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Professionalism In The Nail Salon

On The Biz Talk, Habib and Tracey tackle what professionalism looks like in the nail salon. If you're a nail pro, we ask the hard questions that may sound silly and besides the point as it relates to your business. Does it matter what you wear to the salon? Could the music in the background be sending the wrong message? Are the conversations you engage in slowly eating away at your profit? Keep reading and find out here.

If you have someone sitting in the chair for a set of nails, chances are this persona cares about appearances and has a thing for “superficial” details. As a salon professional, stop and think about how you are expressing your personal brand? What image do you want your clients to associate with you? How you express yourself shows a level of care, consideration, and mastery. This expression is then projected out into the world to your clients, your peers and your proteges. If you are a nail tech hustling among many or happily insulated in your own salon suite; your professional presentation and personal style says a lot about you. It should be something you take pretty seriously. It will set you and your business apart.

We will always encourage you to be yourself. We want you to express yourself authentically. We are not asking you to uphold unreasonable or over-rated ideals of beauty. What we are asking you to do is to present your best self in the workplace. This is how we define professionalism. We are in the fashion/beauty industry; you get points for personal style and vision. People are watching and want to be inspired. It matters in this industry.

We are not against comfort. We are opposed to personal neglect. There are a multitude of fashion options that are on point but don’t exclude comfort. You get to decide what a nail boss looks like. Let your style empower you and shine. It could mean ripped jeans and a t-shirt or the current trend popularly referred to as Athleisure. What we are opposed to is personal neglect. Sloppy earns you negative points. Looking like you’ve been kidnapped and thrown into the trunk of a car might just signal a vote of no confidence. The salon is not your living room. You are a business. Make a good impression everyday. Try this on for size. Close your eyes and visualize what you want out of your career in nails. What does success look like and feel like? Now act like you are already that person.

You may be short on time and money. You might just hate getting dressed up like we do. This is why curating a “work uniform” makes a lot of sense. Consider pulling together a seasonally appropriate capsule collection. Pinterest has great posts on this. Sometimes it’s called a 10x10 challenge on Instagram. It won’t break the bank. Decide on your signature style. Whatever makes you feel good about yourself. It can be funky, edgy, or boho. It doesn’t have to be minimal or classically traditional. Now set aside the essentials of this signature look: the same shirts, a few pairs of jeans, a skirt and a couple pairs of shoes that go with everything. Designate your most fashionable friend and have them act as your personal stylist. Go through and edit your closet. Reserve a row or drawer for stylish work wear. Set it and forget it. Voila! Sweats and trainwrecks avoided!

Music and conversation can be two of the most complicated and prickly areas in the salon. Salons are public spaces and where very private and intimate conversations take place. People sit in the chair and all of a sudden it becomes a confessional. Some nail techs like that a wall comes down and people share an awful lot of about themselves. Some nail techs don’t. The opposite it true. Sometimes a nail artist might let you into a part of their life that is unsettling. Stop and consider where you are at in the oversharing department. Consider if your language is inviting or isolating. F-bombs happen just like life happens. Be sensitive to it. If you know your clientele; you know what is appropriate. You can get a good read. As a nail professional, know what type of language can be used and be conscious of the conversation. It’s your place of work and you set the tone for the environment. In the Salon, everyone should feel comfortable in the space. So if anyone feels uncomfortable, you need to lead. Your personal brand stands for a unique set of values; calmly redirect anything that doesn’t align with it. Be a leader and role-model, whether you are the salon owner or a salon employee, the goal is for it to be as welcoming as possible. Try to keep the conversation light and set the music station to something that most can enjoy. Your hardcore workout playlist with explicit lyrics may not be the right mood your first appointment of the day!

**This is an adaption from our YN Biz Talk playlist on YouTube, “PROFESSIONALISM IN THE NAIL SALON”.

Follow our YN YouTube Channel and click here to watch the full discussion here: