Nail Technicians-The poor relation?

mum

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A thought for a discussion that has been provoked by the thread on Oil vs water by Doug Schoon.

Do you feel that, in comparison to beauty therapy and hairdressing, nail services are the poor relation?

Beauty FE collages are run by beauty therapists. Awarding Bodies are run by beauty therapists with very few nail experts involved. The National Occupational Standards were written by nail experts (I was one of them) but interpreted by beauty therapists.

This is the reason why all these 'old school' beauty methods are still being taught along with the manicure step by steps that are 'written in stone' instead of altering them to suit the client's nail and skin condition. The obvious examples are cutting the eponychium, using the term 'cuticle' to mean the eponychium, water soak regardless, using chamois buffers, manicurists not wearing polish.

Historically, beauty therapists don't like nail technology because 'it damages nails'. Many BT lecturers believe they can also teach it without any real training or experience (many who teach today have never stepped into a nail salon) so all the old stuff is being taught because 'they know better'. Colleges often can't afford 2 different lecturers for the 2 subjects but have to offer Nail Services because its popular and they need the funding. So who teaches it?? Beauty therapists after a quick 1 day course and no experience.

Several years ago I spoke to all the main Awarding Bodies to ask them to look at their Nail Services syllabus and make sure it genuinely reflects the nail industry as it doesn't and to make sure that only nail experts taught, assessed and verified those subjects. The general response: there's nothing wrong with it and we can't afford the extra personnel. I gave up as my head was too bruised from years of fighting with that wall.:grr:

There are a few great nail services teachers battling away in FE and several of them often write to me to say what can they do to make good technicians instead of just getting them through assessments regardless of their skills so numbers work for the funding.

So, do you think that we are seen as the poor relation and our skills are such that any BT or even hairdresser can do because their training is so much better??
 

Andrea85

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What en excellent, thought provoking thread. I don't have time to respond properly at the moment but can't wait to see how people discuss this.
 

gems-gem's

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My tutor is a beauty therapist and nail tech- but her standards are poor by comparison to what I learn via salon geek. Good job nail techs seem to have the passion to learn and continue to do so. I'm already investing in additional courses to get modern teaching alongside my level 2. Very frustrating when the beauty students seem to be bang upto date doing spray tanning etc. the funding is no doubt an issue- saying that my college takes £15 for models for enhancements even though all the kit used is my own. Go figure!

Thank goodness for all the fab geeks- just goes to show sharing is caring! ❤
 

Chickafish

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I think we are. And what you've said answered a few question I had. I had some training days for my BT lvl2 a few months ago and part of the training was nails. I left that day feeling a bit insulted because it felt like they must think nails is a no-brainier to have someone who doesn't specialize particularly in nails to teach that portion. The procedures were so old, and I felt that the BT tutors should not have been teaching because they were giving out outdated and incorrect info- especially with gel polishes and nail enhancements. It really made me wish that nail services weren't part of BT.
 

geeg

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Great question Marian :hug:

I don't think we are considered the poor relation (i actually think nails is seen as the golden goose :D by FE colleges) I just think the colleges are cheap ...

The irony is, colleges are making bank on their courses with the antiquated content that they teach because so many thousands of people have an interest in doing nails and they don't know they are being short changed education-wise nor that they are going to have to train again after they have finished in order to be brought into the 21st century information-wise!! Nails are the golden goose for the colleges indeed!! Sad that they are getting away with it. It's almost fraudulent.

As long as those classes are full and the colleges are making money I don't see them changing to help better OUR industry by providing better trainers and standards. It's all about the bottom line.

That is why I always advise people to do the best company training there is and that is affordable. At least that way they will be more competent technicians using better products and with a better grounding information-wise.
 

linzi

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Thank you, Marian, for what should be a thoroughly interesting and thought provoking thread. I look forward to coming back here when there are more responses.

I definitely think that nail technicians are seen as the poor relation - nails are easy, aren't they?

My own beauty therapy lecturer - who was a lovely lady - openly admitted that she had no idea how to do nails. But she was thr only one available to teach us. No wonder I left feeling clueless!

I for one would welcome a proper change in the curriculum.
 

jacqueline

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A nail tech/ tutor I know, has been in the industry for 45+ years but isn't ofay with the recent trends. She ran her own businesses but things are way different now. Lovely woman and I guess a pioneer back in the day but she is teaching a whole new generation old methods and still discusses chamois buffers and styptic pencils (both illegal here in Florida), teaches jelly sandwiches, mixing all sorts of systems etc. etc..

She was rubbishing Shellac to her students, she said it trashed her nails, took 25 minutes to get off blah blah. It turned out she wasn't curing the base coat and then just used a generic lamp......and she is teaching the future generation of technicians!

I happened to be there visiting the academy and had Shellac on, so I took a couple of Shellac nails off and I took the risk and removed the wrap after 3 1/2 mins and it came right off (it was a new application the day before so I was confident it would come off easily), you should have seen the look on her face and all the ohing and ahing from the students as of course they believed her that Shellac was rubbish because she was the "teacher"! So god help us if it is a BT who knows nothing about nails teaching!

