Digits and Derma by Kym Blog

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Eco-liner spa pedicure

I have been keeping busy with work, work, and more work. If you missed my blogs- I apologize for the long absence.

I am sure many of you have seen the new trend of "Eco-liner" spa pedicures, and I thought that I would address this topic. The name "Eco-liner" makes it sound like it is good for our environment, but in reality- I think it is the exact opposite for our environment. Here is why I feel this way about "Eco-liners". An "Eco-liner" is a plastic liner that fits a special pedicure unit, so that the operator can simply empty out the pedicure water, and throw away the plastic liner when the service is complete. These liners cost about $.60 to $1.00 each depending on the quantity that gets purchased at a time. So, my question to you is- if being green and "Eco-friendly" is about reducing use and waste- how can these liners be considered "Eco-friendly"? Our use of plastic has become a problem. Plastic does not break down easily, and the other types that are biodegradable- tend to leave a toxic residue behind. Recycling helps, but I doubt the salons using these liners are recycling them, and more than likely are simply throwing them in the trash. Remember, reduce, reuse, recycle- that means not creating more trash.

Let's talk about why these liners are used in the first place. Many operators will say it is for the clients' protection against disease and infection. In my professional opinion- nothing is better against disease and infection than good old soap and hot water. Doing a complete job of cleaning and disinfecting with a hospital grade disinfectant ensures that equipment and tools are ready for the next service. It takes 15 minutes or less for a thorough job of cleaning up after a service, and this is not hard work. I think too many operators in our industry are too lazy or too busy to care. If an operator is unable to clean the pedicure spa- it has to make you wonder what else is he/she not cleaning? Sure, he/she may be able to toss the liner after the service, but is he/she still cleaning the liner holder after the service? It does not take much to contaminate a surface, and if the operator is already in the habit of "not cleaning" he/she probably are not conscientious enough to keep the rest of his/her tools properly cleaned and disinfected.

Another thing for you to keep on the look out- are the salons that require you to "purchase" your own implements- such as nail clippers, cuticle pusher, etc. These places are under the impression, that if there is a set of implements for each customer- this eliminates the need for cleaning and disinfecting implements; because the set only gets used on one individual. WRONG. Despite having a dedicated set of tools for each client- operators are required to clean and disinfect each implement before storage. We all have germs, and given the opportunity (the right conditions and environment, such as a dark and closed box)- these germs will grow, reproduce, and can cause infection. Somehow, people are under the impression that their own germs won't cause harm- wrong again. My last parting words to you, is to take the personal responsibility for your personal safety. Find a salon, and a operator that you can trust to take care of your beauty needs. Doing a job well, not only means the desired end results, but also, following correct protocol and procedures to ensure everyone's safety- operator included.

I have included a link explaining more about plastics and how they impact our environment.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What to Expect and How to Get the Most from Your Visit to the Salon

Going to a different salon can be a scary task, but here are some tips to make the transition a smooth and enjoyable experience. It is important that you are prepared for your appointment. Do your homework and research. What haircut do you want? What color do you want to color your hair? You should have 2-3 various styles to show your stylist and a good stylist would be able to help you decide which look is most flattering for your face shape, hair type, and lifestyle. Now days with technology- having pictures of examples on your phone is a great idea.

Call ahead to make an appointment. Occasionally, salons can accommodate a drop in service, but occasionally that means squeezing you into a partial appointment slot, and worst case scenario- getting a rushed job. Poor planning is usually a major factor for less than average results. In order to get precision work and detail, you must allow enough time for the process. Allow time for a thorough consultation, you may find out that awesome trendy hair color requires a touch up every 3 weeks to keep it looking fresh and vibrant. Is that something you are willing to commit your time to having done every 3 weeks? Also, don't assume how much time your service will take. Every stylist has a different set of skills, talents, strengths, and weaknesses. Ask how much time to allow for your appointment when you call to book it. It is stressful for both you and your stylist to perform a service that would normally take an hour, but because of poor planning- you have somewhere else to be in 30 minutes. Unfortunately, none of us have a magic wand to wave around to complete the transformation. Be a few minutes early, or at the very least be on time. Arriving 15 minutes late or more may mean that you will need to be rescheduled or at the very least omissions to your service- like not getting your hair dried and styled. This typically makes the stylist run late and will compromise other clients and their appointments.

