Filing nails


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Well-Known Member
Jun 16, 2004
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I am a nail novice here and have realised from looking at the site that this is an important area and I haven't mastered it.

I am at college and we use emery boards to file. I can't get the hang of them and end up filing nails quite a way down and still leaving very ragged edges. I have to use an emery board for my exam.

Also, for myself and for others in private use what kind of file do I buy. There seems to be so many different things when I go in the wholesalers that I'm not sure what to buy or what to ask for.

Is it true that with some kinds of files that you can file back and forth?

Is there a different technique to using these files?

How long do these boards last and do I use one for each client like an emery board or is it possible to clean them between clients. How many clients to a file?

Are there different files for different things or different problems eg flaky nails?

Sorry know must sound like an idiot but I really want to get it right.
hi i know what you mean about emery boards i had to use them for my manicure exam and i hate them , i dont knoe why i just do!! but give me a kangaroo, or a koala and i am fine , when doing nail extensions you file bak and forth but u shouldnt on the natural nail , hope this helps

What course are you doing there is not a lot of info in your profile.
When I was doing my college course if there was anything I needed to know I asked the tutor to go through these points with me, and if I still did not understand I asked again lol

Take care Dawnie
Am doing NVQ Beauty Therapy 2 at a local college. Our tutor isn't very helpful in this respect unfortunatley and at the moment there is a huge hoo-ha going on and it is difficult. I don't want to identify the tutor or college by saying more openly on the site.
With files its all about the grit size. When you see a file the less the grit the more abrasive it is. Its recomended not to use anything below a 240 grit ona natural nail. On enhancements you can use a 180 to shape acrylic etc or when its over a few days old you can even use a 100 grit to file most of the product down. Always finish with a 240 grit.

You should never file back and forth on a natural nail as this actually causes the natural layers in the nail to seperate, which then means they can flake and peel and generally become very weak.

hope this helps.
Sawasdee ka

Boards abrassives come in many different quality we have had many for try if you buy cheap boards some you can use only one time for one set of nail enhancements then for the dust bin a better quality board that you can sanitize you can use more .

We do not buy exspensive boards we use boards and block 1 set for 1 customer then put in the dust bin this we only do because this is the way we like to work .

Creative do the Kanga board which is designed not to split the natural nail when filing back and forth. I do believe Orly have a board that is capable of this too

Hi Andy.

I've just passed NVQ 3 Artificial Nails course. I can sympathise completely about how much you want and need to know. This site is excellent for picking up tips and ideas.

You can use the same files again after each client but you must remember to clean them with a Hard Surface Anti-bacterial spray and leave for about 10 minutes before starting again.

How many clients per file is depending on how hard you work 'em really - just use your initiative and if it's not performing to peak then bin it.

Hope this helps.:)

Thank you this has given me a lot to think about.

I went to Sally's this morning and looked at the files and there were loads. Lots of different grits, etc. Couldn't see a kanga, koala or kangaroo. So asked assistant about them.

She then gave a long lecture about not using those files on natural nails she said they were only made for acrylic, etc. I said that I'd never seen a manicurist use an emery board in a salon but she insisted that you should only use emery. So you can see why us novices get confused!

That was Sallys in Basildon, Essex.

I think as Creative is so popular on this site I should get in touch with them and get a brochure then I might understand better.

So basically I can buy a board with a 240 grit and use on natural nails or I can buy the branded Kanga, kangaroo, koala and Orly. Yes?

I'm going to try a different wholesalers on Friday.
kanga and koala are mede by creative , the kanga is a 240 grit , and u can use that on natural nails, not back and forth though , the koala is a 240/1200 grit , they use it for acrylics, and for taking the shine off the natural nails before applying acrylic (hope that makes sense, i am not really good at explaining stuff lol)

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