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A beginner’s guide to being a Nail Tech!

Updated: Mar 25

Well, it's officially a new year. 2022 seemed so far away, but now we've moved into the first month of another new year. This is the time when you think about all the amazing things you want to do, begin planning your goals and start putting things in place to work towards them.


So it’s true, you're thinking about becoming a nail tech? First of all, well done on wanting to move towards a more creative career! If you're serious about making a change and becoming a nail professional, now is the perfect time to do get started. Whether you've only decided to make a career change today, or maybe this is a long term goal of yours, there are some things to think about before deciding whether being a nail tech is really for you!


Imagine it was around 6 years ago when I started my journey into the nail world, learning all things nails in around 18 months of training at Walsall college, before starting up a mobile nail tech. These days, you can learn in as little as one to five days with fast track accredited courses, before moving towards your chosen skill or path.

In recent years things have changed so much in the world of nails - there's a lot to think about than just nails, especially relating all the new to health & safety updates, that takes time to understand & put in place. I’m sure you’ll love every part of your learning process, even more knowing that you'll be your own boss BUT, there are some areas of the journey it would've been better to find out earlier - here are some of the key things you should know before making that first step:



1. BUSINESS: As soon as you’re thinking about getting started, it’s a good thing to learn about how to run a business. What days or hours do you want to work, how much are you wanting to earn, where will you work from and how will you grow your business in the future i.e. social media, offers, marketing etc? These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself.

You’ll also need to make sure that every single business expense is recorded and accounted for, with enough put aside to pay the tax man, every year. It’s important to set any business boundaries from the get go, as you’re likely to have potential clients requesting appointments at all times of the day (and night), so it’s a good idea to set all your business standards as soon as you‘re ready to start putting yourself out there.


2. PRODUCTS & PRICING: As a professional nail tech, using quality products is one of the most important areas of your career. Low-quality nail products, especially some of the unregulated & untested products with potentially harmful ingredients i.e. those not purchased from professional beauty suppliers, can cause harm to your clients (and yourself during use).

One thing you’ll quickly realise is how EXPENSIVE nail products are these days, especially when you need to use so many different items for every single treatment; for example a decent acrylic brush can cost anything up to £45! This is why it’s really important to price your services well so that you are not working below the minimum wage as some treatment can take up to 3 hours, so making sure you charge enough to pay yourself, be able to repurchase products when you’re running low, and have extra funds to keep up with new training & improving skills is a must.


3. INVEST IN YOU: So once you qualify, that’s the end of it right? Definitely NOT, getting qualified is only just the beginning! As well as the general skills you’ll need in your career i.e. Good with people, great listener, taking pride in your work, doing regular training courses & continuing to improve your skills is the key to being a great nail tech. With so many changing nail trends, it‘s always a great idea to try and do at least two nail training courses every year, to make sure you’re giving your best work all the time.


The top 3 books recommend to read when starting up to grow and learn the best knowledge are:


4. COMMITMENT: The first 2-3 years of setting yourself up is the most crucial. Clients don’t necessarily come flooding in as soon as you say you’re doing nails, this is why commitment is super important as this can make or break whether your business will survive the long term.


They’ll be times you’ll feel like you want to give up, as maybe you’re not getting enough clients, or you don’t feel supported by your closest family/friends who decide to go elsewhere for their nails. Through all of this, it’s important to stay focussed and remember why you got started in the first place. Look at ways to get your name out there, showing off your new designs and believe me, the bookings will eventually come in & you‘ll get the clients who truly love & value your work.


5. SELFCARE ALWAYS: Being a nail tech is about looking after your clients' nails to help them feel amazing, but it’s really important to take care good care of yourself too. A busy day in the salon can mean skipping lunch, going hours without food or drink to accommodate your daily bookings - this is something you should not be tempted to do.


You can often sit for hours on end, which can begin to bring long term health issues such as back, wrist, knee & leg issues. Like everything, prevention is better than cure so taking regular breaks, eating well, and knowing when you need a break (taking time out if needed). As well as this, having set times to relax your mind to protect yourself from burning out especially when we are often the ‘therapist’ as well as the nail technician for clients.



So the reality is, being a nail tech is a super rewarding career, you’ll meet loads of amazing people in your journey from clients to other nail professionals. You’ll just need to make sure that you put all of your basics in place to make sure you have a long lasting career that you’ll continue to enjoy. When you fully enjoy what you do, you’ll naturally continue to put more effort in to continue giving (& getting) your best!


If you’re ready to start moving towards a new and exciting nail career, check out the beginner & advanced nail classes available here to learn amazing skills & wow your clients!


Feel free to like, share or leave a comment if you enjoyed this topic :).


Speak again soon,


Kerrie | Nzuri Nails & Academy

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