Communication is key. Don't be afraid to voice your concerns and opinions. This should be done in a respectful manner to your stylist, and he/she generally will be more than happy to make any necessary adjustments. After all, this is a customized service, tailored specifically for you. Keep in mind, that many results are changeable (even extensions if too much hair was cut), and if your final results were not quite what you had in mind- this is part of the evolution. All hair and nail services are evolution until it becomes maintenance. That means, until you find the jackpot, expect some changes until you get to that stage. Perfection takes time to cultivate, and give your stylist an opportunity to make any changes to anything that is not making you happy. It can't be fixed unless he/she knows about it. Avoiding the issue will continue the cycle of dissatisfaction.

Reasonable expectations. If you have a bad hair cut from three weeks ago, there may not be enough hair to work with to create a new style. Often this requires some patience and time, and can be worth the wait. Again, it is evolution until it becomes maintenance. Sometimes the hair styles we choose may not work with our particular hair type, texture, or density. It is important to listen to the input of your stylist- after all they are professionals.

Pricing. You should expect a difference in cost when it comes to hair color maintenance. If you normally get a retouch every 3-4 weeks, but for some reason had to wait 8 weeks- expect to pay more. Your stylist has to do more work, and use more product. This is also true for nails. Don't be afraid to ask for an estimate price or quote to make sure you are within your budget.

Don't bring small children. If your child is getting a service- that is a completely different scenario, otherwise don't bring small children to your services. There are many sharp objects and dangerous chemicals that can cause serious harm to a child. An unattended child is distracting and stressful to both you and your stylist. Small unattended children can also make other clients uncomfortable. Most of all, it is unfair for the child to sit and wait for your services to be completed.

Tried a different stylist - and you are back?? It happens. It is perfectly fine to test the waters somewhere else. Fess up and inform your stylist, especially if you received a chemical service from someone else to avoid any potential adverse reactions. Your stylist would be happy to have you return and it gives them an opportunity to make any adjustments if needed.

Tipping. This is a great way to let your stylist know you are satisfied with their work. It is customary for 15% gratuity on the service total. If your stylist has an assistant helping with the service- it is a good idea to slip them $5 to $10 for helping to take care of your needs.

Hope this is useful! See you soon!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

10 Signs that You May Need a New Nail Tech

Change can be difficult, and finding a new person to do services for you can be scary. Many times, finding someone new can seem to be more daunting than putting up with the current service provider. After all, what guarantees do you have that the new service provider will give a better service? The short answer is - you don't know what may be in store for you at the new place, but nothing risked nothing gained.

1. The first sign that you need a new nail tech is if it is painful to get nail services. Accidents happen, and an occasional nick in the skin is not what I am talking about. Does your tech remove your nail enhancements properly? Are they prying off your enhancements? Are your fingers sore every time you get worked on? Most nail damage occurs from improper application and removal. Peeling and prying any type of nail enhancement- soft gel, hard gel, or acrylic will leave your nails thin, weak, and damaged. This is a NO NO!

2. Is your nail tech dependable and reliable? Yes, we all have lives, and emergencies arise where occasionally appointments need to be rescheduled; however, if your appointments get rescheduled more often than kept- it may be time to find someone else. If your nail tech is consistently changing your appointment- then they are not serious enough about their work to make it a number one priority. Your time is just as valuable as the nail tech's time.

3. Is your nail tech practicing infection control? Are the files clean and are the one time use items being tossed after use? Does your nail tech sanitize his/her hands and your hands/feet before the start of the service? Are the metal implements soaking in disinfectant? Is there stuff floating in the disinfectant? Is the disinfectant solution cloudy? Is the table wiped and cleaned before each client? Are the towels clean? If these basic infection control practices aren't being followed- SCARY. I know it is difficult to keep shelves clean because of the nail dust that is generated with each set of nails, but there are some corners that should not be cut.

4. Do your nails lift? If you wear nail enhancements, then the word "lifting" should be a familiar word. Otherwise, you either you don't wear enhancements, or your nail tech is a Rockstar and has mastered the art of "no lift nails". Yes, there are Rockstars out there!

