Guy wanting to become a nail tech

SalonGeek

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Hi everybody.

I would really appreciate your advice. I currently work for myself in a completely unrelated field of business, and while things are ticking over, that's all my business is doing. I love my work, and it's making a profit, but I am struggling financially - the recession is making things hard, as I'm sure many people have experienced.

So, I'm looking to supplement my income by taking on another profession. For a while now I've been thinking about getting into the nail industry, for several reasons. One, I am a people person, so interacting with the public really appeals to me. Two, I'm a creative person so doing something in this field, hands on, also really appeals. Three, I don't want to work in an office environment (been there, done that and don't want to go back). And four, want to do something that can afford me a certain flexibility with my hours so that I can work around my other business. These hours could be either day or evening.

Working in the beauty industry clicks all of these boxes for me, so I researched this a little further, and I am really becoming sold on the idea. I do love the look of nails and the creativity that goes into them. So I have decided to take a course in nails (two-day course in acryllic, with further options for gel, nail art etc). I am approaching this a complete beginner, so hopefully the course will give me a good grounding and starting point for getting into the industry.

I only have one reservation. I am a guy and realise that this is a heavily-dominated female industry, and that there could be a bit of stigma attached to a guy coming into the industry. Researching this, I recognise that there are some very talented male techs out there who have done tremendously well for themselves, so obviously it isn't an insurmountable obstacle to overcome, but still would really appreciate your advice and candor in how difficult it may be for me to get a foot-hold in the industry. This would relate to how difficult it may be to either get a job working in a salon (perhaps renting a chair so to speak), or even setting up on my own (this appeals more because of the flexibility that it can provide). But would you envisage many people not wanting to go and have their nails done by a guy?

I ask these questions because obviously it is going to cost me quite a bit of money to train and set up, and while I don't expect to be an instant success, it would be incredibly disheartening to find that I would only end up struggling in the nail industry, just as my other business is currently struggling.

Sorry for the length of this post, but thank you so much for taking time out to read it, and any advice you can offer me really would be greatly appreciated.

Regards
Steve
 

waffle4

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Hi Steve, didn't want to read and run. My own personal opinion would be that as long as my nails looked great I wouldn't mind who did my nails , guy or gal. The beauty industry is not as black and white as it used to be and you only have to look at the amount of high profile male hairstylists, makeup artists and now nail techs to see it is possible for guys to make a good career.

My only concern when reading your post was where you say you're booked onto a 2 day acrylic nail course. These sorts of courses are just a quick hash and you would be much wiser investing in a decent course otherwise you'd probably end up paying out again for another course afterwards anyway.
Sorry for the short reply but hope its given you a bit of food for thought anyway. Good luck xx
 
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Hi Waffle4. Thanks for your reply. A bit more info about the 2-day course. It is undertaken with one other student, whereby you work and practice on each other's nails, but is essentially on a 1-to-1 basis. It did surprise me that it was an incredibly short course, and not cheap (£295). I have spoken to the course instructor at length, who is really nice, and although I have a provisional date booked I haven't yet put down my deposit.

Would you be able to give me any info regarding longer courses so that I can research this futher? Thank you.
 

nailzoo

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If you think, (or know) you have the artistic ability, eye and feel for doing this kind of work, GO FOR IT, there are some very talented men in this industry (some of the worlds best champions).

The sex you are born has nothing to do with talent or ability ...... either way (male or female), anyone that refuses your services because of what sex you are doesn't deserve what you have to offer ........ and it's their loss.

You will meet narrow minded and bigoted people along the way (some are even bashful and timid) ... WHO CARES? CARRY ON
 

Lisgxxx

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Hi Steve

I have just been reading your post. I think I may know where you are doing your course and if so DON'T DO IT! Ill carry on my message as an inbox as I wouldn't like to speak bad of someone's business on an Internet forum
X
 

waffle4

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Hi Waffle4. Thanks for your reply. A bit more info about the 2-day course. It is undertaken with one other student, whereby you work and practice on each other's nails, but is essentially on a 1-to-1 basis. It did surprise me that it was an incredibly short course, and not cheap (£295). I have spoken to the course instructor at length, who is really nice, and although I have a provisional date booked I haven't yet put down my deposit.

