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What to Look For in Nail Files and Buffers

What to Look For in Nail Files and Buffers

One of the most important decisions that you will make when it comes to choosing the right equipment for your salon is the types of nail files and buffers that you will use. If you are new to the business then you may not even be aware that there are different types available to choose from. Surely a file is a file and they just come in different shapes and styles? Well unfortunately the differences between files are slightly more complicated than you would imagine them to be! If you get it wrong you could end up seriously damaging your client’s nails!

What you need to be Aware Of

The first thing that you need to understand is the difference between nail files and nail buffers.

Nail files are used to generally shorten the length of the nail and to shape the nail too. They are typically quite long and flat and you can get single as well as double files. Nail buffers on the other hand are used to perfect the nail and to remove any marks, as well as polish the surface of the nails. They tend to be quite chunky and you can get a three way buffer that works to trim, clean and polish the nails.

Once you understand the differences between the two tools, you then need to know more about the differences in abrasion.

Abrasion is what causes the nails to shorten. You use the file to rub over the top of the nail and it literally rubs the nail away. To achieve this grit is used and different files have a different amount of grit on them. The higher the grit, the gentler the file will be on the nails. The lower the grit, the harsher it will be.

Why you need to be Careful

You need to be careful when you choose a file to use on each client. If you choose a file that has little grit, it could potentially damage your client’s nails. Generally lower grit files should be used on tough overlay materials; they should never be used on natural nails.

The most common grit files tend to be 80,100,180,240, 360, 400-900 and 900-1200. If you are going to be performing a treatment on natural nails then you should never use a file with grit that is less than 240. However, this may be canceled out if you are working on a pedicure on the big toe. The big toe nail is tough and it can be hard to file down. So on these occasions you may be able to get away with using a grit file of 180.

Overall if you use anything less than 240 on natural nails then it can really damage the nail. You need to keep the advice mentioned within this article in mind if you want to do the best job possible.