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Can you work from home as a Nail Technician?

Nail Technician Work

Nail Technicians can earn a lucrative income in the Beauty business, with manicures and pedicures always in demand. This is a job that you can work at from home, as a full-time career, or as a part-time extra way of making money. Nail technicians work in many areas of the beauty and health business such as hairdressers, spas, hotels, specialist nail salons, resorts and cruise ships. Nail technicians can work for someone else or as self-employed.

It is possible to study from home for a nail technician diploma. Contact The Guild of Professional Beauty Therapists to find professional training which will allow you to gain a diploma.

Accredited Training courses for Nail Technicians

There are various qualifications available, including the NVQ Level 2 in Nail Services (for junior technicians) and NVQ Level 3 in Nail Services (for senior nail technicians), the BTEC National Award, Diploma in Beauty Therapy Sciences, the VCTC Level 2 Certificate in Nail Treatments, the ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Nail Technology, and also the CIBTAC Nail Technician Diploma.

Many local colleges offer nail training courses and qualified nail technicians have gone on to work in top salons, hotels and cruise ships.

nail technician trainingAs well as manicures, a trained nail technician can also offer the application of artificial nails, nail extensions, nail art, gel manicures, nail repairs and specialised hand and foot treatments. The work can be creative and interesting, as you can use many decorative treatments utilising glitter, gemstones and extensions. There are always new fashions and techniques for nails, often highlighted by celebrities.

There is an interesting mix of science and art with this job, as you work with the latest materials to achieve fabulous results on your client's nails. You also need to enjoy working closely with people.

If you are talented and personable and offer reasonable and competitive prices you will soon build up a good client list. If you plan to work as a nail tech or manicurist from a home salon you may need a licence from your local environmental health department.

It's important to research nail courses and the companies that offer training. Talking to nail professionals about all aspects of hand and foot care is a good place to discover other's recommendations and experiences. Nail Geek forum

Find out about fake and natural nail care

Top Tips for Strong Nails

Follow these tips to keep your natural nails strong and healthy:

  • Wear nail varnish - just a clear coat if you don't want to use colour. This will make you more aware of your nails, so you'll remember to put on rubber gloves for washing up, cleaning, gardening, etc and take care of your pretty nails. Also, it can protect and seal your natural nail oils in, but avoid quick-dry nail varnish as this product can contain be drying.

  • Paint the inside tips of your nails with clear polish or nail strengthener, it'll help strengthen them.

  • Apply a daily coat of protein formula strengthener (like Sally Hensen Maximum Growth) if you're having trouble growing short nails. Repeat this for a week, then remove and start again if you still need help.

  • Don't use your nails as tools to prise, pick or scratch with - they'll break and think how long they'll take to re-grow! Treat them like jewels NOT tools!

  • When you use a keyboard, calculator or mobile phone don't hit the keys with your nail tips, use your finger pads to prevent weakening and breaking your nails.

  • Use a moisturiser everytime after you've had your hands in water - keep pots of protective moisturising cream by your sinks and treat your hands and nails after each wash. A nail strengthening cream like Hard as Hoof can be even used over nail polish, and really helps keep your cuticles and nails moisturised. Using a handcream with a sunscreen ( SPF rating of at least 15) will help protect you from age spots and wrinkling on your hands.

nail painting
  • File in one direction only - a back-and-forth action weakens the nail. File the nail from each side to the centre of your nail in gentle sweeping strokes. Professional grade nail files made of glass are far kinder than metal files for natural nails, and can be used on artificial nails too. Glass nail files will give you the smoothest finish and are more gentle than cheap emery boards. They are easily cleaned by rinsing in warm water, so are more hygenic. Filing is less likely to break a nail than cutting them.

  • Avoid acetone based varnish removers where possible - they are very drying.

  • Massaging the cuticle bed and buffing gets the blood flowing to the nail and promotes healthy growth. However, don't buff your nails more than once a week as it does remove a layer of nail and so thins the nail plate. You can weaken your precious nails if you overdo it.

  • Apply a cuticle oil (like almond oil) or cuticle cream (like Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme) and an intensive hand cream (like Atrixo Regenerating Treatment) every night before you go to sleep. You can increase the effectiveness by putting on cotton gloves to keep the moisture in.

  • Don't cut your cuticles - gently push them back after a bath or shower. The cuticle is important as it forms a protective seal to keep water and germs out. Keep using a cuticle cream or oil daily to keep nails supple.

  • Apply a smear of petroleum jelly to your cuticles after your morning shower - it will help keep the moisture in.

  • Drink plenty of water daily as your nails are actually 16% water.

  • Calcium is important - milk, yoghurt, cheese. Also biotin helps nail growth - 2.5 milligrams of the vitamin daily can help improve hair and nail condition. Eating a healthy balanced diet containing fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, olive oil, beans, lean meat and fish will help with nail condition.

  • Always wear protective gloves when gardening, doing any cleaning, using harsh soaps, cleaning products, chemicals and of course washing up. Have plenty of gloves at hand around the house. Cotton gloves save you snagging your nails when you are doing laundry or other housework.

  • Choose the cotton lined rubber gloves as they prevent your hands sweating.

  • When you wash your hands or feet make sure you dry them really well to avoid fungal infections - a little talcum powder on your toes after drying is a good way to make sure they are really dry.
  • Garlic is supposed to be a natural strengthener for nails! Some people claim that placing their nail tips in a fresh peeled garlic clove once a week can really help keep your nails strong. Or try chopping up a garlic clove and adding it to your nail base polish, so you get the natural strengthening chemicals that way.

cruise ships

Work as a nail technician on cruise ships and get to see great locations like Santorini (above)

Lots of great free information on choosing and maintaining fake nails

What type of fake nail is best? Which type of fake nail is strongest and lasts the longest? How to grow and maintain natural strong nails, and the latest news and trends in nailcare.


Acrylic fake nails

Generally,acrylic false nails are the strongest fake nail available. They come in a two-part mix which is applied to your own nails in two or three layers in order to build up a new surface.

Once the acrylic mix has been applied, it will harden after a few minutes and can then be filed and painted as required. Acrylic nails will need filling every couple of weeks as your natural nails grow out.

Acrylic can also be used in conjunction with artificial nail tips to extend the length of your natural nails.

fake nailsGel nails

Gel nails are painted on in much the same way as Acrylic Nails, but are hardened or cured using a special UV lamp. They are not considered as strong as acrylic nails, but can provide a more natural looking finish and are kinder to the natural nail.

Gel can be used for tip overlays, short extensions and silk or fiberglass can be added for repairs or extra nail strength.

Gel overlay manicures, or 2-3 week manicures, are when a coat of gel 'polish' is applied to each nail. The gel needs 30 seconds under a UV light to set it. A second or third coat is applied and dried under the lamp. The polish can be clear, coloured or french manicure style.

The manicure should last for at least 2 weeks without chipping or needing maintenance, and can be a helpful aid to help nailbiters grow their nails out. The gel is a strong, bonded base coat which can help prevent your natural nails from splitting, peeling and chipping. Gel overlays have a natural feel compared to false nails, and your natural nails won't suffer as much as they do under acrylic nails. Gels should enable the wearer to grow their own nails to a good length.

more on applying and removing Gel nails


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