Homecare Nail Advice From The Professionals

Homecare Nail Advice From The Professionals

The Federation of Nail Professionals is a not-for-profit organisation representing the UK nail industry.  We support good practice, professional conduct and aim to provide consumers with accurate information on all things nail related.

Consumer Safety – Use of Home Care Equipment and Products

The Federation were extremely concerned by This Morning’s recent beauty piece aimed at consumers on how to service their gel polished nails at home for removal and application.  This section of the popular morning programme caused a sharp intake of breath from the nail & beauty industry professionals watching at home.  If you follow the social media of This Morning, you may have seen many a professional publicly questioning this piece, and the sensibility of the producers in allowing its airing, due to the unprofessional recommendations being given by the journalist.

As part of our industry standards, nail professionals receive education and training in the science behind the products, anatomy & physiology, health & safety including product storage, ingredients, reporting of incidents, local and national regulations relating to the services we provide.  This level of education and training cannot be given over in a quick piece by a respected daily consumer programme.  It undermines the many years of experience it takes nail professionals to build their careers and develop their skills.

The information that was provided in this piece, and in the wider media from time to time, that it is safe for the public to remove and apply products in their own homes is irresponsible and could be deemed negligent.

The products use by nail professionals, such as acetone and gel polish, are potentially hazardous and, in untrained hands, the risks of damage or injury are highly elevated.

Two of our industry leaders, Suzanne Clayton & Sue Davies, have collaborated to write this article to help consumers understand the risks behind home use products and the use of tools that are safer in professional hands.  Many consumers regularly utilise the services of nail professionals and may have an idea of how they believe professional services are carried out.  However, this does not mean that there is always a clear enough understanding of what a professional does at their manicure desk and guessing can lead to short and/or long term damage.

The last year has been a challenge for both nail professionals and their clients due to the Covid-19 lockdowns, and whilst as professionals we understand the need for clients to remove product when they have had no choice, there are safer ways to do this than those promoted by some parts of the media.  

As an industry we cannot wait to be able to provide our services again, and rebuild our businesses doing what we love, and while we can’t do that let us help guide you towards safer methods of homecare.  If you are left with gel product on your nails, approach your nail professional and ask for help. 


Natural Nails

Professionals spend a large part of their foundation training learning about, and understanding, the structure of the nail, how it is formed, what supports it and how we can not only improve, benefit, but also damage it.  We learn this so we can ensure that our clients’ nails are maintained in a healthy way under any nail product or enhancement that is placed over it.

UV Gel Lamp - Homecare Advice From The Professionals

UV & UV LED Gel Lamps 

UV/UV LED Lights used to cure (harden) gel products should be used with a system for which it has been tested for compatibility.  Failure to use a “matched” lamp and inappropriate use of product can lead to uncured gel products being on the nail which can lead to allergy and skin conditions. 

It is an important point to note for checking your nail professional too.  They should also be using a “matched” lamp with their professional products and adhering to manufacturers’ instructions.

Use of Metal Tools

Metal tools used inappropriately may cause damage to your natural nail if used in an aggressive way.  Due to the structure of the nail plate, it does not take much for layers to be separated, shredded, lifted or damaged by a metal tool being scraped over the surface.  You can peel layers of your natural nail away by scraping the nail.  Even though it may not hurt, it may be cause damage (even long term) to your natural nail.

Metal tools may also damage the surrounding soft tissues and this could lead to infection if a wound is caused.

In untrained hands metal tools would NOT be advised by The Federation of Nail Professionals.  The tool best used at home for safe practice practice to aid gel removal would be an orangewood stick.

Gel Polish Removal - Homecare Nail Advice From The Professionals


Removal Products

These products will contain acetone which is a hazardous chemical.  In a professional environment these products are stored and used in accordance with Health & Safety regulations.  Removal products are highly flammable, and the vapours of these products need to be safely controlled.  Spillage of these products can lead to extensive damage to surfaces and if ingested would require medical assistance.

Gloved Nail Professional - Homecare Nail Advice From The ProfessionalsThe nail and beauty retail suppliers still provide the most amazing long wear regular nail polish which is easily available, and The Federation of Nail Professionals strongly suggest that this should be the product of choice for all consumers whilst they cannot attend their regular nail appointments.

The Federation of Nail Professionals aims to provide help and advice to all those interested in the nail industry; consumer, student, creative, professionals and educators. 


