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Toenails are very different than fingernails. They are thicker, less likely to flex, don't extend far beyond the free edge, don't wash dishes or change diapers and they spend most of their time covered and protected- so it's much easier to get nail polish to adhere to toes.

Water or no water for manis? First off, EVERY client should always wash their hands before any service, so water can't be avoided (same with feet). Washing is critical to preventing the spread of infections.

Water soak in warm soapy water is a different matter and not the same has a 20 second hand washing. After a few minutes of soaking, the nail plate can absorb a lot of water, depending on its condition. Thin, damaged nails absorb water MUCH fast than normal, healthy nails.

If your client has no problems with nail polish adhesion, then they probably can have any type of manicure. If they have problems with lifting, chipping etc, and they are having water manicures, I'd recommend avoiding any soaking in warm, soapy water. They should still wash their hands, but skipping the soak can help improve adhesion for those who suffer from poor adhesion.

If you want to learn more, check out the DVD "Doug Schoon's Brain in 3D". You can buy a copy from the Beauty Tech website.

Doug Schoon
Chief Scientific Advisor
Creative Nail Design, Inc.


Doug, thank you for responding. However, that still doesn't totally answer my question because I have had people who have either had stronger, thicker fingernails than their toes and visa versa.

Maybe we should give a wet or dry service on either depending on the thickness of the nails. So even if they have thin toenails, which I have seen on some people, they should receive a waterless pedicure?
That's what I meant when I said, "thin, damaged nails absorb water Much faster than normal health nails". So I agree, the thinness and nail's condition help determines how water will affect them.

All pedicures, including "waterless pedicures" must be performed on clean feet. That means the feet need to be washed. Alcohol sanitizers don't clean the feet, they just kill some of the microorganisms on the skin. The feet still must be cleansed with soap and water.


Wouldn't you agree Doug that not all nails that are thin are not necessarily damaged? Some people's nails are naturally thin due to heredity?
That's a good point. Thin and/or damaged is probaly a more precise way to put it.


So if I understand what you are saying it isn't that wet or dry is wrong or right. It is more about the condition of the nails you are starting with. If their nails are thin and/or damaged water services would not be in the best interest of the client as the water will penetrate the nail plate quicker no matter whether hands or feet?
I agree with your characterization of the issue.


Thank you for the clarification Doug. It is helpful in providing the best service possible to our clients.


If the portion of any service can cause potential harm, can being the key word, yet does zero good meaning has no benefit at all. It can either do nothing or harm the nail, how can it be considered a correct or proper service?
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