Despite learning to DIY our nails during lockdown and keeping up with countless nail hacks on TikTok, nail services were among the first beauty treatments many of us wanted to book in for when salons reopened. A professional manicure is hard to beat, after all.
Unsurprisingly the nail industry is booming again. According to the NPD Group, the total nail market from April to June 2021 rose by 54%, while Treatwell reported a 201% increase in nail art bookings in July. We've seen a resurgence of nail movements in particular, with a sea of pastel tips, cut-out manis and neon hues filling our social media feeds. But while professional nail art continues to boom, and booking in for a fortnightly manicure is more popular than ever, it’s giving way to a worrying and extremely dangerous trend.
The pandemic gave rise to unqualified nail techs
As you know, still in 2022 the beauty industry remains largely unregulated. As it stands, anyone can perform beauty treatments – from fillers to Botox – without proper training. During the pandemic, vast numbers of people have used the extra time afforded to them by lockdown to train themselves online or to take crash courses in all kinds of beauty treatments – including nail services, such as acrylics and gels.
I am sure there are some great legitimate courses offered by well established brands or educators, there are still a shocking number of low cost, fast-track online nail technician courses covering everything from gel Polish manicures to acrylic nail extensions.
Targeted ads were and still are popping up on social media and websites such as Groupon daily. The cost is minimal, making it an easy and cheap investment for anyone who had even a small amount of interest in learning how to do nails.
Financial difficulties caused by the pandemic have meant that lots of people are looking for ways to save money on their beauty treatments. As a result, cheap offers and services led by unqualified, so-called nail techs are more in demand than ever before. But the dangers can't be ignored. A manicure might seem like a pretty risk-free beauty procedure, but a lot can go wrong. Extreme pain, bacterial infection, allergies and even hospitalisation in severe circumstances are just a few of the dangers.
Despite learning to DIY our nails during lockdown and keeping up with countless #nailhacks on TikTok, nail services were among the first beauty treatments many of us wanted to book in for when salons reopened. A professional manicure is hard to beat, after all.
Unsurprisingly, the nail industry is booming again. According to the NPD Group, the total nail market from April to June 2021 rose by 54%, while Treatwell reported a 201% increase in nail art bookings in July. We've seen a resurgence of buzzy nail movements in particular, with a sea of pastel tips, cut-out manis and neon hues filling our social media feeds. But while professional nail art continues to boom, and booking in for a fortnightly manicure is more popular than ever, it’s giving way to a worrying and extremely dangerous trend.
A manicure might seem a pretty risk-free and painless beauty procedure, but a lot can go wrong: extreme pain, bacterial infection, allergies and even hospitalisation in severe circumstances.
In the wrong hands, the risks of getting your nails done are endless
Visiting a nail tech who doesn't have the right training behind them could lead to an unsuitable nail coating applied, poor service and treatment and adverse reactions, allergies or dangerous practices.
There are potential risks like damaging and weakening the nail plate if someone has not been trained correctly, which can actually cause a lot of pain in some cases. There are also dangers that could cause you serious harm, for example, if a person isn't using the tools and equipment properly or potentially not being able to prevent or spot an allergic reaction, which could culminate in itchy, flaky, red skin. They could even cause infection if they don’t keep on top of their sanitation.
Repeated skin contact with certain nail materials may also pose a risk. t's not uncommon for people to develop overexposure to certain nail products, such as gel or acrylic-based products. This is an allergy that develops over time and can occur when the product constantly touches clients' skin," which is highly likely to occur in untrained hands, and if the nail tech doesn't follow manufacturers’ guidelines.
Another major issue with a cheaper manicure is that the nail technician (trained or untrained) is likely to cut corners to save on costs, which can lead to infection. Using cheap tools, in particular, can permanently damage the nail plate. Even something as simple as filing the wrong way could cause extreme pain, as well as using electric drills on natural nails, which may expose flesh. Nails and cuticles are meant to keep bacteria from entering your body and infections can occur if the client receives any cuts, open wounds or simply if the nail folds or seals are removed and disrupted, as this provides entry points for bacteria.
How to stay safe when you’re getting your nails done
Unless you ask to see qualifications, it's hard to tell whether or not someone is adequately trained in nails. Being a nail tech is a very highly skilled profession, and it can take years of training and practice to reach the top of your game. It's not just about the look, it's also about the safety of your nails.
Fully qualified manicurists will have undertaken in-depth training and education, learning about nail anatomy, contraindications (something that will cause harm to a client), ingredients, formulas and much more. They will be knowledgeable in all types of nail products, skin and nail conditions, making them much better at recommending and carrying out the best and most suitable service for each client. Nail qualifications go far beyond product application and learning the different services. They cover topics like physiology in order to learn about nail growth, how the hands move and even the muscles in the hands. A qualified manicurist will have studied so many other important elements, like hygiene and sanitation, to make sure you’re in a safe environment. An accreditation proves that the technician knows exactly what they’re doing to ensure your safety and the efficacy of the treatment, so don't be afraid to ask about it.
The Vintage avenue Team x