My first unit through my diploma of beauty therapy is studying manicures and pedicures. If you’re new to the beauty industry, a manicure is a cosmetic treatment performed at a salon that involves filing, buffing, removing cuticles, a hand and arm massage and a coloured polish to end. A Pedicure is the same except on the feet and toes and involves rasping the heels to remove the build up of dead skin.
In this semester, we have learnt the ins and outs of nail care, the science behind nails, contraindications (medical conditions and allergies that affect the nail health and treatments going ahead), reflexology, health and hygiene regulations, and the muscle and bone structure of the hands and feet. I thought I would share a couple of helpful tips that I have learnt throughout my studies that may benefit you and your nail health.
Manicure and Pedicure benefits
- Increases circulation
- Skin and nail hydration
- Promotes nail growth
- Relaxation from massage
- Eases muscle tension
- Removes dead skin cells
- Promotes cell regeneration
Your nails should be:
- White free edge (end of nail)
- No visible imperfections (white spots, yellowness, darkness, etc)
- Soft and intact cuticles
Effects of diseases on nails
If you suffer from any medical conditions or diseases it may show on your nails. Some of these include
- Weakness- from genetics, medications, artificial nail damage
- Brittle- Ageing, illness, medication, excessive drying/buffing
- Yellow colouring- fungal infection or lung disease
- Dark colouring- Chemotherapy treatment
- Yellow colouring- staining from using coloured polish
- Deep ridges- caused from genetics, illness, medication and trauma
- Pitting- caused from eczema and psoriasis
Reasons for increased nail growth
- Healthy diet
- Warm weather
Reasons for decreased nail growth
- Cold weather
- Poor circulation
- Illness or disease
Process of a manicure
- Nail polish remover- removes clients current polish
- File- shapes nails and removes any ridges or breakage on the free edge
- Cuticle remover- softens the cuticles and breaks down the dead skin cells surrounding the cuticles. They are then pushed back with an orange stick or a metal tool which makes the nails look longer and keeps the nail healthy and hydrated.
- Cuticle oil- hydrates the cuticle after pushing it back and applying pressure. It also prevents dryness, peeling and hangnails (the bits of skin that peel off from the side of your nails that hurt like a lil b**ch)
- If performing a spa manicure, an exfoliant and a mask will be applied here. These get rid of dead skin cells to promote healthy skin turnover, and allows better product absorption. A mask infuses natural ingredients and helps flush toxins from the body. It hydrates the skin and promotes it to look brighter and healthier.
- Massage- massage oil is applied and a structured massage is performed, targeting the inner and outer arm, elbows, inner palm (best part of the massage) and the fingers. Massage releases tension and stress, and increases circulation.
- Squeak clean- using nail polish remover and a de-makeup wipe, the nails are then squeaked to remove any remaining oil or moisturiser from the massage. This creates a clean surface for the paint
- Base coat- a base coat is a clear polish which prepares the nail for the coloured polish. it works a lot like a primer for makeup. A base coat will also prevent the polish from discolouring the nail plate, which is extremely common.
- Coloured polish- applied in 2 layers
- Top coat- A top coat is applied to prevent chipping and to seal the polish. It works ike a setting spray or a powder for makeup. It can be shiny or matte, depending on the clients overall desire.
Home care advice
After a manicure or pedicure it is important to follow home care advice. The therapist will give you a list of things you should do at home to help the benefits of the treatment last as long as possible. These can vary from different clients, however these are the most occurring tips.
- wear gloves around the home- prevents nails and cuticles from drying out and becoming weak and flakey
- avoid walking barefoot (pedicure)
- gently file and buff nails around 2 times per week to keep shape and promote growth
- use a soap free or ph balanced soap- will prevent dry hands and nails
- apply moisturiser twice daily, focusing on massaging problem areas such as cuticles.I love the Arbonne hand cream found here , and for feet i love the Body Shop hemp cream found here
- use a cuticle oil 2-3 times daily- hydrates cuticles and prevents hangnails. I love the body shop cuticle oil found here
- exfoliate hands and feet weekly- removed dead skin cells
- eat a balanced diet- will improve overall health as well as nail health
- drink 2-3 litres of water daily- keeps skin hydrated
I hope this post has given you some tips into taking care of your nails, hands and feet. Although it may sound like a lot of work, taking good care of your nails can help prevent some pretty costly trips to your local GP or podiatrist to help fight fungal diseases and other medical conditions that can occur on the nails and feet- yuck. If you can not afford manicures and pedicures like myself, take note of my home care advice. Doing these tips will increase your overall nail health and you will notice a difference.
Writing this has also helped me revise for my exams and reflect on what i have learnt this semester.
I hope everyone is having a happy Monday!
Please note: All salons and training academy have their own techniques and ways of performing these treatments. This is what I have learnt from my training provider and does not mean what you have learnt is incorrect. At the end of the day, if you’re getting the desired result from your service then they are doing their job correctly xxx