Cuticles form an occasionally contested border between skin and nail. Learn how nail technicians can safely get them into good condition with Groupon?s investigation.
No one pays much attention to cuticles until they start causing trouble. Either they grow thick enough to intrude on a uniform manicure or they tear and cause pain. But the clingy strips of skin at the bottom of each nail actually perform some important functions. First, cuticles act as protective barriers that help new keratin cells grow into long, healthy nails instead of short, creepy talons. Second, they help keep bacteria out of the nail bed, where it can cause painful infections.
Though some nail salons offer to trim your cuticles during a manicure, the risk of infection?even with properly sanitized instruments?may outweigh any aesthetic benefit. After all, cuticles will grow back no matter what, so even a temporarily neater line at the base of the nail is unlikely to last for more than a few days. But nail technicians do have ways of fashioning smooth ovals or almond shapes without exposing the nail to dangerous intruders. First, they?ll avoid tearing the skin by making sure it?s as soft and supple as possible. An intensive moisturizer will help, as will a soak in a bowl of warm water. Once the hands are well-conditioned, the tech will begin carefully, gently working with a cuticle stick, first pushing the cuticles back and then, with a tiny circular motion, buffing away any dead skin remnants and dried-on cupcake frosting still clinging to the nail.
Expert nail tech Helena Jones deploys an army of microscopic architects to renovate nails during her specialty mani-pedi services. Not only is she certified by Creative Nail Design, but she's also a certified Shellac master painter. In addition to CND polish options, clients may request other high-end brands in non-gel formulas such as OPI and China Glaze.
At Club Beauty, wander up and down the cheetah-print stairs of the two-story salon and spa for a day of pampering. Head to the pedicure station, where guests relax on the cushioned-topped bench built into the gray tiled platform and soak their feet in the footbath below. Nearby, a purple velvet dining chair relaxes clients during standard and shellac manicures, and a white brick fireplace is the perfect spot for quickly melting off old polish. The vibrant red, modern chairs in the salon area host clients getting haircuts, extensions, and blowouts.
The friendly, meticulous nail technicians at The Scissor Room pamper hands and feet with a relaxing 90-minute manicure and pedicure. After a nail guru employs 20 miniature private detectives to assess nail motive, guests relax in an oversize spa chair as appendages’ caretakers clean, trim, and reshape cuticles. Tender talons are buffed to each client’s specifications, leaving them as soft as a pillowcase filled with shredded parking tickets. Patrons are then free to peruse The Scissor Room’s inventory of nail-polish colors to dress newly smoothed finger and toe canvases in a gleaming, museum-worthy hue.
In addition to scissors or clippers, your stylist may pull out a razor. Learn what it does with Groupon?s look.
Shears are often considered the tool of the trade, but stylists carry an oft-forgotten but equally important tool in their arsenal?the straight razor. Deciding which one to use depends on a variety of factors, the texture and density of your hair chief among them. Though shears can create virtually any style from any angle, the result is always a straight, blunt cut?lending the hair definition but potentially making it look thick. A razor, on the other hand, cuts with a single fine blade, forming a softer, feathered appearance more akin to a peacock's majestic bouffant.
For people with fine to medium hair with a fairly smooth texture, this can create a dynamic, tossable style with lots of movement. If you have coarse or very fine hair, however, scissors might still be the better bet, as the razor might end up making it frizzy. Curly hair raises somewhat of a dilemma; though its coarse texture seems to demand shears, the tendency for ringlets to accumulate as a single, thick mass means a razor might be able to reduce the hair's weight and boost its movement and playfulness.
At The Beauty Lounge, owner Erin Blackston promotes an atmosphere of clean, angular cuts and time-honored sophistication. The former platform artist for Rusk International leads a staff that includes a former color educator for Framesi and a Redken educational artist, alongside other specialists who excel in everything from fusion hair extensions to straightening treatments by Pravana and Coppola. Aside from cuts, up-styles, and blowouts, the crew excels at gray coverage and far-out color combinations, making the salon a popular choice among Akron's boldest heads and aging clown population.