The Nail School Diaries: Part 13: State Laws

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Follow Amie Pollard, nail school student and recipient of the Beauty Changes Lives|CND|Tippi Hedren Scholarship, through her days of school!


October 1, 2014

Hello folks. So this week we started our state laws and rules. Let me start first by just saying how much of a pain this was. In Maine, some of our laws and rules counter each other so it can be confusing when trying to study. Also, because the rules and laws are written for all modalities (cosmetology, manicuring, massage therapy, etc.), there is only one test that the school uses. So, we as nail techs also have to educate ourselves about laws that apply not only to us but to people who do not share the same license. We did not test out on it that week because we had 2 very LARGE packets of information and we only read through one.

I’m not sure how other states work as far as their laws but in Maine you have two options when it comes to education for your desired field:
1)    You can attend school for the required hours and pass all required tests, exams, etc. with no less than a 75%
2)    You can be an apprentice at a licensed salon under direct supervision of a licensed professional in the same field that you are going into. This, though obviously much cheaper, take double the time (in most situations). This means that we, as nail techs, have to have 200 hours of schooling or 400 hours training in a salon. A cosmetology student has to have 1500 hours of schooling or 2500 hours of training in a salon. Like I said, this varies from state to state.

This week we also had our final practical lesson: nail wraps. Prior to coming to school I knew very little about them, so I was pretty excited to learn. Now that we have done them, I’d have to say they are probably the easiest nail enhancement product to use. However, if done incorrectly, they will not last long.

For anyone unfamiliar with wraps, here’s a bit of a run down. We use the OPI MicroWrap system, so that’s the system I’m going to outline. First, you start with your fabric. We use precut MicroWrap fiberglass fabric. Some systems use silk or linen. The fabric is used to give the nail its strength, and should be approximately 1/16 of an inch away from the surrounding skin. Our fabric is self-adhering, so we do not have to put down a layer of resin (glue), but we can if we choose to. After cutting the fabric to fit the nail (if needed), we apply one layer of resin (glue – ThinSet is the OPI brand we use). After allowing the glue to dry a bit, we use a file to remove the excess fabric, filing downward at the free edge. We apply another layer of resin, capping the free edge like you would when painting a nail, and then we add an accelerator. The accelerator makes the resin dry instantly to speed up the process. After the layers dry, we apply a thicker resin called ThickSet. It self-levels, but we use a product called SmoothSet to smooth it out. After doing all of the nails with the ThickSet we apply a layer of accelerator. Then, like all artificial nail enhancements, we balance and finish the nail. If done correctly you will not see any fabric and the nail will look quite natural. Wraps are also quite easy to remove because the resin is made up of simple polymer chains, unlike acrylics or gels.

All of our practical lessons are complete, so we are just continuing to practice whichever ones we feel we need the most work in, and are preparing ourselves for our state board tests. We will be taking our final practical exam, or what we call our “Mock Board” very soon. We will also be taking our 100-question written exam soon. I only have a few things left on my requirements sheet and then I pretty much just have to obtain my 200 hours for graduation.

As usual, we had clinic on Thursday night. We had our third “create the event” where we could have friends and family come in and have services done. Like I’ve said several times now, it is so surreal that we will be done soon. It feels like just yesterday we were newbies with not a clue in the world! See you next week! –Amie



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[Image: Amie Pollard]

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