5. Is your nail tech trendy? I am not only referring to keeping up with the latest styles, colors, and fashion, but also the training, latest techniques, continuing education, and using new technology and products. This is what it takes to become the best and top of your field. New products and techniques can increase efficiency and new products might work better.

6. Does your tech use an electric file? A hobby tool? Or a Dremel? A Dremel or a hobby tool is too aggressive for the nail plate, and can cause severe damage to both the operator and the client. If they are not using an e-file, then this could be why your appointments take a long time, or why your nails lift. I believe that you can do amazing natural nail care without an e-file, but to do any type of enhancements without an e-file is like asking your hair stylist to dry your hair without a blow dryer. If he/she does use an electric file, do they use a dust extractor? A lot of micro fine dust is generated with an e-file. This is dangerous for both the tech and the client. Or do they use a surgical mask? Are you offered a mask for your protection? Not using any of these things is a great way to find out how long it will take for a lung transplant.

7. Is your tech a licensed professional? You would be amazed by how many "professionals" didn't actually attend a beauty school and moonlights as a licensed professional. This could be why they aren't practicing infection control, or don't know any better than to rip off the enhancements from your nail. Licenses must be posted where you can check.

8. Does your nail tech care for your nail health? Does your tech continuously over file your nail plate? You can tell if there are red circles burned into your nail plate- sometimes it hurts but it always looks bad. A healthy nail is required to become the sturdy foundation for nail enhancements. It is our job to not only make your nails look nice, but also to nourish, protect and care for the natural nail.

9. When you get a pedicure, does your tech use blades, graters, or metal files? This is a big NO NO. In the state of New Mexico, it is illegal for a professional to use any metal tool with an edge for the purpose of removing or smoothing calluses. None of us are trained to use these tools, and those tools potentially can cause severe harm and/or infection. Just not worth the risk of harm/infection nor losing your license- wait- maybe they don't have one to lose?

10. The final sign that you need a new nail tech is if you are continuing to read this blog, then you are in the market for a new nail tech. Somehow in some way you are not 100% satisfied with the work that your nail tech is doing for you, and you are wondering if the grass is greener somewhere else. Ultimately, you get what you pay for.

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Truth About Electric Files, Nail Enhancements, and Your Nails

I know the general consumer, who frequently receives nail services, has concerns regarding a nail tech using an electric file on their nails. Is it safe? Will it damage my nails? Like any other tool used in the beauty industry- whether it is a blow dryer, a flat iron, or a nail file- it really depends on the person wielding the tool! Can a flat iron burn and damage your hair? Yes! But if a flat iron is used correctly, it can make your tresses silky smooth. This is also true for any nail service where a nail tech uses an electric file. First of all, not all electric files are created equal. A "Dremel", a "drill" or any other "hobby tool" is not appropriate for use upon anyone's natural nail or nail enhancements. Those kinds of tools have too much power, speed, and vibration that can cause serious damage to the natural nail- and cause carpal tunnel syndrome to the technician. Electric files that are created specifically for nails are finely crafted machines that can range from $100 to $600. A good machine will have an ultra light hand piece with little to no vibration, as well as a good range of torque (power) and speed settings. These machines are worth every penny! Second, the proper use of an e-file is indispensable to the quality and efficiency of the work completed by the technician, and the final results of the nails. The bits and bands used with an e-file have a 3D shape that allow for close up work in the cuticle area- where a 2D flat hand file can't reach. Also, an e-file reduces the hand and finger stress of the technician- prolonging the career and reducing the probability of carpal tunnel syndrome. The e-file is also a major time saver!! It use to take me over 3 hours to hand file my sets of nails. Expecting a nail tech to not use an e-file is like expecting a hairstylist not to use a hairdryer. It can be done, but it drastically influences the end results of the final appearance. Lastly, proper education and experience on how to use an e-file is a MUST!! Unfortunately, here in Albuquerque, nail education is elusive. Nationwide, only a few companies offer electric file education. It takes a dedicated nail professional to seek the education and master the e-file. A properly trained and educated nail tech will nourish, protect, and preserve the integrity of the natural nail during the entire process. A trashed nail will still look trashed with product on top. It is like a house, if the foundation is in poor shape- then it is only a matter of time before the house falls around your ears. If your nail tech doesn't understand this- then it is time to search for someone better!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Can a chemical peel be appealing?