Would you be able to give me any info regarding longer courses so that I can research this futher? Thank you.
2 days really wouldn't cover it all Steve, even if it is one to one and thats also a really cheap price too. Do you already have a manicure certificate too? As some courses (but not all) will only take you with this. If I were you I would research courses with the top names in this industry such as CND, NSI or Young Nails to name a few. For Cnd courses go onto the sweetsquared website www.sweetsquared.co.uk have a look and give the customer services team a ring for friendly helpful advice. Also ring NSI and Young nails too. Hope that helps x
 

Emmalou91x

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Hi, Defiantly go for it if this is what you want to do. Too many people are too quick to judge other people. It is your life, no body should tell you that you are wrong, bad, or silly for doing something you want to do. And especially if you are doing everything right.
The first time i went to a beauty show the amount of men doing the demos i was surprised but not in a bad way at all and i thought fair play to them :)

I have recently trained and qualified done 2 years in college beauty therapy Level 1 % 2, then went onto the acrylic course, it was a 4 day course and found it pretty tough going to be honest, but there is alot of learning to be done after the training

Good luck x hope u go for it :) x
 

waffle4

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Thanks Waffle for the advice. I will check out the names you listed and get in contact with them. I really appreciate this - it really does help.

Lisa, I'll look forward to your inbox message - I think your advice regarding this could be invaluable. Thank you in advance.

And Nailzoo - thanks also for your positive and honest words in regards to how a guy may be reacted to in this industry. I do realise that I would have to build up a clientele and indeed a reputation, but this would be the case regardless of gender. It may perhaps take a little longer, and no doubt I would meet with some objections along the way. Hopefully not too many though!!!
 
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Emmalou - it is something that I've been thinking about for a while, and is something I really do want to do. It has resulted in a few giggles from my friends and family, but on the whole most are really supportive after I explain my reasons why. I think going to a beauty show would be a great idea, to get more a feel of the industry and the people involved (and even get some first hand advice. I live just south of Manchester, so will have to keep my eyes peeled for any events coming to Manchester, but I also am able to get down to London on a regular basis (friends down there, as well as clients in regards to my other work).
 

Lauren04

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Go for it Steve! If you have the love and passion for nails as we so why not! As long as you did a good job and had good people skills I would have my nails done by a man, would actually be a nice change! Wish you luck and I hope you keep us updated with your progress :) xx
 

Evaperk

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As Waffle has said £295 is very cheap for a complete beginner's course. You should start off with a basic mani and pedi course to learn about nail structure, basic salon hygiene etc. Or go with a more in depth course with one of the top 3 companies that Waffle has suggested.

In respect of young nails, you tube young nail videos and you will see the amazing Greg and be inspired by this very talented and enthusiastic MAN in the industry. Hope it all goes well and look forward to seeing you develop over the coming months and years!
 

Dream Nails

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I would say go for it. Some of the most respected people in the nail industry are men. Look at our own Grand Geek, Greg from Youngs Nails, Ketan Patel and many more.
BUT I would look at another course. You need a good solid foundation to begin I am speaking from experience . Now I've trained with CND I know they will be there for me to help and advise for the life of my career :)
Vicki x
 
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Good luck Steve.... I am new to this industry too and there is some great advice on here.

I feel that after talking with the experienced guys on here that the best route is a manicure and pedicure course first that gives you a recognised diploma. This will qualify you to train to do the best UV gel systems. Check your local college or google beauty schools in your area.( my local local offered the level 2 over six months and you attend one day per week for £730) I am starting out by doing the level 2 diploma in nail tech and then going on to train in shellac. I found this forum really helps me understand the industry a lot better and there is certainly a lot more to nails than you first think! Keep reading the threads on here !! And PM people, they are really helpful and quick to respond.

