TIPS FOR GETTING STARTED AS A NAIL PROFESSIONAL
As far as pay, you should look for either 50/50 commission or an hourly rate until you build up a clientele.
This can range anywhere from $6.00 an hour to $10.00 an hour. Sometimes they combine the two.
If it is Employee based THEY should be supplying all of your product, cotton, acetone etc. (they should also pay your taxes when you are an employee). You supply your implements & containers, efile, brushes, etc.
Questions to ask....in absolutely random order
-What product lines do they carry and use?
-What nail services do they offer?
--Is there a specific 'procedural manual' where you must perform services "their way", or do you have the freedom to perform the service your own way?
-Will they offer any training? (usually they want you to learn "their" way)
-Will they pay for continuing education? (Or even subsidize it? i.e.: pay half)
-Are they open to new product ideas?
-Are they flexible with products? (can you bring in new stuff to try)
-Will they advertise, run specials?
-Can you use an e-file?
-Who are the "key" holders and do you have access to the salon when not working?
-Do you have to share a station?
-What type of sanitation methods do they use?
-What are their length of services? (compare them to yours and adjust them if you have to)
-Do they confirm appointments?
-Do they charge for repairs?
-Do they charge for No-Shows?
-Do you get (paid?) vacation days and or sick pay? Is there a Holiday bonus?
-Do they take walk ins?
-Is there a retail commission? (Percentage of retail products you sell)
-If there is another tech working with you- how do they handle new appointments? (Should be a take-turn basis, unless tech is requested).
Dress neat and professionally, No jeans or sneakers!
I would make sure that you get EVERYTHING in writing-
especially any answers to these questions that are important to you.
Regarding âNon-Compete Contractsâ
Also, here in MA, it is not possible to enforce a "non-compete" rule- meaning that some salon owners may make you sign an agreement that you will not leave and work in another salon within a certain number of miles from their salon. I'm not sure of what the law is in every state, however the reason they don't hold up here in MA is that NOONE can keep you from your livelihood, and making money to support yourself &/or your family. If the subject comes up- either find out the law in advance, or do not sign the agreement until you do research the law on it. (Lawyers would know).
This was passed on to me by a nail professional--thought it was very good:
Now, here is a list regarding what to expect as a nail professional:
The Dirty Dozen
1) Don't go into this thinking it's easy. It's not as easy as we make it look or the school administration makes it sound.
2) Don't go into this thinking you'll be making a lot of money. You won't. Not for a couple of years.
3) Prepare to hunker down for the long haul. It generally takes 1-3 years of steady work to build up a good clientele.
4) Be prepared to be in the salon for hours on end with no clients on your book. It's called "paying your dues" and all of us old timers have done it. (Be smart with the free time in the salonâ practice, practice, practice... and offer other clients in the salon a free hand massageâ so you can sell yourself and your services to them!)
5) Find a compatible salon and then stay in it for several years. Do not salon hop, unless you want to see your client list dwindle.
6) Grow a tough skin. If you are a quitter or a crier you won't do well in this business. Clients can be brutal. So can salon owners and coworkers.
7) Don't think that once you have your license you are through learning. Those that have that attitude are left in the dust by those of us striving to learn all we can. Go to as many classes and shows as possible.
8) You have to be a people person to make it in this business. If you don't like talking to people or are shy, then you need to break out of that mold.
9) Speaking of "mold", those green stains are called pseudomonas bacteria. Never call it "mold", even if your school's outdated textbook does. Mold is NOT a human pathogen.
10) When in school, practice on as many people as you can. Your skills will advance faster with more practice. Plus it's better to make all your mistakes while you are a student instead of making them on a paying customer.
11) Some schools teach outdated material. Be prepared to learn a whole new way of doing things when you get into a salon.
12) Make it easier on yourself.....when you first get out of school go to work for a salon as an employee. Make sure you absorb as much as you can by watching the other nail techs work. Sometimes you even learn what NOT to do.
Here are The Easy Three:
1) Love what you do. If you don't love nails, and love learning more about nails, then this career isn't for you. As the famous George Burns once said: âFind something you love to do (career), and youâll never work a day in your life.â It is true!
2) Be flexible. Your appointment book is not written in stone. It is more fluid and you have to go with the flow and roll with the punches.
3) The longer you stay in this business, the more $$money$$ you will make. And the perks are great, too. When you are established and in demand, you can move to booth rental or even open your own salon. You can make your own schedule, choose your own products, and even choose the best clients!
Hope this helps!
All the best ...
Melissa: Love your website, do you sculpt your "tips" or do you use Tips? thanks
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> Melissa: Love your website, do you sculpt your
> "tips" or do you use Tips? thanks
Thank you Rusty1 8)
I sculpt everything
The colored 'tips' are created by sculpting with Creative Nail Design Mosaic and Metro Powders and Retention+ Liquid on Performance Forms.
Thank you so much for the compliment.
All the best,
I just want to say that I appreciate the info on the article about getting started it was well deserved, and I went to your website and seen your work. I love your work and how you make the arch in the nails they are GREAT. hopefully when I get better mine could perfect like that. I'm fairly new to the nail industry. It's beautiful to see great work from nailtech's that use professional product!
