Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Most often, it's the driver not the car!

When teaching a class on electric nail filing vs hand filing, this is my favorite saying, "Most often, it's the driver not the car!". If you are driving along and you go off the road down an escalator, is it the cars fault or the driver? Granted a malfunction could cause the car to go off, but for my example we will blame the driver. So to say that e-files are bad is like blaming the car.

"But the manicurist that does my nails uses a drill and now my nails are ruined!". Have you ever seen erosion from a constant drip, drip, drip of water? Even something so tiny as a drip can eventually cause damage! If you are causing damage or your technician is causing damage using an e-file than it is 100% the fault of the tech.

There are many mistakes technicians make when using a e-file. The first myth is that you need to have it set to the highest speed to work. Today's e-files have great torque in place of speed. Torque is just how strong your e-file is as it rotates. If you lightly touch the bit to the nail and it stops spinning, that is low torque. If you can put your bit right to the end of the nail and use the e-file to shorten long acrylic length and it does not stop spinning, that is high torque. Torque is a great thing, because it means that you do not need to work with high speeds. It's the friction at high speeds that makes the nail hot and burn the client. And. if you are working at high speeds, you need only a moment of bad judgment to do serious harm. My e-file is always set at a low speed unless I need to shorten the nail.

Bits are the second cause of damage. Most techs think that Carbide bits are the way to go. I used to. They shave a lot of acrylic off a nail. However you can only work in one direction causing lots of flat passes that still need to be fixed with a hand file. Now, for me, there is nothing better than a well made diamond bit. I can work in a side to side motion filing in both directions. This gets twice as much work done in the same amount of time. Diamond bits are much more forgiving.

Lastly, looking into a really good e-file oil will not only cut out the friction but also protect the skin surrounding the nail. And, as an added bonus it eliminates dust that a tech would normally inhale. It is basically a pure oil. No color or fragrance. Dyes and fragrances can damage the machinery in the hand piece. Be advised, you only use these oils to 'finish' file not to prep. Otherwise the oil can ruin your application and cause lifting.

Before you turn an evil eye on an e-file, consider this, a tech with little to no experience with hand filing can do just as much damage as a tech with an e-file.

(writing from Valencia, CA today)

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