Fall is here! My year has blown past me, and I am still playing catch up. The changing of the season is the ideal time for a facial. The colder weather tends to dry out our skin, more than we are accustom to feeling. A deep cleansing, hydrating facial helps to ease the skin into the winter change and help you get that extra boost of moisturizing that we desperately try to achieve - we do live in a desert! Along with our dry skin, many of us are uncertain as to which products work best for our skin types, and our skin conditions. As young children, most of us are taught very little as to how to correctly take care of our skin. As your skin expert, I can honestly say, that many of us are ill if not wrongfully informed. If you are having skin issues, then please call me for a complimentary face mapping consultation, and I am happy to get you back on track. You may be surprised as to what may be the cause of your skin problems. Will a peel help with your skin problems? How many of you have had a chemical peel, or know of someone that had a chemical peel? If you have, then you are probably aware of the "down time" that comes with getting a treatment like this. Now you should be asking yourself, why is there a "down time"? The down time is when you want to hide your face and crawl into a hole while the redness and swelling dissipates. The irritation that comes from a chemical peel is actually the "burn" from the treatment, and this is what causes your skin to be red, inflamed, and just unhappy. However; once past the "down time" and if you had a properly applied treatment, then the results can be rewarding after the treatment. You should be able to see and feel a difference in skin texture, softer appeareance of fine/deep lines, brighter skin, and a more hydrated "fullness" to the skin. In a nutshell, the chemical peel is forcing the upper layer of skin to "peel" off like a snake, exposing fresh new baby skin. I had the great privealge of attending a hands-on workshop with Dermalogica and the new BioActive Peel. For many years, Dermalogica did not offer a chemical peel, and chemical peels were for a very small population of people with different skin issues, such as acne scarring. Now, after much research, Dermalogica has released a biphasic chemical peel, that will leave you with NO "down time". How, do you ask? The different phases of the treatment, and enzymatic action allow for a more gentle process of removing the upper layer of skin, that is less traumatic, and still yields results. I, personally, had it done yesterday, and I am impressed with my results. As with any treatment, this one is not for everyone, but it would be beneficial to most. In order to get the most out of this BioActive Peel, you may need to come in and a get a hydrating facial, because if your skin is too dehydrated, you will not have the best results, and may have some "down time" because of dehydration. I can honestly say, I didn't think I would ever be in favor of a peel, much less offering them. You can call me with your questions, at 505-480-9334. I stay pretty busy, so please leave me a message. I return all messages!! Thanks and see you soon. -Kym

Saturday, July 27, 2013

New Salon, new services

I don't know about you, but my summer is flying by me. I can't believe we are moving into August. There has been many new changes since my last post, that I do not know where to begin. First, I want to invite you to my Grand Opening party, Thursday, August 1st, from 4-7pm. It is at my new salon 5 Elements, 2325 San Pedro NE Suite 1G, one block south of Mario's Pizza, across from Coronado Mall. Please come celebrate with my staff and get a peek at our new digs. Also, I have officially added permanent makeup services to my menu and those include, permanent eyeliner, eyebrows and lips. Please call me for more details. The updates will be up on the website soon. Hope your summer is a blast, and see you soon! -Kym

Friday, May 17, 2013

5 Elements Salon

I know it has been awhile since my last post, but I have been busy. Really busy. June 1st, I will be opening my second salon called, 5 Elements, and I will have a new manicurist, Jenn, available to help service your nail care needs. I will also have a hairstylist, Sharon Chang, from Silver Koi, there to take care of all your hair needs as well. I am excited to bring my trusted co-workers together to offer you an amazing salon experience, with the services that you have come to trust, and expect from me. My co-workers are at their pinnacle of their profession and will provide you with great service and care. As my book has been pretty full lately, I hope that you will call Jenn at 5 Elements Salon, starting June 1st with your nail needs, as I am unable to accommodate new clients immediately. My schedule has been running 2 weeks out, and Jenn may be available for walk-ins. I will keep you posted as the salon gets closer to opening! See you soon, -Kym 505-232-9092