Welcome to our latest HONA community blog post, where we delve into the real-world experiences and advice of our talented nail technicians.
We asked members of our HONA community what they wish they had known as a newbie nail tech and their top tips for those just starting out. Whether you're just starting out or looking to transition to full-time, this post is packed with insights from those who've walked the path.
Here is a summary of the most popular comments:
And here are all the tips in their own words...
Lydia Jane Hockey - @LH_ Nails23
I’m still new to the industry but my top tips are:
1. Be involved in the community (they’re the best)!
2. No question is a ‘silly’ question if you genuinely don’t know the answer- also the community will never make you feel silly.
3. Watch the lives, TikToks, YouTube tutorials, Zoom calls etc. knowledge is power as they say! And HONA are always giving the best knowledge!
4. Added extra but - no matter where we start, we have the most creative, amazing minds. We’ve got this!
Joanna Hodgson - @nail.it.with.jo
I qualified this year and my top tips would be:
1. Price yourself right to start with-it’s much harder to increase your prices once you’ve got regular clients.
2. Don’t compare your day 1 to someone else’s day 365-we all start somewhere!
3. Find your USP and sell yourself! You’ll attract the clients who want to come to you for your USP and keep coming back!
4. The best thing I did was training as a nail tech and finding HONA.
Lauren McGahey - @nailsnd.stuff
1. Practice, practice, practice - no skill is mastered over night, have patience and practice whenever you get chance, you’ll notice improvements every time.
2. Take photos of all your work, sometimes it’s hard to see progression if you don’t remember where you started! I also think you can be disappointment in a set you don’t think is that good but then look back at photos and completely change your mind!
3. Don’t compare yourself to ANYBODY. Our journeys are all different and we are all at various stages! You can’t compare your day 1 to someone’s 2nd/3rd/4th year.
Jemma Ball - @jemmaelizabethbeauty
1. Practise as much as you possibly can. Repetition is really helpful for things like keeping a steady hand, learning how the gel acts & moves and even improving on timings.
2. Learn the basics of strength and structure, get confident with them before learning other skills like Nail Art.
It's really tempting to go straight into the arty bits but the best nail art in the world won't last if the foundations haven't been build.
3. Become a regular on Facebook groups. You can soak up so much information learning from others and even other people's questions that you might not have thought of.
4. You can also receive so much support from chatting to other Nail Techs too.
1. Practice at every single opportunity you have, it will pay off!
2. Do not give up! It is not an easy journey and there will be times where you want to pack it all in but keep working harder and harder!
3. Work out exactly how much you should charge for your treatments. Do not sell yourself short because of everyone else in your area and charge what you’re worth!
I wish I was told…
1. You can’t mix and match brands and you must use a compatible lamp! Also research your chosen brand carefully, don’t just pick one because everyone else is using it - research allergens and ingredients and ensure you’re happy with what you’re applying to someone’s nails - Safety first (Hona are the best hehe)
2. Completely agree with the previous comments - join a FB group, for example, Hona’s FB page. Especially if you’re going it alone!
3. Be delusional. Post that nail art even if you think it’s not good, do that insta reel and pretend you’re talking to 1000 people when maybe it’s just 1-2. I call it the “swan technique” - you’re cool and calm and confident on the surface but you’re paddling away underneath working hard towards your goals! Fake it till you make it and keep posting on socials, it’s the only way you’ll grow!
Marta Kida Markowska
1. Research. Keep learning. Question everything.
2. Do additional knowledge and skill courses. Don't just accept something as fact if it makes you even a little suspicious - delve into the process of learning.
My top 3 tips:
1. CHARGE YOUR WORTH!!!! This is by far the most important thing, if you come in too cheap you will find it difficult to up your prices…
2. Practice, watch tutorials & perfect your skills…
3. Take lots of photos of your work (for social media but also so you can compare your later work with your earlier work to see how far you’ve come)
This is so good!!! Love this.
1. How to know the difference between good and bad brands along with red flags of products/brands
2. Be given examples of how to explain how products work to clients in a simplified way
3. Knowing how to price your work, get your prices to a correct level and at the start do offers of that price instead of making cheap prices.
4. Trust the process!! You aren’t going to have the same work as someone who’s been in the industry for 10 years, but one day you will!
5. Take you time building your collection, you can mix colours.
6. Follow people who inspire you, learn, listen and aspire.
7. Get in touch with other techs! Make groups with others, join communities and help each other out bc we all stayed somewhere.
8. A good photo of a bad set of nails will do better than a bad photo of a good set of nails - google and research how to get the best out of your device and ask other willing techs to give their advice on photos.
