When you need a mood boost or just a little "me time," few things top a trip to the nail salon. For me personally, just the hand massage is worth the cost. Having a go-to nail place or a tech who knows you and your preferences makes the experience even better. But there are things you might be doing to annoy your manicurist that you aren't even aware of, and if you value your relationship with them, you need to stop doing those things ASAP.
Good nail techs are there to help make your hands look and feel their best, and their best advertisement is a happy client who comes back often and recommends their salon to friends. Like any professional, they deserve respect for their time and services, and they appreciate customers who show it to them. When clients show up late or not at all, or walk in during a busy time and request an elaborate design, it doesn't exactly make a manicurist's day. But there are other, more unexpected habits or slip-ups that make it difficult for a nail tech to do their job, or for you to get the results you want. We've all done at least one of these at some point (so at least we're in good company).
1. Bringing The Family
Unless everyone in your group is there for a gel or pedi, they're just taking up the seats reserved for the actual customers, which nail techs find rude, as nail technician Amanda McBride wrote for Odyssey. Besides, what are they going to do there anyway? Read two-week-old Us Weekly mags and watch your nails dry? Bringing young children is also not such a great idea, added Nails Magazine; it's hard to prevent them from rearranging the polish bottles while your feet are soaking in the tub.
2. Coming In Sick
Just because your nail tech is wearing a mask doesn't mean they want to have you sneezing and hacking six inches away from their faces. Neither do the other clients. And if you have a wart on your finger, a toenail with fungus, or any other transmittable infection, say no to mani-pedis until the condition is cleared up, warned HealthyWay. Bacteria from your fingers or toes can cling to manicure tools and spread to other clients, especially if the instruments aren't thoroughly sterilized between uses.
3. Peeling Off Your Gel
You may be sick of the shade, but trying to scrape off a gel manicure on your own is a bad idea, according to manicurists who spoke to Self. The gel is bonded to the keratin in your nails, so improper removal techniques will weaken the natural nail.
4. Not Pampering Your Hands Between Appointments
Would you skip brushing between dentist cleanings? Of course not. But nail techs told Self they often see customers come in with rough, dry hands because they neglect to moisturize frequently between salon visits (especially after hand-washing). The better shape your hands are in when you arrive for your appointment, the better they'll look when they come out. And if you don't have a bottle of cuticle oil at home already, run, do not walk, to your drugstore, manicurists added. Caring for your cuticles will prevent hangnails and ragged skin between visits.
5. Using Your Phone
You can wait to text your friends and your mom until after you're out of the salon. And if you can't, then maybe it's better to reschedule your appointment. Otherwise, you're just taking up your tech's time by tapping on the screen or talking while they're waiting for you to put your hand back in the soaking dish, according to PureWow.
6. Fixing Your Hair
Nail techs admitted to getting peeved when clients start fussing with their hair or clothes right before the polish is applied. As one tech explained to Self, this exposes your nail to the dirt and oils that all the soaking and polish remover just took off, making the manicure less likely to go on smoothly.
7. Not Washing Your Hands
You may not realize it, but your nail tech can tell that you pumped gas, worked out, or had pizza for lunch before your appointment — the grease and odor on your hands and scuzz under your nails tell the whole story, manicurists told Reader's Digest. Do your salon a favor and give your hands a scrub, either at home or when you arrive.
8. Going Stiff
When your nail tech tells you, "Relax," it's not just because they want you to have a mellow experience. Manicurists told Nails Magazine that in order to properly cover all the nails, the hands have to be relaxed and loose. If you're tensed up, you might come away with a missed spot or two on your otherwise perfect mani.