Good luck :)
 
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I'm genuinely overawed by the response to this thread, and thank you all for your help, advice, and positivity towards me. It really has helped quash the trepidation that I have felt in pursuing a career in this field, and confirming that it is something that I really do want to do. Like I said in my first post, getting into nails and becoming a professional ticks all the boxes of what I want to do, and the creative aspect of the work and the personal interaction is what appeals the most. I'm also quite a perfectionist, and take a lot of pride in my work and value attention to detail (in my other business this really is essntial!).

Lauren, it is also good to hear that you wouldn't have any problems in having your nails done by a man, and thank you for your wishes for good luck. In fact thank you to everyone in this respect. And Eva, I will check out the youtube videos for Young Nails (I'm also checking out the Young Nails and Harmony websites that others have linked in this thread).

Thank you!
 
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Hi everyone. I've another question for you if you don't mind.

Based on a lot of the info you have given me today, I've gone ahead and contacted several of the companies that were recommended by some of you in this thread. Pretty much all of these (YoungNails, NSI, etc) have been really responsive and helpful. My only concern is that because of the structure of the course, they require students to work on each other. Which of course would mean me having my nails done! That makes me feel a little embarassed in all honesty, and while I'm probably being silly in feeling that way, I can't help it!!

Anyway, I've done a little more searching around and found a course that is offered by BSY - which is a course predominantly studied at home at your own leisure, with numerous practical days where you meet with the tutors and practice on others (meaning that no one would have to practice on me). They recommended the manicure and pedicure course for a beginner (which I am), and then on completion of that course, can then undertake further courses (for example in acrylic or gel (or both) etc).

My question is - has anyone heard of BSY, and if so, would you recommend them?

Here is their link - Beauty Therapy Courses - BSY Group
 

MrsP

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HI there - I would LOVE a guy in my salon - the ladies would be delighted and we always have work for talented artists! I'm from Altincham originally. :lick:

I do think by setting yourself apart from the chaff will stand you in good stead for a successful career and something you may love to do permanently!

Invest in a solid course with a reputable provider as suggested with the links already - I'm sure can take a model for the enhancement parts.

I have to plug CND as it totally rocks but any of those listed will provide a solid foundation for you to grow. :green:
 
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Lavender lovely

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Definitely go for it Steve, I wouldn't bat an eyelid if my tech was a man - as long as the job he did was a good one. In fact it was almost sure my confidence in a funny sort of way as my first thought might be 'in a female dominates industry to be in this profession, he must be good!'. Just a thought. I would echo what everyone else has said though, you can't learn it two days no matter how good the course, and I would certainly look at a reputable company such as CND so you don't waste your time and your money. Hope this helps ;)
 

melissab

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Hi Steve. I just wanted to add that I have had my nails done by men before and would have them done by a man again. I think as long as the quality of work is there I don't really care, male or female, who does it.

With regards to training did you speak to anyone from Sweet Squared? I believe you have to have a model for training so you don't work on each other. I plan on training with them in L&P and Brisa Gel next year. The quality of products and customer service is excellent. I have called customer service a number of times with question and they have always been very patient and helpful. I have heard the training is excellent also. I personally wouldn't do an at home course as I would prefer to have someone watch what I'm doing and correct any mistakes as I make them. That's just my preference though. Good luck with everything. :)
 

Victoriabar

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Hey, to follow everyone else I whole heartedly agree to a male nail tech being fantastic, why ever not. Talent comes in all shapes and forms.

I also agree saying no to the odd day learning and also learning from home.
Go with a reputable company or a college and start from the bottom up, you'll thank yourself for it in the long run.

Welcome to the addictive world of nails :) x
 

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