Thursday, 24 January 2013

Thank You Dr. Oz :)

That wascally wabbit, Dr. Oz is back at it again.  Recently his show did another 'expose' on gel manicures, and how they are to be avoided like the plague.  This time he co-hosted the segment with an expert dermatologist.  We all remember last year when he used that popular nail goddess, Tabatha Coffey, to expound on the dangers of UV lamps.
Sad to say, he is more interested in creating fear in his audience, which I suspect strongly increases his ratings.  You know how the newsroom says "if it bleeds, it leads".  That apple doesn't fall far from the tree, here.
If you didn't see the episode I'm talking about, I'm not going to provide a link to it - you can find it at your leisure.   I'm not even going to tell you all the gory details because I'm over it.  But because some of my clients will have seen this shoddy excuse for journalism, I feel compelled to provide some balance here. 
First and foremost, there is no scientific evidence that using a UV light to cure gel manicures can cause cancer.  This issue has been reported to death and the studies are conclusive.  Dr. Sayre, the man who helped invent the SPF system  (Sun Protection Factor, anyone?) even says the amount of UV-A that your hands would be exposed to during a gel manicure is equivalent to 1 or 2 minutes of exposure to the sun daily.  You'll get more UV exposure driving in your car every day.  Funny, I've never seen Dr. Oz do a show about how driving your automobile is going to give you cancer, have you?    
So to continue on in this vein, the dermatologist suggests that if you are going to get a gel manicure, you need to find a salon that uses LED lights to cure the gel polishes, and if the salon doesn't have them then you need to leave.  Hello - LED lights emit UV-A as well.  Ooops
Now, I appreciate a good prop just like the rest of you, and Dr. Oz didn't disappoint!  He trotted out that oversized fingernail and oversized pusher and demonstrated to the audience (insert horrified gasps here) how all nail techs proceed to scrape the gel polish off the nail, thus thinning the natural nail by 50 percent.  Perhaps that's what they do where he gets his manicures done.  *Cough*   But most of the nail professionals I know have received the proper training for application and removal of the systems they use.  Why?  Because they are invested in their careers, and they want to learn how to properly perform a service.   If someone is SCRAPING the product off your nails, you need to tell them to STOP, re-wrap your nails and allow the remover solution to work.  There is a big difference between scraping product off your nail, and lightly tickling it with the end of a metal pusher. 

By the way, feel free to stop right now and read my blog entry entitled "Can We Talk About Removal" to see how it should be done (and how I do it). 
Now let's get serious for a moment.  Part of the segment discussed using dirty implements and giving clients infections.  I will not argue this point.  This can happen, unfortunately.   The onus is on the client to thoroughly check out the salon before they make an appointment.  Many times this is not possible, and many clients simply don't know what they should be looking for, what questions they need to ask.  If you are a reader of my blog, or my website, by now I think you know enough to make some informed decisions.
Anyway, I kind of like how the segment ended.  They understood that women were still going to get gel manicures, regardless, and that's where I swoop in.   Not to save you, but to let you know that the majority of professional nail techs love their career and their clients and would never do anything to harm them.  We follow all strict sanitation and disinfection (and sterilization where required) protocols.  We are highly educated and you might have to look hard to find us; we likely won't be in the strip mall discount nail salon down the street.  You might have to ask your friends or your family to refer you to their nail tech.  I won't repeat all that I do because you can easily find it on my website and some of my other blog posts if you want to poke around. 
So thank you, Dr. Oz for sending lots of women who want safe, healthy gel manicures my way.  I really appreciate it! 
Bottom line:  you get what you pay for, and sometimes you even get a whole lot more :(

Sunday, 13 January 2013

A New Year ... A New Beginning

It turns out I am just as restless in my professional life as I am in my personal one (I am Sagittarius - it is a trait I come by honestly ;)   I am drawn to lifelong learning, so it is only natural that I continue to expand my mind.  I learned to scuba dive 7 years ago, and I'm no spring chicken.  The older I get the more I realize there are so many things I want to do, see and experience.  The only thing getting in the way of that is me. 

So on that note, I'd like to share a tiny little accomplishment.  I recently completed CND Education Ambassador Boot Camp.  Yes I am being facetious - tiny it was not.  Lots of reading and testing all throughout the month of December.  Seven full days of technical information, nail practice & assessment, plus presentation and facilitation skills that began a mere two days after New Years Day.   Not for the faint of heart.   I did things I never thought I could do because I pushed myself out of my comfort zone.  That's when the learning happens! 

The opportunity arose so quickly, I really didn't have time to think about it, and that was probably for the best!   I tend to be a bit of an over-analyzer, so it was now or never!  Sink or swim!   I first learned of CND 10 years ago when I started my nail technology training.  I've used all their products and followed the company closely ever since.  I've attended many Master classes along the way and received Grand Master status a few years ago.  But none of that truly prepared me for the onslaught of information I was about to receive.  Never mind that I'll never look at nails the same way again :) 

Passionate.  Principled.  Professional. Polished.  Bold.  These are the five attributes used to describe a CND Education Ambassador.  Throughout our training, we would visit and revisit these five key words.  Now I understand why every single EA I've ever met in person, or networked with online, displays these traits.   They are fundamental to the delivery of CND's education programs, and represent the 'face' of CND.   

So what does this mean to my clients?  Business as usual.  No change in my availability for the most part (though I will be travelling more, that tends to happen on the days my salon is closed anyway).  It means you'll have access to new products and techniques that I will gladly share with you!  You have all come to know me as an innovator, and an early adopter, and I promise that will continue.  CND is about to launch a new soakable gel product, and the season's new Shellac colours and Additives are on their way soon.

I'll continue to network with my nail tech colleagues on line and in person and hope to see some of you at my classes soon! 

Five new Canadian CND Education Ambassadors
Mississauga, ON  January 2013