2, this is what you'll see and learn; To prepare, you'll click in a Set of nails into The Nail Trainer, using all five sizes. Then you'll prepare all five natural nails. Then tip them all using different sizes of tips. You then apply two layers of Gel to the fingers and cure in the light box and then to the thumb and cure. You'll then finish by filing and bulling if required, and applying the final coat of Gel to fingers and thumb. Finish off with 2 coats of polish and one clear clear.

Using the light box on the whole hand.

When working on both hands of a real client you would: 1. Apply Gel to the four fingers of the left hand and then cure them together in the UV lamp. 2. Then repeat the process on the right hand, curing all the four lingers together 3. You'd then apply Gel to both thumbs and cure them together in the light box. This obviously speeds things up no end. So, on The Nail Trainer, the first application of gel goes on all four fingers. Cure them by placing them all under the light for six minutes, then apply the Gel to the thumb and cure separately. Similarly for the second and their applications of Gel, apply to the fingers, cure them. Then to the thumb and cure It separately.

Working on the hand.

Work form the pinky to the thumb, preparing each nail in turn as you did in Step 2. Sanitise your hands and your clients hands and push back the circles on all five fingers.

Buff off the shine

Make sure you get into the corners of all the nails and remove every bit of shine. Resist the temptation to wipe dust off of the nail, with your fingers and be careful when you are working on each finger that you fold the completed prepared nails Out of the way so they don't get touched. If you touch a prepared nail, you'll need buff it up again to remove the oil from your fingers.

Dust off any debris

Working from the thumb to the pinky, select a tip for each size of nail. Size the width of the tip to match and glue the tip on. Select and size the five and then glue them on one after the other.

When youve glued the tip onto the pinky, switch back to the thumb which will be well stuck by now, and trim the tip to length. Work back along the fingers and trim all the tips to the same length.

Then blend and shape the tips one after the other with your black file, buff and dust.

Apply the bonding and building layers of Gel.

Bonding layer. Apply a thin layer of Gel to all four fingers and cure in the UV light box for six minutes.

Apply a thin layer of Gel to the thumb and cure for six minutes.

Building layer. Apply the building layer to all four fingers, being vary careful with the nails that have Gel on as you work along the four fingers. Cure all four together in the UV box for five minutes, and repeat the building layer on the Thumb. You cannot cure the fingers and thumbs together as the thumb will sit sideways in the light box and therefore half of it will be in the shade and will not be cured.

When all fingers and the thumb are cured have a good look at the nails. If there are lumps and bumps of the Gel shape looks wrong, remove the sticky residue and correct the shape with your white and yellow files. If it looks good, apply a final thin layer of Gel onto the sticky residue and cure. If you have filed the Gel, make sure there is no shiny areas left, and then apply and cure the third sealing layer of Gel.

Remove any sticky residue and clear any Gel in the nail grooves by streamlining left and right with your yellow file. Tidy up the tree edges it required.

Working along the fingers, apply a coat of polish to each nail from pinky to thumb. Use three strokes on the fingers and four on the thumb. Switch back to the thumb and apply a second coat, when you get to the pinky, switch back to the thumb again and apply a coat of top coat. Let the nails dry for at least fifteen minutes before removing them from The Nail Trainer.

Practice regime.
To complete the course you need to practice sixty hands, that's three hundred nails. By the end of the process your times should be about 45 minutes for the hand. You may need to replenish your stocks of Nail Trainer Nails and product, please call the office for more Supplies. Repeat the five steps on each set of nails, and save each tenth set on the whole hand practice card. For the 20th. 40th and 60th set do not apply coloured polish, apply only a top coat. This is so we can more easily see the quality of the overlay.

Fiberglass nails are not so popular as Gel or Acrylic nails but in some ways they are superior. They're the first choice for a client that bites her nails and if applied well will look very natural. There's no Adour during application and the chemicals used are friendlier. The finished nails are really tough and are easier to remove than the other systems. Fiberglass is the favorite system for a select bond of Nail Technicians. In the Home Learn Fiberglass nails course, you get everything you need to learn this particular system. After learning about the nail industry, your tools, and products, we show you how: To extend the length of the natural nail with tips and how to blend them smoothly into the natural nail. You'll then learn how to apply layers of resin, lay in the fiber strips and add more resin to make the fiber weave invisible. You'll find out how to use accelerator to set the resin and you'll see how to add further layers of resin to strengthen and enhance the nails shape. Finally you buff, shine and polish to produce fantastic looking nails.