Re 2nd class citizens yes I do indeed get the feeling that some see nail techs as second class citizens, I never experience it because many know I am a LMT so that gets respect to a degree, but it's skillful being a nail tech so I guess it boils down again to education/educating them. The science/chemicals behind it all, is as we know, mind blowing but I guess it is something not many people think about outwith the industry.

It is a simplistic outlook here, but it's not a case of sitting on your butt all day "painting" nails, the next person that says that to me I shall give them a red polish and challenge them to a throwdown!!:D
 
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Dizzy nails

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I am a full service nail tech who believes colleges are not educated enough when its comes nail technology let alone teach it! I often get asked by clients, "so where did you train?" And I always reply CND, Bio, blah blah, but I know they think why not at college so I answer before they ask that I didn't train at college as I didn't want to be trained by a beauty therapist whom may know very little about nails. I did my research and discovered college is not the place in my belief for nail technology currently. I would love to make changes and go into a college and become an educator however currently I have 3 young children and a full appointment book. When my children are older I would love to try and make nails a separate course in college in its own right. It deserves it, needs it and and is well over due!!
 

persianista

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Colleges are mostly dreadful at teaching hairdressing too.
I think the reason that nail techs are usually the. Lowest paid in a salon is due to there having been a race to the bottom in pricing. Beauty has gone a similar way in recent years. Nails are not big profit generators as the products are expensive, and it's labour intensive, in comparison with hair.

We were charging MORE for nail and beauty treatments 25 years ago, than is being charged now.
I hope it doesn't happen to hair, but with 100000 people being trained in hair/beauty/nails EVERY YEAR, for 18000 advertised jobs last year, I really fear that supply will outstrip demand.
 

swilks12

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I have to disagree with the derogatory comments being made here to nail lecturers.

I am a fully qualified, conscientious L3 nail lecturer, who is constantly keeping bang on trend with what is happening in the industry and bringing it in to my students and class room.

We have additional training days by Gemma lambert, organised by me and my colleague, we have product knowledge days, we have competition work both internally and externally.

A lot of the time the problem lies with the students who join the course because 'they want to have nice nails' and are not prepared to put the blood sweat and tears in to perfect their skills and become a well respected and sought after nail technician.
 

SugarMama

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I was fortunate enough to find a cosmetology school that had a nails only course taught by an actual nail tech with 10 years of salon experience. She worked in the salon by day and taught at night. Unfortunately, she was giving a lot of outdated or downright false information and she hardly ever got up from behind her desk. The entire focus of the course was to pass the state boards with no practical knowledge of how to actually do nails. I passed the boards with flying colors yet didn't know how to file a nail into shape, polish, or anything else. As Geeg said, I had no idea what I was getting was so horrible until it was over, nor did I know that I would have to seek out so much additional training (thank you CND).

It does feel like nails as a profession is on the bottom rung of the beauty industry but it also seems to be changing for the better however slowly.
 

pinkthistle

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I think the college comments are a bit generalised... I teach in a local college and I think that in the last year alone having done training with CND, Nail Harmony, and Kinnetics incorporating shellac, gelish, minx, gels and acrylics, 3d and one stroke I'm giving my students a good taste of what's new....I always demo the shellac etc and they are given a list of contacts and told they need to further train with the company..I'm actually passing students onto these companies. The classes are only ever meant to be a beginning in the industry...it's upto the individual how far they take it.
 

Claire@OBNMK

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I have to disagree with the derogatory comments being made here to nail lecturers.

I am a fully qualified, conscientious L3 nail lecturer, who is constantly keeping bang on trend with what is happening in the industry and bringing it in to my students and class room.

We have additional training days by Gemma lambert, organised by me and my colleague, we have product knowledge days, we have competition work both internally and externally.

A lot of the time the problem lies with the students who join the course because 'they want to have nice nails' and are not prepared to put the blood sweat and tears in to perfect their skills and become a well respected and sought after nail technician.

I don't think there are any derogatory views on here, just views of some of the members, and if they have had these experiences then it is good to create a debate.

I've read a few posts where students have felt let down by collages because of poor teaching skills.

But there are some (like yourself) who are dedicated and knowledgeable. :hug:

I do think however "Doing Nails" is seen as an easy option, I was surprised to find out how much you had to learn, regarding chemistry, anatomy etc. There is no way you can be a thicko and do this job.

My mum and stepdad for example don't take what I'm doing seriously (which hurts), they don't ask me how business is going :(, it's sad really.

BTW Don't you hate the fact that the beauty theripist in Eastenders "Poppy" has that daft squeaky voice and comes across ditsy :irked: she gets on me wick *rant over* :wink2:
 

geeg

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Due to the fact that the entry level for doing nails and the pass level is so low and that so many take cheap courses, there are hundreds and hundreds of people DOing nails, in a low end hap hazard, shoddy way .. As a 'little earner' on the side for people who aren't bothered about quality or service but only CHEAP .... Plenty of them! which is why many perceive that it takes very little in the way of anything to DO nails. They have No idea. Anyone can just DO something ... The ones with the brains can always do the same job a whole lot better!

