Prescriptive Manicures: Tailoring Your Service To Your Clients Needs

In the world of nail treatments, there is no 'one-size fits all'. Just like skincare, the way we treat each client should be personalised based on their nails, health and lifestyle.

Builder gel won’t always be a suitable treatment, especially when working with a hypoallergenic brand using safer ingredients. This is also an exciting opportunity to create a niche for your brand, where clients attend your appointments, have their nails fully analysed and then the perfect product recommended especially for them, their nail type and their nail goals.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into how you can create a prescriptive service and how different HONA products can help you do that.  

First steps

Ensure you’re allowing time for a consultation period within your appointment. During this time you can discuss any medical history, as well as other relevant information disclosed. Some nail technicians might also ask other health and wellbeing related questions, these could help to determine the environment and atmosphere you create for your clients.

Things to consider:

  • Does your clients medical history mean you need to adapt your current methods?
  • Does your client have any sensory needs, could this be an opportunity to offer a silent appointment during the consultation?
  • Is your client elderly or pregnant? Is your environment and method of application going to be suitable/comfortable for them? How can you adapt?
  • Does your client have existing allergies/sensitivities? Do they know what these are and how will you carry out the appointment going forward?
  • What nail and skin type does your client have?

All of these considerations are going to ensure your client has a great appointment with you, catered specifically to them.

Lets talk a little more about nail types and HONA’s product solutions.

Strong NailsWhen your client has nail that are:

  • Smooth
  • Strong
  • Not prone to breaking

Solution: These clients may not actually need builder gel. Ask your client what their nail goals are i.e do they want to grow out their nails and do they normally experience breakages? If they don’t experience breakages,  perhaps a standard gel manicure will be enough. If they do experience breakages at a particular length, perhaps because of an active lifestyle or job, or they prefer the look of a structured overlay, then PureBuild would be great for them. If they're somewhere in-between, maybe a gel manicure with the extra strength of rubber base could be the answer.

Dry Brittle Nails

When your client has nails that are:

  • Dry
  • Lacking moisture, natural oils
  • Brittle
  • Prone to cracking, splitting or chipping
  • Appear dull

Solution: These clients may experience product lifting/chipping. Ensure prep is thorough, as we should always be doing, but particularly with clients who already have problematic nails. PureBuild, although it does have some flex, will be effective for clients with brittle/dehydrated nails because of its harder-wearing nature. Paired with PureBond, it will help clients who are prone to splits and chips, due to its lightweight formula and powerful bonding capabilities. Nail shape will also play an important role, square shapes with harsher corners may not be the best idea - try suggesting softer shapes; almond, squoval, round etc.

Bendy nails

When your client has nails that are: 

  • Soft
  • Bend and tear easily
  • Prone to peeling
  • Often overexposed to water e.g hairdressers, dog groomers

Solution: These clients may experience product lifting/chipping. This could be due to their job/lifestyle, or perhaps it could just be their natural nail type. Adhesion will be key and a product that moves a little more with the nail when it flexes? Even better! PureFoundation is our universal hybrid builder gel/rubber base formula. It moves with the nail and has fantastic adhesion properties, in fact, it uses an ingredient that bonds with the keratin in your nail plate. This product can be used as a base coat and a strengthening builder gel overlay. Ensure you use this as a stand alone product to get the best out of it.

Ridged Nails

 When your client has nails that are:

  • Ridged nails or pitted nails
  • Have vertical or horizontal lines or ridges
  • Can be a normal sign of aging
  • Could also be a sign of vitamin deficiency, injury and underlying health conditions

Solution: Vertical ridges can often develop on the nails of older adults. It’s thought to be due to a slowing of cell turnover. Ridges can sometimes be caused by medical conditions or deficiencies. If your client is also experiencing other nail changes in overall shape, they should consult their GP.

If your client would like to reduce the appearance of ridges on the nails, we suggest using a product with higher viscosity. When you’re choosing your product, take other things into consideration - are the nails dry, brittle or hydrated? Then use what we have already discussed to determine whether to use Rubber Base, PureFoundation or PureBuild. The thicker consistency of these products will fill in those ridges and create a more level surface on the nail.

Nail Allergies

 When your client has:

  • Known allergies
  • Sensitivities
  • Skin conditions


Client Consultation

When working with a new client it’s important to find out whether they have any known allergies or sensitivities and to ensure their responses are kept on file and updated if anything changes. If your client has previously reacted to any nail product we recommend that they speak to their doctor and get an allergy test to determine which exact ingredient/s they have reacted to. 

Understanding your products and their ingredients

It’s also important to know and understand the ingredients in all of the products you’re using. This way, if a client does inform you of a known allergy you can make informed choices and reduce the risk of a reaction. For example, nuts are a well-known allergen and can sometimes be used in products like cuticle oil. This is why it’s important to consider ingredients at every step of the treatment.

Understanding your clients skin/nails

As well as allergies, clients may have sensitivities to other ingredients like acetone and alcohol, which can be drying. If your client has a skin condition like eczema, these ingredients could cause a flare up or upset already enflamed skin. Communicate with your client about their ongoing health conditions to find the best solution. Your client will know and understand their skin more than you might, but remember to refer to a GP if you’re ever in doubt. 

Suggested Products

HONA’s Gel Polish, PureBuild, PureFoundation and SwiftTips are all hypoallergenic and do not contain HEMA, HPMA or IBOA, which are some of the top allergens known to be in many nail products. However, this does not rule out all risk of allergic reactions. Our product ingredients can be found in the SDS sheets on our product pages on the website.