Part 4. Maintaining Gel Nails

When you start working on paying clients, they will be expecting you to maintain their nails. You will advise them to come back every two weeks for a maintenance treatment, or at any time if they have damaged the nails or are experiencing some other problem, so you'll need to know about the common maintenance and repair tasks, the good news is that you will be using a lot of the techniques you learnt in the your basic Home Learn or classroom course so you should feel comfortable tackling the tasks. You can practice many of the them on the Nail Trainer before trying them on real clients.

Chapter 12. Defining the maintenance tasks.

Let's have a look at the main maintenance tasks separately, in isolation. In reality many of the tasks become combined. For example, if you are filing out a section of lifting product, you would naturally rebalance the nail at the same time, because you're filing that bit of the nail anyway. If you are back filling the regrowth area you will fill any chipped areas of product at the some time. The main tasks are: 1. How to rebalance the nail. 2. How to repair any crocks or chips. 3. How to correct and replace any lifting product. 4. How to remove nail extensions and overlays

What is rebalancing?
The nail enhancement is built on a growing, natural nail. The nail grows at about three millimeters (1/8 inch) a month, so the nail tip and the overlay on top of that grows out at the same rate. So after a few weeks: 1. A slight ledge appears at the cuticle area. 2. The apex of the nail has moved. 3. The smile line has moved. 4. The free edge has lengthened.

Rebalancing the nail returns the nail to the pristine condition it was in immediately after the application by shortening and thinning the free edge, moving the apex back, and filling in the gap at the cuticle. The most difficult bit of the process is to file in such a way that there is no visible line between product and natural nail after the maintenance is complete. In other words, you cannot see a 'white demarcation line' where product and natural nail meet. If you can gel a perfect blend then your client will love you because she can continue to wear the nails with the 'natural look' as even offer extensive maintenance they look brand new.

If you leave unsightly lines, then the only option is to cover the nails with a coloured polish.

The procedure.
The following looks like a long procedure, but most of it is the same as for a full set. So you already know how to do most of it, and remember you are charging almost as much for a maintenance as you do for a full set after all, you are making them look as good as new again. The pictures you'll see is of acrylic nails with white French tips, but the techniques are the same for normal tips. Gels and fiberglass. It may seem an obvious thing to say, but in the following steps, work on the entire hand for each step. For example you go along all the fingers and thumbs, pushing back the cuticles, removing lifted Gel, streamlining and smoothing the regrowth step then you applying Gel to four fingers and cure, and then to the thumb and cure. We have seen girls work on one finger at a time, completing all the maintenance on a single finger before moving on to the next, this takes ages.

1. Pre-service
Before your client arrives for her maintenance appointment, you must carry out the all important sanitation procedures: Make sure your tools are disinfected by being immersed in disinfectant according to manufacturers recommendations. Make sure they are rinsed and dried thoroughly Wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap. Sanities your work table by disinfecting the work surface. Place a clean towel over work area. Get out new files, buffer block, cuticle pushers, orange sticks, cotton wipes, etc. Client consultation and preparation. When your client arrives, carry out the normal pre-service routine with her: Make sure your client scrubs her hands with anti-bacterial soap Talk to your client using the client consultation card as a guide, find out as much as you can about what has happened to each nail, and make a plan for the service. Fill in the appropriate details on your client's record.

Use o sanitizing hand wash yourself, get your client to do the same. Remove any polish and top coats with nail polish remover on cotton wipes. Push back the cuticles.

1. Remove any lifted product.

Gently file away any lilted product. It's normally found in the cuticle area and on the left and right hand side of the nails, resist the temptation to lever it off. Lifted product is easy to detect because it is a whitish colour where it's not stuck to the nails surface and air has got underneath. Take care to not lift the good, attached product, which is pink in colour. If lifting product is not filed away, traces of any liquid product {antiseptic or primer) can leak under this area and cause a greenish mould to grow. It is vital that the nail be free of any lifting product in all areas. Do all four nails and the thumb where required.

2. Re streamline the side walls left and right

Straighten the side walls both on the left and the right to remove any torn away product since the last service. Do all four nails and the thumb where required.

