As temperatures rise, we trade in closed-toed shoes for bare feet or sandals, and we begin to embrace summer adventure. Unfortunately, extended exposure to sun, water, and other elements can wreak havoc on our nails, often causing them to bend or break.
As a nail school student, you must be prepared to advise customers on proper nail care techniques. Share these tips and your clients will have beautiful, strong, and healthy nails all summer long.
Keep Your Nails Hydrated
When it comes to strengthening your nails, hydration is key. Like your skin and hair, your nails need moisture in order to prevent cracking and peeling. While many people assume that soaking their nails in water hydrates nails, it actually removes important oils and causes them to dry out. Exposure to chemicals like chlorine, household cleaners, and alcohol-based sanitizers can also dehydrate your skin and nails. So whether your clients are planning on long pool days or summer cleaning, be sure and remind them to keep their nails hydrated.
Hands and nails should be moisturized immediately after swimming, soaking nails, or washing hands to help replace their natural oils. Apply lotions or hand creams, or try a do-it-yourself nail soak: pour a bit of oil – olive, coconut, argan, and tea tree oils work perfectly – into a bowl and soak nails for about 10 minutes to rejuvenate them. When possible, wear rubber gloves when cleaning with chemicals.
Encourage clients to extend the wear of their manicures, as nail polish remover quickly dehydrates nails. Instead, apply hydrating base coats and continuously touch up your nail polish to serve as a protective shield from water and the sun. Finish with a nail hardener to thicken and strengthen your nails while giving them a glossy effect.
Your cuticles protect your nails from bacteria, so it is important to remind your clients to care for them too. Dehydrated cuticles can cause unsightly and painful hangnails, so always apply cuticle oil or softener to help keep them moisturized.
Keep Your Nails Short
Because your nails grow more quickly in the summer, they require extra attention. Frequently cutting your nails actually helps speed their growth, and keeping your nails short can be beneficial for strong, healthy nails. Shorter nails have fewer exposed edges that can be ripped or broken during your summer activities, and they require less moisture and upkeep.
When cutting your nails, avoid using harsh tools and remember to cut toenails straight across to prevent them from growing into the corners. Always file nails in one direction only, as filing back and forth causes nails to split and peel. The pointier your nails are, the more likely they are to break; so opt for an oval shape to maximize their strength this summer. Lastly, warn you clients against cutting back their cuticles. Because they help protect from infection and lock in moisture, it is best to apply cuticle oil and push them back instead.
The health of your nails is directly related to your general health. Poor nutrition, aging, and infection all weaken nails and slow their growth. The days are longer and the weather is nicer, making summer the perfect time to get active and improve your health. Encourage clients to drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of proteins, and their nails will reap the benefits. Because bacteria thrives in humid environments, remember to wash and dry hands often to prevent infection. Followed by a lotion, cream or oil to replenish moisture, of course!
If you are interested in enrolling in a Cosmetology program and helping others maintain strong, healthy nails, contact Health and Style Institute today!