The 8 Types of People Who Work at Nail Salons

I’ve been getting my nails done since I was 15 years old. What started as one nail session for big a date turned into an every 2-3 week habit. There’s a comfort, sisterhood, solace, and tribe in nail salons. Difference melt away and we all lay back in massaging chairs for 45 minutes of self-care.

As I was getting my nails done today, I noticed the personality of my nail tech and that got me thinking – the same 8 people work at all nail salons, they just have different names. Unless you’ve got your favorite that you always get a prime appointments with, it can by “luck of the draw” with who does your nails.

The One in Charge

There are those lucky times that you walk in and the person who is running the show is the person who’s also running 100 colors by you. This person is generally the most experienced, knows a careful balance of talking too much and talking too little. You know you are getting your money’s worth with this nail tech. They are going to give you all the fancy stuff because they are bored with average.

This person also knows everything about every single person who walks in the door and can quote family members by nicknames. If he/she is in a good mood, they’ll spill tea with you about those people.

DOWNSIDE: Repeated phone calls, “How can I help you?” as people walk in, and the inevitable “I’ll be right back” 10 times during your session.

The One Who Wants Your Life Story

This nail tech is there for nail therapy as much as mental health therapy. He or she is going to ask you about everything. “How’s your mom?”, “Are you working today?”, “What do you did?”, “What did you get for Christmas?”, “Are you single?”. The list goes on. Before you know it you are air dropping photos of your cousin’s graduation. You’ve probably heard their life story too, complete with how the middle-schooler isn’t paying attention in class and that’s why she’s sitting in the back doing homework.

BONUS: You will get a break from your phone because you won’t have a second to glance at it with the sweet verbal interrogation going on.

The One Who Might Maim You

You know from the start with the scalding hot water turning your skin deep red and his/her incessant “It will cool down quickly” that this is going to hurt. They grab your feet with the delicacy of a seagull snatching a fish from water. They’ll get every ingrown toenail and some skin too and let out the sweetest “Sorry” before grabbing the burning alcohol to add a little more pain. Every callous and several layers of skin are gone before your foot goes back into the volcanic bowl. Somehow though, you appreciate the attention. When they finally life the armrest to set you free, you think they are going to body slam you and you flinch a little.

BONUS: That massage is EPIC.

The One Who Is the Happiest Person You’ll Ever Meet

He or she is just happy to be alive and isn’t afraid to show it. Seeing you is the best part of their day and the smile goes on for miles. The laughter is contagious and you find yourself happier by the time she says “Do you want to use the massage chair?” She won’t even let you think of touching it because the second best thing that happened to her today after you walking in was her being able to help you with the chair. She’s going to offer nail art, shellac, a puppy, and a water with fresh cut lemon by the time you are wrapped up the perfected-temperature towels.

DOWNSIDE: You can’t take her with you to keep up the good spirits throughout the rest of your day.

The One Who Is Pissed Off At You

From the second you walked in, he or she didn’t so much as give a fake smile in your direction. The best conversation you had was “Get in my chair.” You were handed the menu without any upsell, and a hefty sigh comes with whatever you end up choosing, making you second guess your choice. When you put your feet in the lukewarm water you are wondering if you should apologize for not particular reason at all. There’s little conversation aside from asking what color you want 10 times, making you again assume you’ve made a choice that pisses him or her off. The massage will be lackluster and you’ll try to feign a “that feels so good” to mend the friendship but you won’t get a cursory glance in your direction as they are too busy watching the time waiting to get your sorry ass out of their chair.

BONUS: It’s a fun game to try to win them over. Fruitless, but fun.

The New One

This will happen especially when you are in a rush. You walk into the salon and every chair is filled, but they DO have room for you. Enter “The New One”. They aren’t sure how the sink works and they feel the water 50 times before letting your feet enter. They have to ask questions the entire time to other workers, which makes the pissed off one more pissed off at their customer, yet delightfully helpful to the “New One.”

BONUS: They take EXTRA care to get it get right and you’re helping someone learn their craft.

The One Who Is Doing Nothing But Nitpicking Others

This person walks around the salon, asks if you are okay, and then forcefully says something to the person doing your hands or feet. You wonder if they are talking about you. Then they start laughing. You are certain they are talking about you. A few brave ones will ask “Are you talking about me?” and they’ll get stone faced and say no and act like what you say never happened. Extra points if you’ve ever had this person take over your nails because it wasn’t being done juuuust right.

BONUS: This person is going to make sure you get the perfect color pink.

The One Who Is Always Outside Smoking

You start to wonder if they actually work there. They smoke outside a lot, seemingly “run errands” coming back smelling like smoke, look around the cash register area feigning a cleanup, and then go back outside. On your way out you want to ask “Do you make money?” but you don’t get a chance because the Happiest Person You’ll Ever Meet is holding a departure parade in your honor.

Did I miss anyone?

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