> I just want to say that I appreciate the info on the article about getting
> started it was well deserved, and I went to your website and seen your work.
> I love your work and how you make the arch in the nails they are GREAT. hopefully
> when I get better mine could perfect like that. I'm fairly new to the nail
> industry. It's beautiful to see great work from nailtech's that use professional
I have tried "regular" Creative powder but have seen/heard much about their Retention line. What is the Difference between the regular & Retention? Thinking of ordering a trial kit
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> ** Melissa:
> I have tried "regular" Creative powder but have seen/heard much about their
> Retention line. What is the Difference between the regular & Retention?
> Thinking of ordering a trial kit
When you say "regular" Creative powder, do mean Solarnail?
Here's a breakdown-
SolarNail Liquid is the original cross-linking sculpting liquid for sensitive clients.
SolarNail Powder is the original sculpting powder designed for SolarNail liquid; it is available in Blush and Clear.
Radical SolarNail is a reinforced, cross-linking sculpting liquid for clients who are tough on their enhancements (prone to cracking & breaking).
SolarNail Ultra Powders are advanced sculpting powders for tough enhancements, easy workability and standard color options-available in Natural (nude), Blush (soft pink) and White (standard white); designed for use with Radical SolarNail.
Retention+ is a keratin bonding, cross-linking sculpting liquid for lift-prone clients.
Perfect Color Powders are advanced sculpting powders with easy workability and enhanced color options- available in Clear (translucent), Natural (sheer nude), Pink (bright pink), Flawless (opaque pink), Intense Pink (bright, translucent pink), Soft White (soft), White (bright white); and may be used with Radical SolarNail also.
I use Retention+ 99% of the time, Radical SolarNail on a few, and always Perfect Color Powders.
Hope this helps!
All the best,
** Thanks Melissa, it's the Creative "Perfect color" in white I have tried. I think I will give that Retention a go, I'll get the Trial Kit You have a good Sunday :!:
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*I ordered my trial kit of Creative Retention, talked w/my daughter last week (who's in the hair/nail industry as well) and that's what she uses and loves. Anxious to give it a try, also have the Creative Brisa Gels coming in, have only tried a couple different Gels and heard alot about the Brisa so I'll give it a go :wink: I love trying different applications, narrowing it down and finding what I like/work with the best and then giving my Best at using it
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Hi Melissa, i was going to post a question about going into nails full time then i saw you post and decided to read. Thanks for the info and it has helped me out alot.
Let me tell a little about where live and how it works. Am one of some nail techs that keep educating ourselves in this field and going to shows :lol: . I work full time doing computer drawings and i do nails part time. I have been doing nails for about 4yrs, the time pass so quickly it did not seem that long. I want to go into it full time because it's becoming a love more than a hobbie. Over the years i have build up a strong clientele and it keeps growing.
I am more of a travelling nail tech and also home base. In Trinidad we don't have any laws against that stuff, but i do keep updates on rules in the states and work accordingly.
Before i go out on my own i want to do some research, do you have any more idea or tips that i can use.
My #1 most important piece of advice, and I know it's very hard but DON'T GOSSIP. If you gossip, it will come back and bite you in the butt! Never ever say a bad word about anyone. When one of the girls talks bad about one of the other nail techs I respond by saying that none of us are experts, we're all good at what we do and we all do things differently so who am I to put someone else down.
In a nut shell, I look at the salon like this. If I am the topic of conversation, that's fine but it's really sad that these peoples lives are so boring that I am all they have to talk about. I must be the envy of the salon.....who would have thought!
It's in your attitude, keep it light and don't get caught up in the b.s. The key is Nail PROFESSIONAL......we all need to be just that......PROFESSIONALS!
Thanks for such a great post . I have sent a couple of newbies to check it out and they both seem to be reinspired . They were ready to throw in the towel . I think that they had to hear it from someone else . I was starting to sound like a broken record .
I remember bieng frustrated when my full sets were taking way too long and not perfect . Seems like yesterday , but it was ten years ago . I used to make some chunky funkys , ugly ! Happy to say that with much PRACTICE and continuing education they look pretty darn good these days. My point is that it does take time guys. If you don't have a live person , a nail trainer will do . Just practice everyday.
The whole thing about the non compete was very useful to me also . Ran into that recently . No way ! Thanks for the support.
You're very welcome Erin, I'm happy that I could be of some help.
All the best,
Melissa I think that you are right on. Those are all the things that I wish that someone had told me when I was starting out. It is a way different story when you are out of school. everything is different. Being a nail tech is a great career but its not for you if you dont like to work hard. but if you do work hard, it can be so rewarding.
Let me get your opinion on this type of "perhaps" situation. I supply All my own nail products (which I prefer) and my own pedicure products. If I were to go commission what would you suggest I look for/propose as what I want for a split? I was thinking of 60/40 split - appreciate your thoughts on this since I'm just starting out :wink:
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> ** Melissa:
> Let me get your opinion on this type of "perhaps" situation. I supply All
> my own nail products (which I prefer) and my own pedicure products. If I were
> to go commission what would you suggest I look for/propose as what I want for
> a split? I was thinking of 60/40 split - appreciate your thoughts on this
> since I'm just starting out :wink:
Hmm... well, I think you'd be getting the short end of the stick.....