Real professionals don't just DO nails ... The ones who are really successful Nail Technicians are the ones with the brains to learn and keep on learning the intricacies of the skill, the enormous amount of anatomy, physiology and chemistry one needs to know to be the experts we are; a sharp head for business, organisation; they are the ones who have dedication, an empathetic nature a vocational attitude, excellent communication skills, enthusiasm and love ... Yes love and passion for what they actually do and for what they can do for others self esteem and happiness too. It's a giving thing not really a taking thing ...

Those who haven't got all those attributes, then be prepared to go out and get them or there is no point in even getting started. Take that business course if you need it ... Take that retail course, learn how to keep your books and order your stock ....keep on taking those Master Classes and keep current untill the day you give up the job ... And really be a successful entrepreneur and then if you are still worried about what other people think of you ? Let me tell you, some will be very envious of you but the ones who count will be very proud of you.
 
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gems-gem's

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I think the college comments are a bit generalised... I teach in a local college and I think that in the last year alone having done training with CND, Nail Harmony, and Kinnetics incorporating shellac, gelish, minx, gels and acrylics, 3d and one stroke I'm giving my students a good taste of what's new....I always demo the shellac etc and they are given a list of contacts and told they need to further train with the company..I'm actually passing students onto these companies. The classes are only ever meant to be a beginning in the industry...it's upto the individual how far they take it.
Well i wish my college was as good as yours! Always will be the really good and the not so good- as with everything
 

nailzoo

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An interesting discussion, I liked the "nail damage nails perspective" from a beauty therapist, I believe there are so many beauty products now, they all bitch about each other (may improve, actually they do) but they are so bloody competitive they rely on pushing sales (many of the services are the same), then the bitchiness comes in to play because they all want retail and after sales.

If this was applied to the hair industry is quite similar, they all want to do "extras" that damage the hair .... everyone knows "virgin hair" is better than chemically treated, hence the term "virgin" and then comes the retail and after sales (and the I'm better than you attitude).

We all want to do what's best for out clients, we all want to do after sales, we all want to retail ...... WE ARE ALL IN THE SAME BUSINESS ......... sales of either a service, retail/after sales, but many of us don't understand each others business (yet say we do) .... in the end we should all care about the client and try and sell them as much stuff as we possible can, that's why YOU/ME/WE are in business, besides the fact that very few people are satisfied with what we/they/you were born with .... that is what the beauty industry (as a whole) is all about ........ altering nature, making people happy and making a few dollars along the way, nobody is 1st, 2nd or 3rd, it depends on what we (or the customer cares about the most), hair , nails, skin (in no particular order), there are very few in this world that have it all (nobody's perfect)...

We all stand under one umbrella and nobody deserves to get wet ....
 
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RebeccaQ

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I have trained as a nail technician, I did the cnd complete, nailstyle, master painter, attended The Event and I''ve also trained in Exposed, Minx, Shrinking Violet and most recently the Brisa build it. I love training and keeping up to date with it, I take it very seriously and I am about to go self employed. People I speak to don't think of nail techs as a poor relation, in fact to have a nail tech in a hairdressing salon is seen as an asset where i live.

However, as I have spent so much money on training and I am a single parent, to learn other skills I have now decided to attend college, which I start in September. First & foremost though I am a nail technician and I am very proud of that. I hope that my lecturer is up to date, she seemed lovely and happy that I had other qualifications. My CND training comes first and I will certainly question anything that I feel is incorrect. Fingers crossed the college I'm attending is a good one :D xx
 

wendywoo

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This is a really interesting thread for me to read. In September I will embark on a teaching career in BT. I'm starting my DTTLS training and have work placement teaching hours arranged at a local college.
I come from an era of FE training where nail technology just covered manicure and how to repair a nail with some cotton wool and glue!!! My nail training was earned by company training and hard graft in a salon. I don't know but I feel that I might come face to face with what Mum is talking about. Buffing pastes and chamois'. I hope I can make a difference I know I have come along way since those days and learned from some great mentors.
Yes there will be students that will be half hearted but I guess you'd get that on any course. I'm hoping I will find, develop and inspire a handful of students that would go on further and create successful careers for themselves.
Believe me I'm sat at my nail station most days instead of doing BT. I'm anything but irrelevant to my nail clients. I would hope that any student I may come across will join in a thread like this one day and say the same things. Great reading. X
 

mum

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Believe me there are fantastic teachers in FE and many get pressured to pass useless students to get the funding and good 'numbers'!! They write to me.

Good luck. It will be a great job you do if you keep your standards up and resist the 'everyone must pass' mentality
 

RebeccaQ

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Thanks Marian, I am a nail technician first and foremost and for me personally I am so pleased that I trained as a nail technician first. I feel that the bt is an added extra to the nail services I provide rather than the other way round.

I would love to do what you do, i'm good under pressure and feel it would be amazing, but with a young family to look after, at this moment I have to stay grounded so I made the choice of college.

My standards will always remain high. CND complete changed my life and Kate, my ea would not let my standards drop...lol!!! xx
 

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