iGel Academy

11 Things You Should Know Before Becoming a Nail Tech

You probably heard countless practical beginner nail tech tips as a budding entrepreneur. You listened to nail industry podcasts and read self-help or female-empowering books for nail techs to prepare. But none could ever prepare you for the real world of the beauty industry. We rounded up the top advice from nail professionals to give you a dose of reality and know what to expect. 


1. “Let gravity do the work, To tilt nails downward to stop cuticles flooding.”- Mary B.

As funny as it sounds, gravity can tremendously help correct other common mistakes with the dip powder method and gel polish. You have to use gravity to your advantage as a nail tech by tilting your nails downwards since sometimes newbie nail techs position their client's hands the wrong way. 

You can practice your nail art design on a nail training hand to get used to the proper hand position. It might be a no-brainer technique, but it's true; you can use gravity to ensure your acrylic or nail art is falling into place. 


2. “To stand my ground with clients. Don’t let them guilt me into anything. I wasted so much time in my younger years, scared and worried and a pushover. “ - Anne M.

As a beginner in the nail industry, marketing yourself and making your clients fall head over heels for you is one of the main priorities when starting your nail career.  There will be times when your nail clients will take advantage of you by negotiating your nail services offer for a much lower rate since you're a newbie, or you're afraid of not building a steady client roster; you'll be settling for less.

You are new and young in the nail industry, but don't let it stop you from knowing your worth. Look at all the celebrity nail techs who have made it in the industry by breaking ceilings and leaving their mark.


3. "I always go by the book (I'm currently enrolled in nail school and have learned so much that I never knew it took to become a nail tech). It's okay to look at what others are doing to get clientele but not all $ is good $." - Sasha V.

Going to nail school is essential for aspiring nail techs who want to learn the in and out of doing nails. Like Picasso said, "Learn the rules like a pro so that you can break them like an artist."

First, you must know the basics from nail care to nail prep. In nail school, you'll learn a lot and meet other nail techs who can help you grow your network. It's also important to know that not all opportunities that come your way are something you must grab.


4.“Other nail techs are friends, not competition “- Namibia H.

It's easy to fall into the trap of self-doubt and comparing yourself with other nail techs if you're starting your nail career, but it's essential to keep in mind the importance of friendships and networking as an entrepreneur, you're not just an artist but a nail salon owner too.

Here at iGel Beauty, we're all about female empowerment, learning, and inspiring one another while being passionate about beauty and all things nails. Read our blog about defeating self-doubt as a nail tech here.


5. “Focus on your foundation, three bead method! Once you master that, you can do everything else faster with fewer mistakes . “- Maria G.

Acrylic nails can be tricky for newbies, but it's a nail technique that you can master through time. You can read our blog about acrylic nails and nail techs' common acrylic mishaps. You'll be making gorgeous acrylic nail art designs in no time. Once you master the foundations you’ll be dodging numerous amounts of stress as a nail tech.


6. “Not to worry about design practice, and practice, the foundation, and polishing skills. I would have done straight basic sets of one color for 6-9 months first or until I got it down.”- Beverly K.

Practice makes perfect, and you probably heard about this adage a lot of times. Yes, it can be tempting and exciting to think about doing nails for a living, but you have to put in the work first on the basics and foundations. Once you master the basics of doing nails, you can focus on designing nails. 


7. "Stay encouraged, artistic and skilled- if this is your passion, learn its business and make a living of it. It is okay to set standards for your business practice, say no to certain customers, and know your value as your skills expand. The financial literacy of this business does exist. Learn it. Do for yourself as you would for others; practice does pay off." - Debbie P.

Learning new things and continuously educating yourself will pay off in the long run; whether you're a newbie or a pro in the nail industry, nothing beats staying up to date, knowing the latest beauty trends, and leveraging your business in a highly competitive world.

There's nothing wrong with investing in yourself for the better, such as enrolling in an online nail tech course, going to nail school, or attending live demos on your favorite nail products. P.s. we have a lot of live videos for iGel Beauty products you might not want to miss out on.


8. “Invest in quality professional products.”- Kristina L.

When starting out, it's easy to buy affordable nail products just for practicing your nail art designs. Or you might not know what's the best nail products to buy, so don't make this rookie mistake; according to one nail pro, it's a big no. We're here to tell you that investing in quality professional products as a newbie shouldn't break your wallet!

With iGel Beauty, we prioritize our dear customers in mind by creating nail products that are high quality yet affordable that can last a long time, and make their nail art designs pop from our dip and dip powders to our e-files. You can read our blog about the success of our 60% sale and how it helped iGel Beauties in their nail career. 


9. “Protect yourself and your business by being licensed and insured."- Nikki G.

Being a nail salon owner is not easy; aside from wearing multiple hats, you must ensure your business is safe and insured. You can read our blog on how to open a nail salon and nail salon equipment  you should consider when starting. 

At the end of the day, you're an entrepreneur and running a nail business, so it only makes sense that you're smart about payments and where your money is going. You want your clients to see you as an entrepreneur who puts in the hard work and knows their worth, and you know that you're giving them value with your nail art designs.


10. "Post consistently, take good pictures, use #’s to tag the brand"- Sheila J.

Marketing is never easy, but it doesn't mean it's not loads of fun; if you're up for a challenge, you can try various online marketing strategies that you can implement to boost your brand awareness. You can be creative as much as possible and unleash your creativity the same way you do with your nail art designs. You can get some ideas with our marketing and business lessons blog here.


11. "Place boundaries if you’re catering to clients in a homebased nail salon"- Nina Y.

If you're a nail tech who caters to your clients within the comfort of your home nail salon, there's a fine line between making your clients feel at home or ease and allowing them to do whatever they wish in your home. Be firm and professional, let your family know if you have a client coming over to your office, and let your clients know you're up for business with your professionalism. 

Here are the top 11 things you should know when starting as a nail tech. We hope that you'll learn a thing or two from nail professionals who have been in the industry to avoid making the same mistakes they did before. You can also join our iGel Beauty Facebook community to network with other iGel Beauties, learn nail best practices, and get inspiration for your next nail set. We'll see you there!