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Here's the drill

Ever been to a nail salon and been horrified to see they ‘drill’ your nails?

Ever avoided a nail salon because they ‘drill’ your nails?

Let us educate you on the correct use of ‘e-files’ (electric files) and why not all salons are created equal.

It’s true, the ‘drill’ or electric file has a bad reputation when it comes to nail services but unfortunately, it is ALWAYS down to the technician using it. In the correct hands, an e-file can be a useful, gentle and time saving tool that can also produce beautiful results.

In the salon we use the e-file to smooth hard skin, remove dead skin from the nail plate and to remove or debulk gel or acrylic enhancements.

The reason these pieces of equipment have a bad reputation is because when they are used incorrectly they can over file the natural nail and over abrade the skin causing fingernails and surrounding skin to feel thin, tender and sore.

There are tonnes of drill bits available but an experienced nail technician will select quality bits suitable for the task in hand. With the right bit it is then down to the nail technician to use the correct speed, pressure and techniques for the task.

Believe it or not, a poor nail technician can cause as much damage, if not more with a traditional nail file as with an e-file.

Unfortunately, nail services are largely unregulated and that makes it difficult as a client to know who to trust. But a decent nail tech will be proud to show off their level of knowledge, training and experience – something which is essential when looking for a high level of skill.

So why choose a nail tech that uses an e-file?

Well, firstly it can speed up service times. We don’t all have the time or patience to sit still for hours. Using an e-file, can remove gel colour or debulk nail extensions in a matter of minutes, whereas hand filing (using a traditional nail file) can be time consuming.

Secondly, thorough preparation of the natural nail prior to any gel or acrylic service is essential if you want your nails to last more than a couple of days. The e-file can quickly and efficiently prepare the natural nail, removing any dead skin that may affect adhesion.

Whilst there is nothing wrong with the traditional methods, the use of an e-file is growing in popularity. As nail technicians, we understand that some clients may be reluctant to have the e-file used on their nails but I always explain the advantages and sensations, plus the fact that I am fully trained and experienced to use it safely. I then offer to try the e-file on one finger and if the client doesn’t like it or feels uncomfortable with it then I will use a hand file instead. I have never had a client say no to the e-file yet.

Our best advice? Just be careful about who you choose to work on your nails. It’s likely not the equipment that is unsafe but the unskilled, untrained nail technician.

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