Thank you for reading and we hope that you have found this article informative and useful.  To hear more from The Federation on all things nails please sign up as a Supporter here.

Written by
Sue Davies – Deputy Chair, Federation of Nail Professionals
Suzanne Clayton – Founder, Nail Tech Awareness

The FNP Census of the Industry

The FNP Census of the Industry

Although our personal, business, and current economic world is challenging, and the fact that at the time of writing we are in Lockdown 3.0, these closed periods are what have allowed the FNP to come to fruition.  From the onset, one of our priorities was positioning the organisation that was developing as “The Voice of the Nail Industry”.  Throughout the history of nail services in the UK there have been several attempts to create a formal association that speaks for our sector of the industry.  What has always been clear is that it is needed, but what has always happened is that eventually they have, for many different reasons, not survived.  The FNP does not intend to become another faded association added to the pile.  We are working at the highest levels already to prove to our prospective members that we are a force to be reckoned with and that we will be YOUR voice, but we need your support in many ways to do this as we proceed.

How We Find Ourselves At This Turning Point
What we have seen over the last 10 or so years in the nail industry, but also within the beauty sector too, is the rise of gel polish and consequently a huge boom in nail service providers, we can’t call all those who provide nail services a professional, because, as we know, that just isn’t true currently.  When these products first launched, they were hailed as a near miracle for the professional, as well as for the client, as it meant perfect nails for 2-3 weeks, no smudges, no drying time, no chips!  Many of us remember the imagery used in Shellac’s first adverts with that beautiful high gloss nail with the key symbolising so much in that one image, but the message was clear – our world was about to change!  The industry was won over and virtually every nail pro fell in love with the variety of gel polishes introduced by the market leaders of time, and even Jessica the natural nail specialists brought out their own gel polish.  This was huge!

However, the reality of that magic bean was that it led to a belief that anyone can do nails as it is “just painting nails” – that’s a whole different conversation.  Those of us that were working in the nail industry prior to gel polish often shake our heads sadly at what has become of our professional status as our skills leaked into the wider industry and our sector diluted.  This is not to undermine the many amazing gel polish pros out there, but I know I speak for many when I refer to the consequent dumbing down of our industry and this impacts nails and the wider industry sectors where these often misunderstood chemicals are now used.  We now have our own epidemic of allergy amongst product users, be it as a provider or as a client, we have semi-skilled and under-skilled workers, who, perhaps through a lack of research or naivety, have entered an arena that they have not been taught well enough to become part of, as the true professional you need to be to work on the public.

Where does this backdrop lead us? 
The answer is to potentially a huge restructure of our industry – which will happen, maybe not this year, but it is on its way.  How can we know what it will mean?  Because we now have an opportunity to be heard!  We now have “The Feds”!  We now have a VOICE!  The Federation will be at the forefront engaging with the right people to ensure that the damage that has happened to our industry through poor quality, mass produced gel products, a growth in cheap and unsuitable education is halted.  We cannot change the past but we can aim to provide a better future for UK nail professionals.

How You Can Make A Difference
Here’s the kicker, the Voice of the Industry needs words, messages and information to be heard!  This is where the Census of the Nail Industry comes in.  It is a survey like no other.  All our industry trade bodies send out the odd survey from time to time to pinpoint and answer specific questions or situations that they need a quick dip test of where their members sit which is useful and through the pandemic has given fast information on adapting to difficult times.

The FNP Census of the Nail Industry something different from a straw poll or a take on a specific topic.  The Census is just that – a census.  The Oxford English Dictionary defines a census as ‘An official count or survey, especially of a population’.

The information we are requesting is to define our industry and provide the information we need to take to the tables of power where the discussions around regulation and licensing, amongst other things, will take place.  Our industry (that’s YOU) has been crying out to be regulated, licenced, and controlled in some way and now is the time, but we need to take you with us and to do this we need to understand who we are, how we work, what we do and what we need.   The Census will give us those answers.

Within the survey there are areas covering you as an individual, you as a worker, you as a business owner, you as an employee, you as a learner, you as a buyer, you as a professional, you as someone going through the pandemic and how you have dealt with the challenges.  All this information can be utilised to show how AMAZING you are!  The results will show how we have developed as an industry, where there are gaps and will also, give us, on the Board, the information to push the nail industry agenda to the places it needs to be seen and heard.