3. Reshape and shorten the free edges.

The nails have grown, so your client has longer free edges than when the nails were applied. If they are in good condition, she may well want to leave them at this longer length, if not shorten them by a few millimetres. As you shorten the free edges, you are filing back in to the thicker section of the tip and overlay, so you'll need to file the top of the free edge so they are thin again. Do all four nails and the thumb where required.

4. Reshape and shorten the free edges.

The nails have grown, so your client has longer free edges than when the nails were applied. If they are in good condition, she may well want to leave them at this longer length, if not shorten them by a few millimetres. As you shorten the free edges, you are filing back in to the thicker section of the tip and overlay, so you'll need to file the top of the free edge so they are thin again. Do all four nails and the thumb where required

5. Smooth the re grown ledges

There's 2 to 4mmm of new nail at the cuticles. This fresh growth has carried the overlays down along the fingertip and you will be able to see ledges, where the old product is sitting on the nails. The size of the ledge depends upon how thickly the Gel was originally applied. Do all four nails and the thumb where required. Smooth the centre. Start in the centre of the nail, and gently file the step away. Be very careful here, use a fine file and light pressure, the nail at the lunula is very soft and can be damaged easily, and any damage will remain on the surface of the nail until it grows out in a years lime! Blend it nicely into the natural nail making sure there is no demarcation between the regrowth area and the artificial product. Continue to file vertically down the nail to the free edge. Ensure there is no cuticle, pterygium or shine here and file all four nails and the thumb where required. Smooth the middle / left. Gently file the middle and left side from cuticle to the free edge, making sure there is no demarcation between the regrowth area and artificial product. Smooth the middle / right. Gently file the middle and right side from cuticle to the free edge, making sure there is no demarcation between the regrowth area and artificial product.

6 Mow the crown back.

Because the nails have grown, the apex's have moved forward towards the free edge. We move them back by filing the front of the nails, we'll add more product later to restore the height of the apex. Do all 4 nails and the thumb where required.

7 Clean away the debris.

Clean the nails by dusting away any filings with the duster brush, look to see if there is any shiny areas left on the Gel. Buff it off if you see it, new Gel will not stick to old shiny Gel.

8. Apply antiseptic.
Apply antiseptic with a wipe, the liquid will exaggerate any ridge at the junction between product and natural nail, so have a good look before the antiseptic dries to see if you can see a white line in the cuticle area. If you can see it, then light additional filing is required with the medium side of your file to remove this line. Any imperfections you see now will be even more obvious after the product is applied.

9. Apply Gel nail prep.

Apply some Gel prep solution to the nails using a cotton pad, pay special attention to the regrowth area at the cuticle where new oily nail has emerged. Allow the nails to dry fully, if you don't the Gel will not stick.

10. Apply first thin layer In regrawth area and cure.

Go along all four fingers and apply a small bead of Gel in the regrowth area, smooth it up to and slightly over the old product at the crown. Keep it nice and thin, you don't want too much Gel for the first application. Leave a small margin in front of the cuticle and at the sides, try not to get any Gel on the clients skin. Place the fingers in the light box and cure. When cured, swap to the thumb and apply a small bead in the cuticle area in the same way and cure in the light box.

11. Build the crown and cure.

have a good look a the condition and shape of the crown. Does it need more gel? If it does, add more products in the crown area to reshape entire nail, do this on all four fingers and cure together in the light box. Repetl the procedure for the thumb.

12. Shape the nail. If required.

Once all the nails are cured, have a real good look from all angles to check the shape for lumps or bumps. It's the same procedure as for a new set. If the nails look good, then leave the sticky residue on and jump to number 15, and apply the final coat of Gel. If the nails look lumpy then wipe off the sticky residue and correct the shape as required with your file.

13. buff nail

Use the soft side of your buffer block to buff up the surface to remove any scratches caused by your file.

14. dust away the debris

Clean nails by dusting away lose product.

15. Apply final thin, sealing layer of Gel.

Just as for a anew set, apply a thin layer of Gel to all four fingers and cure in the light box. Then repeat on the thumb and cure. Remove the sticky residue

16. Apply cuticle oil.

Generously massage client's finger tips with cuticle oil.

17. clean nails.

Get your client to scrub her nails with a nail brush and liquid soap .This removes any chemical residue and dust particles that may be trapped in the cuticle folds. Polish will not

adhere to a dusty or oily nail and your client may become sensitized to the product and develop on allergy.