9. Find the best apps for editing photos and videos, and don’t edit your content like it’s 2014, keep up with modern social media and put your twist on it!
10. Investing in business mentors or business courses will be a huge game changer as your life will be more than just painting pretty nails.
That’s more than 3 so will leave you with those LOL.
I’m a huge advocate for new techs and I really hope this advice finds the people it needs to xxxx
1. Practice in every possible minute you have free. Take pictures of your work and compare it with your own work not with others.
2. Price yourself right. Find your Strong points and sell yourself according to them and also find your pain points and work on them to get better.
3. Make sure you Educate yourself always, never stop learning and help others on your way. None else is your competition, only yourself. Work hard to be the best version of yourself.
4. Do not be worried or afraid to spend 2hrs for one appointment as perfection takes time and it can be a great selling point. If someone rushes you or discusses your prices or does not care about your policies then IT IS NOT YOUR IDEAL CLIENT and NO YOU DON'T NEED THEM.
I could carry on the whole day.
1. Choose right brand from the start and try stay with one system and master the technique . Help your self with the courses
2. Price your self higher right from the start . You’ll find it harder to put prices up and attract the wrong clients . I’m talking minimum £25 for a gel polish
3. Clients come and go . Never take it personally. One may go but a better one will come along . If you feel you might loose clients when you put prices up , you probably will but another one will come along whos even better and values you xx
Lyn Hancock - @lynznailsandbeauty
1. Practice, practice, practice. Take photos of your work to compare progress.
2. Watch as many tutorials as you can.
3. Don’t buy crap products off online marketplaces
4. Learn the basics first, don’t try and run before you can walk doing art - structure before swirls!
5. Charge your worth! Don’t think the cheaper you are, the more you will attract clients. All you will do is attract the wrong sort of client.
The most important two are to invest in yourself and your future by choosing your brand wisely.
6. Oh and to buy the best ergonomic chair you can afford for your nail desk. If you don’t look after your back, it won’t look after you!
I know that’s more than three but hey!
Jodie Elizabeth Mackay
Top 3 tips would be.
1. Education & research on brands and courses! Don't always go with what's popular or what you've trained with, go with what brands are reliable and transparent and that have good safe products you can work with. Also a brand that has matching systems.
2. Find a good community, when your starting out it can be scary and intimidating, so finding a community that can help guide you, lift you up, advise you when needed and not make you feel nervous about your work or unsure to ask a question.
3. Believe in yourself and focus on your path. Never mind what anyone else is doing, everyone starts out with different levels of experience and knowledge. Practice when you can, keep up to date with everything you can in the industry, charge your worth for your skill , time and products and focus on your future as a tech!
Jae Rutter - @jaealissandra
I’m still new myself to the industry but my tips would be :
1. talk to other techs and join groups. Having the support of others is so important and you can learn so much from each other
2. practice makes perfect ( well near perfect lol) watching TikTok, YouTube videos, you can get lost in it for hours and can never have too much practice
3. your hands are your best tool! Practicing on yourself allows you to not only improve but allows you to know what every step of your treatment feels like. Pressure of nail files / e files, scrubbing with prep and first hand with your retention.
Thank you for having this community HONA, your brand is one of a kind
1. Invest in the best training possible
2. Practice does make perfect !!!
3. Make sure you are charging for your worth
BIAB Nails Shrewsbury - @_alishanadine
2. Invest in training
3. Don’t worry about timings… you naturally get faster!
1. Don’t rush your service. Everyone wants to be fast but timings will come with experience
2. Don’t undersell yourself, make sure your pricing yourself so that you are earring a sustainable wage
3. Don’t bother with loyalty cards, those regular clients will keep on coming no matter if there getting 20% off their 6th treatment or not.
Bonus top tips because there’s so many I could say:
4. Find your USP. It doesn’t even have to be nail related such as nail art, it could be your nail studio decor, personality, music choice.. find it and stick with it and you'll find your rockstar clients
5. I wish I was told to buy a saddle stool from the start and to look after my body!
Ena - @nailapy
1. You don't need no fancy 'Cleaner'-Stuff, pure IPA and pure acetone works the best and is much more affordable.
2. Best lint free wipes? Paper towels, my favourite brand 'ZEWA' (it's a famous German brand and works absolutely perfect and is also rather cheap in comparison to all the fancy PROFESSIONAL stuff that's overpriced.
3. TAKE YOUR TIME! Your first sets won't look like the pictures you see on Instagram and that's OK. We all started there it's a learning process. Never give up!