I pay 60% commission AND I supply everything....
and that's what I used to get for commission...with all my supplies bought...
if you want to buy all your own products, then you should be a boothrenter... that way you can deduct ALL your expenses....
thats my professional opinion,
Hope this helps!
All the best,
**Melissa: I would get the 60% (should have clarified that) :wink: But with Just starting out I've heard that going Commission is best until you build up a clientel (perhaps by June go to renting) ?? I've got my resume's made up and was going to go to some shops I think I might like to work at maybe the middle of next week.
* Melissa: Oh, I should have "thought" more about what you said! I forgot that you're on the "owner-end" of things and with you supplying everything as well as paying 60% - What would you suggest then in my situation w/me supplying all Nail/Pedi stuff? :roll: Sure appreciate your Expert opinion
I sure don't want to "short" myself!
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**Melissa: ~Happy Holidays~ Know you're busy but I'd Sure appreciate any input from my last post as I'm going out today to put some resumes out. Next week I meet w/an owner of a salon and would like to have my information etc. of what I'm looking for. Thanks
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Well, I just wanted to put my two cents in here, lol. I just got out of nail school in August. That same month I started Estetics school. One of the advance students told me about a salon she was going to work in that was looking for a nail tech. I put it off until November & finally went & talked to the owner. She has been in business, in the same spot, for 15 years or more. She had all the equipment & was going to only charge me $50 a week booth rent. I was told that her clients were looking for a nail tech that could speak english, lol, so I shouldn't have any trouble paying rent. There are two stylist in this salon & the new esthetican's clients. All together, you are talking about 150 to 200 clients. The owner & estetican did a big ribbon cutting cermony & posted adversitments around town. The owner even joined the local Chamber of Commerce. I started there Nov. 14. The owner told me she felt I would do best starting part time & since she only worked Tues., Thurs., & Fri. that those days would be best for me. I did everything the owner suggested to me. After three weeks, I had to go to the owner & ask her if she would mind doing a commission instead of the $50 a week. Anyways, to make a long story short, the owner of the salon all but shoved me out the door, which was ok because I wasn't making any money & the couple of services I did, no one re-booked. It was giving me a complex. I did ask the owner if there was any complaints about my work & the only one she had was for a lady I gave a free service to, because she won it as a door prize at the ribbon cutting party. The client's complaint was that the polish come off to soon. (I don't know why because I used Creative Sticky base coat, Creative nail polish & Creative air dry top coat. I even dehyated the nail before I polished anything.) As a request from the client, I only put one coat of colored polished, because the client didn't want anything dark or to stand out. She wanted something natural. This was the clients second nail service in her life. Anyways, I was told by the owner that I didn't have the personality for this business & she didn't feel I needed to finish my schooling for estetics. That it wouldn't do me any good & why didn't I find an office job. That wasn't very nice & bothered me a lot, but out of all the services I have done in school & out, everyone has always told me they loved it & in school, I even put a couple clients to sleep at school during the hand massage. Melissa is right about people being mean. In case your wondering, I'm not quiting & won't be looking for any office job. I just have to figure out what to do next, thanks.
Have a blessed day!
I just wanted to say, don't give up. What that person said was mean and very rude to say the least. Don't let anyone discourage you from your dream. Just stay focused and keep looking.
Wow, that is the best advice, especially for a new tech like myself. I know I'm not going into this blindly. The desire and fire I have in me is even more fueled as I read your post. Everything you said here is true for a high-end salon and I have my work cutout for me. I am more determined than before I started school to be the best and the most successful. I told my 15 yo daughter be prepared to not see your mom for 12 to 15 hours a day because I'll be working my butt off so we can have a nice life. It will be worth the sacrifice. Thank you so much! By the way, LOVE your website. You are awesome. I want to be as good as you someday!
Thank you Katie
All the best to you,
ok, you have me worried. I knew it wouldn't be easy and that I wouldn't make money right away but i thought it would be a little easier. It's good to come across this before i even start school so i know the truth. I am still going to start school cause I think I would really enjoy doing nails. Even though i haven't started school yet (not till the end of April) I was thinking of getting a nail trainer now. Is this a good idea? I am brand new to this forum and know nothing, just that I think I'll like doing nails. What do i do now?
If you truly want to do nails, then you can do it. It is a career- not a 'job'
The key to success is practice.
Practice will make you better.
Being better gets you clients.
More clients makes you more money.
I highly recommend the Nail Trainer hand- as I have always had a rule:
"Never practice on paying clients."
Thats just one of my 'mottos' - you can do what you like... and if you DO "practice" on the paying public- it would be best if you inform them of your 'practicing' and that you may not have 'mastered' the technique(s) yet...
I couldn't be happier with my career- I get to make women (and men) happy ALL day long.. so how can you have a bad day??? :wink:
I hope this helps,