18. polish, top coat or buff as required

If your client want their nails to look natural and you've managed to create a smooth blend without demarcation lines, then you can buff the nails with the three way buffer and apply a clear top coat. Often the nails will not look natural enough to do this, there may be some blend lines, the old and new Gel may be of slightly different colours. In this case you should advise your client that she should wear them with coloured polish.

Cracks In overlays
Sooner or later you'll have a customer come in with a cracked overlay, or you'll see a crack has developed when carrying out a standard maintenance.

Some common causes

Here's a cracked nail, you can see it runs centrally down the nail and is worse at the free edge. There are a few possible causes; the client might have caught the free edge on clothing while getting dressed this morning, alternately there might have been a problem with the tip application.

Tips stressed
If during the original tip application, you selected a tip that is too small for the nail, the sides of the tip would have been forced apart when it was pushed onto the nail. The 'C 'curve of the tip and nail do not match, and forcing the tip onto the nail sets up a stress line in the tip, which may eventually turn into a crack and migrate up through the overlay to the surface. Always use o tip that is the correct size or slightly bigger than the nail, the priority is to match the C curves, and then if necessary file the sides of the tip to match the width of the natural nail.

Poor adhesion of product.

Here another crack, this time in a nail about 18 days old. You can see the crack runs across the crown (1) and ends with a chip on the left hand side (2) and note the pronounced ledge at the regrowth area, that product is thick! If the initial application of product is poor, maybe the nail was not clean or it was poorly propped then there may be a section of overlay that is not stuck down. If the overlay is not adhering properly to the natural nail, it's easy for a crack to start if it's snagged or stressed, especially if the overlay is either too thin, so it lacks strength or funnily enough if it's too thick so it's brittle and cannot flex. which is the problem with this overlay.

The cure? Make sure you buff off all of the shine. Clean away the debris. Apply nail prep and dehydrating liquid to the natural nail, if required. And make the three layers of Gel the correct thickness. First layer thin, the second thick enough to have strength at the crown (about 1 mm), but feathered at the cuticle and free edge so it can flex , and the third layer thin again.

Apply Gel in the crack. if crack is all the way to free edge, fit a nail form snugly under the free edge for support.

Then apply the product in the crack. Add more product if required until crack is filled, then cure in the light box. Sometimes you may need to use a thicker 'sculpting' or 'builder' Gel when repairing nails. This is simply a thicker Gel that will not drip so easily. Contact your product supplier for more details of these Gel products.

Cure and finish.

Place the nail under the lamp and cure as normal. Remove the sticky residue and shape as required with files and buffers as usual, then clean, apply cuticle oil, wash hands & nails thoroughly and apply polish if required.

Lifting overlays.
What is a lifting overlay?
A lifting overlay is where the product, be it Acrylic, Gel or fiberglass has lost its adhesion to the natural nails surface and makes itself apparent with the appearance of a whitish patch under the overlay, obviously you'll only see this after you've removed any coloured polish. The lifting areas look while because instead of being a bonded interface between the underside of the overlay and the surface of the nail, there is a layer of air. If you've seen vamish peeling off a table top, you'll know what I mean. lifting ready always starts at the Side or cuticle and the client will feel that the nail is coming away and a lot of clients will help the process along by picking at it constantly.

Why do enhancements lift?

When you think about it, it's quite surprising that nail enhancements stay on for the length of time they do. They are expected to a flexible to a flexible, growing, three dimensional curved and oily surface, that are attached to fingers that may be typing, washing up, bathing, gardening and carrying out all sorts of other activities that may jar and tear the nail and extension. Also, the chemicals that make up the overlay cannot be so aggressive that they will never come off. It's actually preferable for the overlay to be pulled off in on accident than for it to stay on and rip the natural nail off.

Remember this when a customer comes in with a lifting or shed overlay: left to their own devices, all overlays are shed eventually. As a good Nail Technician, your job is to delay the inevitable for as long as possible. So here's the long list of things that you must do to prevent lifting.

Make sure you dust away the lose product prior to applying new product.

Remove cuticle and pterygium completely.

Ensure the pterygium is completely removed from the nails surface, use a cuticle pusher to scrape it off the surface and use a buffer block or fine file to get right into the corners of the nail at the cuticle.

Make sure you remove all greasy deposits from the natural nails surface and dehydrate the nail. Make sure the oil prep liquid has completely disappeared before applying the Gel.

