Most people naturally think of hair and makeup when they hear the word “salon,” but as we frequently remind our students at Collectiv Academy, there’s another important area to consider: Nails.

Many people come to the salon solely for care and design on their nails, and this is a big part of our cosmetology school program. Becoming a trusted source of nail design and health is a great way to help build your customer base and get new referrals. As a primer, let’s look at a few basic nail tips you can give clients.


Regularly trimming nails is one of the most important things clients can do to maintain their health and overall appearance. It’s recommended that they’re trimmed at least once every two weeks, and more often in some cases. There are allowances to be made if a client is going for a specific style, but these are general guidelines.


Trimming often helps with this, but there are a few extra bits of cleanliness to pay attention to. Keep the nails free of dirt and debris – this can be especially tough for painted nails where seeing the dirt is tougher. If basic methods of cleaning aren’t working, try a soft toothbrush and some warm water to help reach the tough areas.

Health Means More Than Length

Long nails can often be a great look, but they shouldn’t be prioritized over health. People who have had issues with nails breaking or snagging in the past may look to other styles, like a shorter trim with a round edge. Symmetry is just as important as length in many cases. If a client has any pain or other issues with the nail, attempting to grow them too long could be the root cause.


Using the right products is vital, and this starts with the base coat when you’re painting nails. The base coat protects the nails from stains and any minor damage, plus helps make paint colors pop and shine.

On the flip side, overuse of products or using the wrong products can be very damaging. Make sure clients know which products they’re using, and any potential health effects they may have. Avoid acrylic or gel treatments, as these can damage long term nail health. Be sure to use a top coat for sealing color, and try to moisturize every time new paint is applied.

Want to know more about the nail care classes included in our cosmetology program? Click here to speak with the experts at COLLECTIV Academy.

The goal of our cosmetology program at Collectiv Academy is to help mold you into an innovative and respected member of the cosmetology community, and we wouldn’t be able to accomplish that without hands-on learning approaches. You aren’t just sitting in a classroom, taking notes and waiting for the bell to ring – you’re actively applying your learning in a professional setting.

Whether it’s through the use of mannequins, live models or simply practicing on or with fellow students, we want you on your feet and learning via experience. Here are a few of the key benefits our students commonly find through this form of active learning.


You can read everything there is to read on a particular technique, but there’s a good chance you’ll never be able to master it without repetition. Learning which approaches work and which should be avoided in the future is a process that takes lots of trial and error, plus critiques from instructors who have seen all these issues before.

You’ll make mistakes during this process, don’t you worry, but these are expected and even welcomed. They’re often the only way to learn how to do it right.


Down the same lines, hands-on techniques are by far the best ways to build confidence. Would you be confident entering your first paid salon job, then doing the first hands-on haircut of your life on your very first customer? Of course not. You’d be terrified, and would likely make big mistakes even if you had every bit of book learning on the subject memorized by heart. Getting that experience hundreds of times over before you enter the professional setting will allow you to project the confident, experienced stylist your clients want to see.

Problem Solving

Practicing techniques and methods in person may also alert you to any limitations or issues you have with these techniques. Maybe you really struggle with a certain type of cut, but it’s because you’re using the wrong technique and just need a quick alteration. You’ll never find these things out if you don’t give them the chance to present themselves.

Mastering techniques, building confidence, and developing problem-solving skills are just a few of the benefits of our hands-on method. To learn about more of the benefits, check out our cosmetology program, or come in for a tour to experience it for yourself!