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We’re Wild About Nails- a Look at the Growing Nail Craze

BlogBeauty Tips, Fashion Trends, How To's | February 28, 2012

Nails just keep on growing- not just literally, but in the business world as well.
It’s an obvious trend these days, as innovative, fun nail products and colors line the shelves of beauty salons and retail outlets around the world. Gone are the days of a plain pink or beige nail-to be in vogue you need the latest magnetic, shatter, crackle, glow-in-the-dark, diamond dust and glitter polish in every color imaginable. Not into waiting for the paint to dry? There are decals, appliqués, and stick-on nails in fashion patterns that are quick and easy. Obviously, nail art has become today’s fashion accessory.


People from all walks of life have bought into this trend of self-expression. Look at how nail salons have become such common sights on local streets and strip malls. Take a peek inside- always crowded! The pedicure chairs are filled with folks needing to relax and feel pampered, while nail technicians shuffle eager clients at their tables for professional shellac, gel, and acrylic manicures. Mother/daughter mani-pedi? See it all the time! Teenagers competing for the wildest look? Also common. How about friends meeting for a group pedicure? Let the fun begin! You see, “getting your nails done” is not a chore. It’s an event, it’s relaxing, and it’s indulgent. No wonder the trend is growing!

Nails by the Numbers:

59%: The increase in nail product sales in the last 10 months (much higher than lip products, which were up only 8%)

64%: The percentage of women who use nail polish once a week or more, according to a Gallup study

66%: Percent of salons that added gel nails to their service menus (Click here to learn about gel nails)

29%: Growth of cosmetology schools last year (training future nail and spa professionals)

61%: Nail salons having a Facebook page

90%: Nail techs that use the internet to learn about new products

$0.99: The price of the cheapest nail polish on the market now (Wet-n-Wild, which has been that price since the 1980′s)

More Nail Statistics: (according to 2011-2012 polling by OPI):

Projected market for 2012? $7.3 billion

Most popular weekly service? Gel nails, making up 26% of total services

Average weekly income of nail techs? It varies, but the highest average (at 18.5%) reported earning more than $750 weekly; 16.8% reported $150 or less

Best marketing tool? The always reliable word of mouth wins at 51%; Facebook and social media follows at 28%

Highest state education requirement? Alabama, with 750 hours needed for a nail technician license (least is Colorado, requiring 20 hours)

Most crowded salons? Nevada has a nail tech-to-salon ratio of 28 to 1

Least crowded salons? Montana and South Dakota at .6 to 1; Montana leads in attrition rates also. The state went from 500 nail techs in 2001 to only 96 in 2011. Huge decline!

One other thing that’s good to know- in the Vietnamese nail salons, there’s really no need to be paranoid. The survey says: No, they are NOT talking about you! As the techs exchange dialogue in their native tongue while you nervously wonder what is wrong with you, they reveal that just like most people, their conversation is about daily life, family, and TV shows. So relax and enjoy your manicure!

Are you part of this growing statistic…do you have a passion for nails, love getting your nails done and craze over new colors?  What have you noticed as the growing service and style in the nail industry? We’d love to hear your thoughts on what goes on out there! 


Written by Empire Beauty School

Empire Beauty School is a leading cosmetology and beauty educator with 89 beauty schools and cosmetology schools in the United States. Empire Beauty School offers a variety of beauty programs and cosmetology courses including cosmetology, esthetics, make-up artistry, and cosmetology educator training.

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