Until quite recently, hair stylists and beauty therapists tended to operate quite separately from one another, each having their own salon or treatment rooms. However, things are evolving in the hair and beauty industry, and at present, it is common for both hair and beauty treatments to coincide next to one another. This is a match made in beauty heaven
- after all, if a customer is looking for a cut and blow dry, they may well be interested in some additional treatments, such as having their nails shaped and painted to match their new overhaul.
The range of nail treatments available has multiplied over the years, from simple manicures and pedicures to gels, acrylics, airbrush designs and overlays. This growth in the range of treatments offered means that career opportunities for nail technicians have expanded dramatically.
As a nail technician, you could choose to operate on a self-employed basis, or you could work for an international beauty brand. You could be based in a local salon or spa, or you could travel around the country, promoting products in stores and at events. There are even opportunities to work on cruise ships, travelling the world whilst working in an upmarket on-board salon.
This industry has seen phenomenal growth in recent years, and a career as a nail technician is now seen as an aspirational choice, with plenty of opportunities for progression. Let’s look at some statistics, to show just how ‘big business’ the nail industry has become:
In 2014, the global annual spend on nail tech reached $8.54 billion
In the UK, the average woman spends £450 per year on her nails, visiting a nail salon on average twice a month
Globally, over 89,000 bottles of OPI nail polish are sold every day. That’s a staggering 61 bottles per minute!
George Schaeffer, the founder of nail giant OPI, was originally a taxi driver. How’s that for a successful career change?
The world’s most expensive nail polish costs a whopping $250,000! Black Diamond Nail Polish, from luxury jewellery firm, Azature. The product contains 267 carats of actual black diamonds!
As a nail technician, you could expect to earn up to £25,000, with celebrity-endorsed specialists earning considerably more than that.
It is clear to see that nail treatments have become a mainstay of most women’s beauty regimes. From a simple French manicure to a full set of gel or acrylic extensions, women from all over the world over have started to embrace their nails like never before.
One great thing about becoming a nail technician is that there are no fixed requirements or qualifications needed to start. Of course, if you’re serious about becoming a nail technician, you should aim for a certificate in nail technology or sign on to a programme in manicuring, as these will definitely help you on your newly carved career path into beauty.
A career as a nail technician can be a very creative and rewarding one. As a professional nail technician, you will have the personal satisfaction that comes with making clients feel happy and confident. There are few careers where you can indulge your artistic creativity all day, but working in the nail industry will allow you to do exactly that. The most talented nail technicians do quite literally create miniature works of art on their clients’ nails. With celebrities like Victoria Beckham, Rihanna and Rita Ora all championing the skills of their personal nail technicians, the sky could genuinely be the limit, in terms of where your career takes you.
Another advantage of working as a nail technician is the flexibility it offers. From working in a salon, either as an employee or in a self-employed capacity, through to running your own salon or mobile nail bar, there are nail tech openings to suit everyone’s needs and requirements. If the idea of becoming a mobile nail technician interests you, you can also stock up on salon ready nails for your awaiting clients who may want to explore the world of false nails. This additional option, will allow you to diverse your offers and treatments to cater for a broader clientele who may want to try a more ‘bling’ effect.
The Career for you
It’s clear to see that the nail industry is on the up, with a manicure now seen as just as much of an essential for most women as having a haircut. A career as a nail technician is a creative and fulfilling one, with plenty of opportunities to take things as far as your ambition and talent will let you. Who knows...with hard work, study, creative flair and a keen eye on the latest trends, in a few years’ time you could be working alongside fashion designers, for a prestigious beauty brand or even in your own salon. You never know where the year could take you…
Trends for 2017
The nail industry is one of the most creative sectors of the beauty world. Nails are every bit as much a fashion item as clothing and jewellery are, so it pays to keep up to date on the latest trends.
Fashion bloggers are predicting that ultra-dark polishes will be on trend, ranging from jet black lacquers to deep plum shades and deep, deep purples. To add some glamour to these sensual colours, crystals, pearls and glitters are all set to make their mark in 2017.
So-called ‘cuticle jewellery’ is another trend that looks set to wow UK women in 2017. Starting with a clear base lacquer, glitter polish is then applied just to the edge of the cuticle, leaving most of the nail free of polish. This look is understated but oh so confident.
By Holly Barry