So please take time out to complete it.  It is essential in our work going forward.

How Do You Find The Census of the Nail Industry

There are two versions of The Census. They have similar veins but also sections that are specific to the intended respondent. We initially tried to keep as one document but it became too complicated and so it divided so that we could ask more directed questions of the people answering.  We want all sectors of our professional workforce represented in our data.  All responses are anonymous and we do not know who any one is, and neither can we find out so please answer some of the more difficult questions as honestly as you can.  There is no judgement just a reflection of the industry.  The forms are comprehensive, and we would recommend that you put 15-20 mins aside to complete with a cuppa or a glass of your favourite tipple.

The first is for Employed/Student/Apprentice Nail Pros. If you are one of these roles please complete this Census and if you are a business owner and have a team please ask them to complete it as something to help their careers going forward and to make a difference.  

The second is for Self Employed/Business Owners.  This is for any nail professional technician, educator, salon owner (unqualified) who is responsible for their own taxation in any way.  

Some nail professionals may find they fit both as they may go between being employed but also have their own mobile business, for example.  All we would ask is that you select which is more appropriate and both if necessary and answer as fully as you can.  There are no right or wrong answers, just authentic information on our industry.  

We cannot emphasise enough how important your answers are to give power to the Voice of the Industry.  You will be heard, but only if you contribute.




We are excited to see the responses so far and are looking forward to being able to report back once we have enough data.

Sue Davies
Deputy Chair

The Hair & Barber Council

The Hair & Barber Council

The Hair & Barber Council ‘Shaping the Future Together’

Who is the Hair and Barber Council?

The not for profit professional body, originally set up by the Hairdressing (Registration) Act 1964, has the mandate from Government to protect and develop the current voluntary register of professional hairdressers and barbers throughout the UK. We alone hold this Government mandate, and as such it is only the Hair and Barber Council, in conjunction with industry and stakeholders, that can challenge Government to amend this current voluntary Act to that of mandatory whilst adding beauty and nails into the body of the Act.

Why does the industry need to be regulated?

To be a successful, professional, competent and inspiring hairdresser, barber, beauty therapist or nail technician takes time, commitment, focus and passion to achieve that aim. Training, continual professional development and experience all play a part in creating true professionals that the general public should be able to have complete confidence in. Sadly, many practicing hairdressers, barbers, beauty therapists and nail technicians in the UK currently have had little or no form of training, are not qualified to practice their craft, and as current legislation allows anyone to practice without any form of training or qualification at all, this for many decades has hugely undervalued the industry, as a whole, as the true profession it is.

Political landscape:

The Hair and Barber Council has consistently campaigned to change the status of the Act from voluntary to mandatory and has taken many actions to support this aim, which includes;

  • Implementing a ‘Public Affairs and Influencing’ strategy
  • Meeting and lobbying MPs, AMs, MLAs and SMPs and other relevant senior political/policy officials.
  • Securing support from MPs in setting up an ‘All Party Parliamentary Group’ (APPG), for the hair and barber and cosmetology industries.
  • Establishing regional meetings with constituency members, employers and staff to raise awareness of the valuable contribution the industry makes to the UK economy.
  • Commissioning various industry reports to include the 2017 Data Survey the results of which stated that on average 80% to 90% of industry, stakeholders and the general public wanted the industry to be regulated, and the 2019 Economic Impact Assessment Report that stated that the hair and beauty industry contributed £6.6 billion a year to the UK economy.
  • Working closely with BEIS (The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) to raise all issues and concerns within the industry whilst seeking to influence Government more definitively and specifically.

This political landscape has changed dramatically over the past five years! At last politicians from all parties are starting to take our industry seriously, with more and more of them supporting our campaign.

From a safety and hygiene perspective, during the current pandemic the industry has overwhelmingly proved that we are not responsible for the growth of coronavirus infections which has further strengthened the point of realigning the true status of the industry, so often totally undervalued by the public, parents, careers advisors and politicians alike.

For our industry to be able to lobby Government and to make representation to them on many issues surrounding our sector currently and in the future, we will never be taken seriously without regulation!


30 Sydenham Road, Croydon, CR0 2EF.
E: – Registrar@haircouncil.org.uk   T: – 020 8760 7010
The statutory authority established by the Hairdressing (Registration) Act 1964