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Full Version: Youngest age for gels?
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Has anyone had requests to do gels on young girls? What would be the youngest age you would consider?

If you've said no due to age, what was the reason you gave?

I'm opening my salon soon and wonder if this will ever come up...

Thanks
I looked at your website and since you are doing natural nails, I assume you mean gel polish and not hard gel, correct?

I think you'll find most people will not spend the extra money for gel polish on little girls, so it probably won't be a big issue. If you do have someone ask for it, I would probably say 10 would be the absolute minimum - you would never get a younger child to stay still for that long.

I generally say 13 for enhancements - and even then their nails need to be past the "soft" stage. You'll know what I mean when you start seeing kids nails. I tell Mom's bringing them in that they should wait so that their kids don't end up with permanent damage while the nails are still developing.

So far for gel polish I've stuck to the same age - it's too easy for people to get into the habit of picking it off and causing damage. Funny, this doesn't come up often for me, but just last week I had someone ask me about gel polish on the nails and RockStar toes... for a 5 year old! Wink
I must confess that I have strong reservations about this. I wonder why we feel the need to inculcate girls with these things so young. But that is my philosophical bent. Several months ago, I asked my sister, a pediatrician, about this. She was absolutely horrified at the idea of using gel on anyone under 14. I was so surprised at her strong reaction that I talked to my dermatologist, who was equally adamant! After some more research, I am now completely convinced that no enhancement, including gel nails and gel polish, should be done on anyone under 14. There are a few good reasons for this. First, the chemicals we use, although safe for adults, may not be as safe for children as their immune systems are not as developed as adults. We all know the level of care that we take not to get uncured gel and other chemicals on clients because of the risk of chemical sensitivity. That risk is significantly higher in children. Secondly, children get additional exposure through ingestion, because kids,even/especially teens always seem to be putting their hands in their mouths! Third, children cannot be relied upon to do the aftercare. We can barely get adults to do it!

Another important point is that the manufacturers and their professional associations also recommend against using these enhancements on children. Perhaps the most compelling reason for not doing enhancements on kids is that your insurance probably won't cover you
Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I do not offer enhancement services to anyone under age 15. My reason is that no matter how eager, I feel the younger girls will not treat their nails in a way that won't damage them. They pick, rip them off, and more importantly, usually don't keep regular appointments. Gel polish is now included in that, but partially for selfish reasons. I'm late to the gel polish game and am trying to perfect technique and find the product line I'm most comfortable with. I've had several clients return in a week or less with little chips, bubbling, etc. The younger girls will just pick, scratch or bite the color off.
I can see where if you are just trying to get comfortable with gel polish, and troubleshooting your technique AND client specific issues, it would NOT be a good thing dealing with a kid who picks off the product!

I have one girl, she was just barely 13 when her mom brought her to me for acrylics 3 1/2 years ago, I was pretty hesitant. I sat them down and talked about nail structure, and how permanent damage could be done to the natural nails if enhancements weren't cared for properly. That's when I refined "The Talk" that I have with mothers/teens before I will do nails on a teen 13 and over. They go into it knowing that if they start to develop bad habits, and I start to have concerns for the health of their natural nails because of them, that we will either a) switch to a different service that is MY choice for the health of their nails, or b) I won't do their nails anymore for a while.

Sara (the 13 year old) is actually still a client - though all of the friends she referred to me didn't last very long because they would rip off their acrylics as soon as one or two weren't "perfect". That's one of the problems with teen girls - they are so self-conscious and afraid of any "flaws"... Sara wore acrylics for about the first two years, never any problems and her nails were very healthy, then she started thinking it was fun to rip off the nails the day before her appointment. I switched her over to gel polish at that time, which she wears on long natural nails and never has any chipping. Her nails are crazy healthy, but she is my only long term success story for a teen! Everyone else either couldn't afford my prices or had bad habits!