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Nail Health Tips & Trends From An Expert

Nail Health Tips & Trends From An Expert

Maintaining healthy natural nails does not have to be a chore. There are many products that are easy to use and make a huge difference. Cuticle oils, nail strengtheners and proper maintenance in between manicures are a great way to start taking care of your nails. To provide guidance on how to best do that, we interviewed a nail industry expert, Jill Wright.

We had the pleasure of submitting questions to Jill who is the event coordinator for the Nail Tech Event of the Smokies, LLC and an incredible nail technician. Jill has more than 30 years of experience in the profession and works very hard to bring education and ongoing opportunities to those working in the industry. Jill provided us with tips on growing strong, healthy nails, do’s and don’ts in between manicures, and fun color trends we can all look forward to!

Q. In your own words what does natural nail care mean to you?
A. Taking the time to care for your hands by using quality nail products to maintain or grow the strongest, healthiest natural nails possible.

Q. As a nail professional, what are a few of your best tips for proper natural nail care?
A. Not using your nails as tools, applying cuticle oil often, keeping nails covered with a nail strengthener that’s removed weekly and reapplied, plus knowing when to shorten your nails to match your lifestyle. Murphy’s Law on nails is when one breaks, the rest will follow.

Q. What advice do you give to your clients for taking care of their nails in between manicure appointments?
A. All of the above and also to reapply cuticle oil and hand lotion after they’ve washed their hands. Also to keep nail files handy in their car, bedside table, purse and where they sit to watch TV. It’s inevitable that a snag in their nail will occur and they should be prepared to nip it in the bud before their nail rips down to the quick.

Q. What is one of the biggest mistakes someone can make when doing home care in between visits?
A. Picking off their polish instead of using polish remover. Picking off the polish pries up layers of their natural nail plate causing their nails to become damaged and weakened.

Q. We hear your annual Smokies Nail Show this year had record breaking attendance. Congratulations! From the conference, can you share with us a few highlights?
A. Actually attendance was down due to the pandemic with only 400+ nail pros and educators attending plus company owners who were on the show floor. Last year we had our record breaking attendance with 550 nail techs and about 200 educators/company owners working their booths. The highlights for everyone this year were:
that it happened at all
that it flowed so smoothly with zero problems to handle
that via follow-ups 4 - 6 weeks later, nobody got the virus while at the show or while on their family vacation in Gatlinburg (many techs bring family & stay longer)

Q. What nail colors and art styles are trending for Fall/Winter?
A. The Fall colors that I’ve seen tend to be deep creamy blues and earthy greens, plus the requisite Autumn reds, browns, taupes with warm undertones. Nail art still varies according to region, but the coffin shape is still popular for very long nails while very short nails tend to be more squoval.

Q. What’re the nail colors trends for 2021?
A. Pantone’s color of the year is Al Aqua that’s described as "an electric shade of blue” but is listed as Turquoise. I’m super stoked because it’s one of my most favorite colors and used liberally in my Smokies Nail Show logo! How can anyone not love a happy retro shade of green + blue?

Q. Artificial nails, gel nails and dramatic nail art have taken over the nail salon business in the past few years but what are some things you can recommend to all professionals and their clients to keep their natural nails healthy and hydrated, especially during the winter while trying out the new trends?
A. Never underestimate the effectiveness of a good cuticle oil and hand lotion applied several times a day, plus always wear gloves outside when it’s cold weather to avoid brittle nails and dry, wrinkly skin.

So what are the takeaways?

First, nails can be easy to beautify on the outside, but it’s very important to learn about natural nail health and how to achieve strong nails underneath a manicure. Through routine use of cuticle oils, nail strengtheners and by practicing proper care in between manicures, you can achieve healthy, natural nails. 

Second, cuticle oil is a nail's best friend. With colder weather coming on now, the chances of dry cuticles and cracked hands increases so it’s critical to be proactive with cuticle oil and moisturizer.  

Third, nails should never be used as tools. Nails are constantly in danger of becoming brittle or weak and breaking. If you’re working hard to strengthen and moisturize yours, you should never compromise all that work by using your nails as scrapers, screwdrivers, or package openers.

Our great thanks goes to nail tech extraordinaire, Jill Wright, for sharing her natural nail care knowledge with us. If you have any questions about nail care, we are just a phone call away and would love to talk with you!

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