Avoid contamination by finger oil

This is very common. There is a great desire to wipe away the dust, after removing the shine with a quick wipe of the Nail Technician's finger. Remember, do not ever touch the natural nail once it has been filed and prepped, if you do, it must be filed and prepped again.

Avoid product contamination.

Ensure product contamination has not occurred by cleaning your brush thoroughly and by exercising proper product handling, keep Gel out of sunlight and away from the UV light box.

Make your first gel application thin

The first 'bonding cool' needs lo be thin to adhere properly. Also cure it for twice as long as the manufacturer recommends to make sure its fully cured. You cannot 'over-cure' Gels.

Avoid long Immersion In water.

Ask your client not to allow her hands to remain for extended periods of time in the bath or while washing dishes. Encourage her to wear rubber gloves when performing the latter.

Mechanical shock.
If the nail is twisted crushed or hit, the overlay may well lift, you might never know that this is the cause. Educate your customer to look after her nails. Give her a set of 'home care rules'.

Make the overlay thin at the cuticle

If the overlay is thick at the cuticle, then it won't be very flexible and can peel away easily as the natural nail flexes underneath.

Keep the product off the skin

If you allow the product to overlap the skin at the side of the nail, or cover the cuticle, then this provides an ideal starting point for lifting. Leave a small gap at the sides and cuticle.

How to repair lifting overlays.

To repair lifting product, be it Acrylic, Gel or Fiberglass, you simply identify the areas of lifting and gently file it away. You would generally do this as part of the rebalance pracess described earlier. For example as youre filing the regrowth step, if you saw any lifting you'd file that away too. If, when streaming the sides you saw on area of lifting at the side, you would file that away too. Fixing lifted areas of product becomes an integral part of re-balancing the nail the goal of a skilled technician is to apply the product properly of each application so as to reduce the possibility of lifting to zero.

When to start afresh.

There's only one decision that may be tricky: when to file off and repair lifting product and when to remove the entire enhancement and start again. As a general rule, if there is more than 40% of the area lifted, its simply not worth filing it all away, It'll be quicker and simpler to start again from scratch.

Use of nippers to remove lifted product.

Some Nail Technicians use nippers to cut away large areas of lifting acrylic. It's not something we would advocate. If there's so much lifting that you can get under it with nippers, then you should remove the enhancement and start again. The trouble with nippers is that if they're not used really carefully they can really damage the natural nail and the surrounding good product. As you lever off a piece of product, the area next to it, still firmly attached to the natural nail inevitably gels pulled and stressed, and the pressure is passed onto the natural nail and through to the nail bed, resulting in pain and possible damage lo the nail bed.

Repairing chips In the free edge.

Sooner or later you'll get a client with a chip in the free edge. So you're going to have to know how to repair it. Here's what you do, again the pictures show The Nail Trainer's maintenance nail. Carry out the pre-service. File a slope on the free edge over the top of the chip, this increases the surface area that new product can stick to. Those of you who have done sculpting will recognize the Nail Form, it fits under the free edge to provide a platform to support wet product while it dries. Fit the nail form snugly under the free edge of the nail, make sure it's bent into the shape of the underside of the nail, leaving no gap. Using sculpting Gel, which is nice and thick, place a small ball on the flat of the chip. Don't brush it around too much. Then place the nail straight in the light box to cure. Remove from the light box when cured and remove the sticky residue as normal

clientinto to wash. Smooth the free edge with a yellow or white

file and when you're happy that the new Gel is nicely blended into the old overlay, buff over the entire nail to remove any shine.

Then coat the entire nail with a thin layer of gel to seal the surface. Finish the nail by buffing with the three way buffer, rehydrate the nail surround with cuticle oil and ask your client to wash.

Removing nail enhancements.

There are four main reasons why a client may want her enhancements removed.

Bad reaction
You may find your client has a reaction to one of the chemicals used in the overlay or in the application of the overlay. The skin around the nail may be irritated by contact with a contact with a product or a product may trigger an allergic reaction, which can take many forms. You might find this happens straight away with a new client or it may take six months to manifest itself, offer repeated exposure to the product. This is why it's so important to wash the nails to remove any chemical residue. If she has a reaction, remove the overlays at no cost to the client and try a different nail system.

A fresh set.
Secondly, after four re-balances, your client may want a 'fresh set' look, so remove them and start again.

the latest thing In nails!

