June 2019

Allergies

I’ve said it before and it looks like I’m going to have to keep on saying it, but when it comes to health and safety in Nail Technology then Education really is key!
Every day on public forums my team and I read posts about clients and technicians experiencing serious skin reactions and allergies to nail products. THIS SHOULD NOT BE HAPPENING.
The majority of nail enhancement products contain some form of acrylate. These chemicals have the potential to be extremely dangerous and they can be major allergens and irritants if they are incorrectly handled. But there really is no excuse for technicians not understanding this. It is the absolute duty of every professional technician to ensure not only his/her safety but also that of her clientelle, and that means understanding and using nail products safely and appropriately.
It never ceases to amaze me when clients express surprise when they are i) asked to fill in client record cards ii) asked questions about allergies and reactions and iii) are required to take skin tests. These processes are there for a reason. They are to protect clients and technicians from developing allergies and reactions to potentially dangerous chemicals.
The massive rise in popularity of nail enhancements over the last two decades has brought with it a market for products that is widening daily. The majority of these products are perfectly safe…. when used correctly, but herein lies the problem. So many of these products are available on the open market to anyone, regardless of their professional status or level of education. The industry has seen a recent influx of unregulated products, particularly gel products from China which contain much higher than usual quantities of photoinitiators and HEMA. Used incorrectly or by the untrained, these products have a much higher likelihood of causing skin reaction.
For years I and many of my nail colleagues across the UK have campaigned vociferously for regulation and registration in this industry, all to no avail. We will continue our campaign until our government puts in place a licensing system for professional therapists and salons, but until this happens please BE AWARE.