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E-Files Friend Or Foe?

Nothing spreads faster than a healthy serving of gossip with a side of negativity. Who doesn’t love to revel in someone or something when they miss the mark. Time and time again, we hear so many people, (clients and nail professionals) bad mouth the Electric File and this reputation has really stuck around. So are Electric Files really guilty of wreaking havoc on the natural nail? The collective conscience says yes? Here we unravel the truth about Electric Files (aka E-files) and how they got such a bad rap in the first place. Spoiler Alert: by the time you finish reading this, you might find yourself hooking up with the enemy.

The signs are everywhere. Instructors in the nail industry have commonly issued warnings to new nail techs about the E-File and the damage they might inflict on unsuspecting clients. Beware of clients fingers marked by the painful “rings of fire”of roughed up skin or the nail beds pock marked with divots from a temperamental and over zealous E-File. Early on and for many years as a salon owner and professional nail artist, Tracey Reierson, our current General Manager of Young Nails, steered clear of the E-File. Instead, the hand file was her tool of choice. Based on her experience, the E-File was something to use occasionally and definitely not a go-to tool. It got action only in a couple services, like backfills or cutting in smile lines; otherwise it wasn’t worth
the rumble of any pro worry or possible client trouble.

A firm believer in hand filing, Tracey handled a full book of up to 14 clients a day. It was her life for over six years straight. Eventually the repetitive motion started to cause some serious wear to the body; namely both her wrists. Out came the braces on both her wrists to counteract the pain of carpal tunnel and discussions were even floated about possible wrist surgeries. Then one day, a new nail tech joined her salon and without apprehension whipped out her E-File. She did beautiful nails without causing any damage to the natural nails of her clients. Just like that, it became clear what good work could be done with an E-File in the right hands and with the right education. Just like that, it became more clear that the E-File would be her life-saver. Tracey signed up for an E-File class with Greg at Young Nails that completely changed her understanding and experience of Electronic Files.

It’s crazy how entrenched all the negative rumors remain. Here we are today. Did you know that a salon could improve their speed and double their revenue if they introduced an E-File into their rotation of services? We swear that E-Files are just tools that are misunderstood. It’s a tool that requires training. Still many nail techs are slow to embrace or flat out refuse life with an E-File not comprehending that the real damage occurs if you are not properly trained.

Why does an E-File cause damage?
Look to the beauty industry in general and there are many instances where a client may risk damage and possible disappointment. They are saved from the risk not by talent but by a properly educated professional. The E-File damage can and should be avoided; just as a chemical burn from a facial treatment, brittle hair from color processing, aggravated muscle injury after a massage, and so on. In other real life examples, it’ like blaming a dog for its bite and not its owner for poor obedience training.

Damage is caused by user error. Take the time to educate yourself. In fact, use your own hand for training with the E-File. You’ll soon become fascinated by the whir of 2000-3000 RPMs and familiar with the exact pressure you need to prevent harm to the natural nail. Contrary to popular belief, yes, the E-File tickles. You may even become addicted to the E-File tickle around your cuticles (like someone we know). The E-File is shockingly gentle and soft to the touch. Try it on the inside of your arm, if you don’t believe.

Why do you need an E-File and not a drill?
An E-File is often incorrectly referred to as a drill. We have to change the terms used to refer to Electronic File as it is a vital tool of the nail trade. It’s a motorized file. It does essentially the same work as a hand file but with more accuracy. You can really address the cuticle area with an E-File. It provides great nail surface visibility in a way that is prohibitive with the bulk of a traditional hand file. It’s body saving, time saving, career saving. If you’re properly trained with an E-File two things will happen: improved speed paired with efficiency and the greatest possibility of well-preserved natural nails.

If you follow our social media segments like “How much?” or “Real Time” you can witness Greg and Tracey reach for an E-File over and over again. The E-File is necessary for the process of prepping but most important for removal. We are shooting videos three-four times a week and we need to move fast. We couldn’t be able to get in and out of acrylic or gel looks without it. We spare the hand from too much exposure to lengthy acetone soaks. Those soaks are always better when brief. See for yourself if any damage is caused to the nails. We would never use anything on ourselves or others that might cause pain and suffering. We’d never want to jeopardize the health of the natural nail.

We want your nails to be in great shape or we’d be out of business. We believe in constantly finding ways to improve the nail industry standards. The best way to do that starting with yourself and then by example is to be well trained and well informed. It’s so crucial to understand what the E-File can do for your salon business when used correctly.

You can take the lead in your salon, one client at a time. They come to you because they trust you. Take the time to introduce them to the E-File, explain to them that this is a tool of your trade and share with them all the benefits of your training. Help them see the E-File less as an enemy and more as a friend. If after all that, you find that a client is still not open to the E-File; than get ready to acknowledge that you might not be the right nail artist for them. Simply put, how can you accept a long-term client that puts their physical comfort ahead of yours. We need to educate the client on how to preserve the physical well-being and health of the nail tech, so that we can enjoy the certainty of a long and happy career.