Your client might want to try a new system that shes heard looks more natural, or is more hard wearing. Since 'the customer's always right', make sure you can provide the service she wants. Keep up with the developments and fashions and learn all the systems.

Bad workmanship.
And lastly, this does need saying, there are many Nail Technicians producing sets of ugly, heavy, badly applied nails that start to fall off after a couple of days. If you come across work like this, remove them, start again, create a great set and capture a new customer.

The procedure: Prepare the acetone. Fill the small bowl with acetone and half fill the larger bowl with hot water. Place the small bowl inside the larger bowl .Do this 7 to 10 minutes in advance of the client arriving so the acetone has a chance to warm up. Never warm the acetone In any other way, it is extremely flammable and it's dangerous to place acetone in an oven, microwave or on a hot plate. 1. pre service . Complete the pre-service sanitation and consultation procedure, remove any old polish with remover. There's no point in spending time soaking off long free edges so trim them off now with clippers 2. cuticule oil. Apply some cuticle oil by rubbing into the cuticle and nail walls. This helps protect three skin form the dehydrating properties of the acetone. 3. Encase the nail. Dip wads of cotton wool into the warm acetone and place on top of the nail. 4. Cover with foil. Encase the fingertip and cotton wool in some aluminum foil.

5. place all the fingers and thumb into the warm acetone and leave to soak. Times vary from product to product, the range is 15 to 45 minutes. Out of all the systems Gel is the hardest to remove, Fiberglass is the easiest and Acrylics are somewhere between the two

6. Pull off the foil and cotton pad and discard, Work quickly, as some products will start to harden again as soon as the acetone starts to evaporate. 7. Remove the old overlay. Gently push and prise the product off of the nail with the birch wood stick. Dip the finger back into the acetone occasionally to keep the product soft. For some Gels this is all that's required, for others you'll find that a combination of soaking and filing works well. Talk to the manufacturer or other Nail Technicians that have experience with the brand you are using. 8. File. Using a medium grit file, remove any residual product from the nail surface and then go over the nail again with the fine side of the buffer block. 9.Condition. Rehydrate the cuticle and nail surrounds by rubbing in some cuticle oil, and then bring the nails up to a high shine using the three way buffer.

filing off. For those Gels that refuse to soak off, the only thing you can do is to file them off. Firstly cut bock the free edges to a natural length and then remove the majority of the Gel in the crown area with a black file. Then switch to a white file and using the grips and positions you learnt in the part 1, gently reshape the Gel down the centre, the left and right sides and free edge. At some point the Gel gets so thin that you really can't see it. At this point you may as well stop filing. The object of the exercise is not to remove every last scrap of Gel, rather remove enough so the nail looks natural and then let is grow out naturally.

So, having inspected the nails the plan is as follows: 1. Clean up the index (forefinger) and thumb. 2. Apply two new tips and blend as normal. 3. Then rebalance the remaining 3 fingers, by removing the regrowth step, shortening the free edges and moving the crowns back. So then I'll have all 5 fingers prepped and ready for Gel. 4. Because the thumb and index are brand new, they'll need a thin bonding layer first. The remaining three fingers still have the original Gel on them so they don't need a new bonding layer. 5. Now it's a simple job to apply building layer to all five nails, followed by a final thin sealing coat.

Complete pre service.

So, the first thing to do is to complete the pre-service losks, push bock the cuticles and note the length and style of nails requested by the client.

Clean up & re-tip the thumb and index finger

File off old gel index and thumb using a black file. Dust off the debris and apply antiseptic. Select an appropriate tip for the index and thumb, trim width to and free edge of the natural nail for a good fit.

Rebalance the remaining three nails.

Now the thumb and forefinger have new blended tips, you don't apply any Gel to them yet, because you want to get all the filing done first. So next you need to tidy up the other Gel overlays, removing the regrowth step and any lifting Gel

Now that all fingers have gel on them we can apply the last two coats of gel to all of them. A thick building layer and a thin sealing layer.

Remove the sticky residue. That's it, the nails are returned to pristine condition. If at any time you were not happy with the shape of a Gel nail, you can simply correct it with your file and add a further coat of Gel. All that's required now on this set, is for the normal post service wash, to clear residual chemicals off the skin, and some cuticle oil, and add polish or top coat in accordance with your clients wishes.