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As a salon owner and licensed manicurist, my perspective on the nail industry could not be more practical. While some may be offended by the opinions expressed, please understand that I want to share information and stimulate discussion. Whether you want your nails done or do nails professionally, I hope you find this blog both useful and interesting.

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Jaime Schrabeck, Ph.D.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Manicuring Curriculum: Change for the Better? Part 4

(This is the fourth part of an examination of proposed changes to California's manicuring curriculum.)

Specific Technologies or Equipment
Because "This regulation does not mandate the use of specific technologies or equipment," it ignores the two most problematic and potentially dangerous technologies in the nail industry: whirlpool foot spas and drills. If, as stated in this proposal, "Licensees lacking the necessary training on popular trends and practices put those consumers receiving beauty services at risk of getting injured," why doesn't the Board require the necessary training?

The Board has obviously prioritized pedicure safety, yet licensed manicurists regularly perform pedicures on clients with questionable health conditions. And why not? While students, they work on many elderly and/or unhealthy clients who should have been refused service and referred to a medical professional. Manicuring students need to understand the limits of their scope of practice and how to distinguish which individuals can safely receive beauty services. How can this be accomplished when schools rarely turn clients away and insist that students perform services anyway? It's unfortunate, and potentially very dangerous, that the most inexperienced practice on the most vulnerable with little or no direct supervision!

And on the subject of pedicures, neither schools nor the examination facilities equip themselves with whirlpool foot spas. Too expensive? I agree, besides safer alternatives to providing foot care exist that do not involve this equipment. It's the responsibility of those who own foot spas to clean and maintain them in accordance with state regulations. If school or salon owners choose to provide pedicures using whirlpool foot spas, they certainly have every right, but should not be obligated to do so.

The improper use of drills certainly harms clients, but using a drill is not included in the curriculum or licensing exam. If it were included, would we require schools to provide drills, or have students buy them in their already overpriced kits? Regardless, the thought of students practicing on clients without the proper training or supervision makes me cringe. Drills, like whirlpool foot spas, are not necessary; however, if a manicurist chooses to use one, special certification through continuing education should be required.

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