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Ony What? Natural Nail Health Matters

BlogBeauty Tips | May 23, 2014

Who can’t polish a nail? Simple enough right? If it were that simple then why are millions of customers heading to local salons to have it done? Truth is, you’re the expert. You’re the one they are trusting to ensure the health of their natural nail.

In school, you start learning all the “Ony” terms. The chapters on diseases and disorders have thrown many potential nail techs into a frenzy wondering if they will ever keep them straight. You hate all of these words now but you WILL be happy that you know them. You will also refer to those chapters often. Like when someone sits in your chair with an odd looking nail and you can’t be sure if it’s contagious or not.

A client’s nail health is something that you must take very seriously. At the first sign of abnormality, refer them to a physician. Most common issues we see on nail beds are fungus and mold.


Mold is green and grows from the cuticle towards the free edge. It is easily killed with isopropyl alcohol and usually forms when moisture has been trapped on the nail due to enhancements. It does not cause any permanent damage.


Fungus is off white and grows from the free edge towards the cuticle. It literally eats the nail plate away as it grows and is extremely serious. It is highly contagious and can spread from nail to nail easily. You will see it on toes most often. 1 in 4 people have a toe fungus. By law, you cannot perform services on them because of the risks. There are risks not only to you, but risks in spreading it from nail to nail if you haven’t changed files or implements during the service to keep the others nails safe.

Anyone who has a suspected contagious condition should be treated with respect. You want to discreetly discuss their options. You want to refer them to a physician and ask that they follow up with you because you are concerned for their well-being. If they call you with good news, they may continue to enjoy nail services. If not, they may need to follow medical care until it improves. Assure them that you will be there for them when they can return. Taking care of those we service is just about the most important thing you can do.

Renee Meyers

Written by Renee Meyers

An Empire graduate who has been a nail technician for 19 years and has had her work published in trade magazines as well as local newspapers. She leads teams for NY Fashion Week as well as many other Public Relations events. She has done services on celebrities such as Fergie, The Kardashians and Nicki Minaj. She is an award winning Guest Artist for OPI Products, Inc. She has a unique passion for education and strives to bring each student to a new level of enthusiasm, purpose, and ability.

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