What Does A Pedicurist Do?

If the person who polishes your nails and massages your hands is called a manicurist then the one who works on your foot is called a pedicurist. Manicurists and pedicurists typically work in spas, nail salons and hair salons or are self-employed. Pedicurists specialize in cleaning, shaping and polishing the nails of the feet. They must complete a state-approved cosmetology or nail technician program and get licensed before they can practice the profession.

Pedicurists typically begin their day by ensuring that their work station is clean and well-lighted. A hygienic environment is essential because clients put a premium on cleanliness. This involves preparing the tools that are needed to clean nails like nail clippers, foot files, nail pliers, callus rasps, toe separators and others. They must also see to it that their implements are clean and sterilized before they are used on the next client.

Depending on the rules of the state, they can do this either by autoclaving or sterilizing the instruments through heat or through chemical sterilization using a germicidal solution. If the latter is used, the tools should be immersed in the solution for at least ten minutes before they are used on the next client.

When the client arrives, pedicurists typically ask them the kind of nail treatments they want done. They will ask the client to choose their preferred color nail color before the service is initiated. After knowing what the customer wants, the pedicurist will then get to work. A pedicure usually begins with the pedicurist soaking the client’s feet in warm soapy water. This makes it easier to remove calluses, dry skin and dirt. After the feet are exfoliated, the pedicurist then rinses them and begins to work on the nails.

The toenails are then clipped and shaped. Pedicurists are trained not to cut the nails excessively short or too rounded because any of these activities can lead to ingrown toenails which can be rather painful. After the nails are filed, pedicurists then massage oil to the nail beds so that the cuticles are loosened. There are some pedicurists who use trimmers to cut cuticles but this has to be done with care. Otherwise, injury can result if it is not done right. The better method is for the pedicurist to simply push back the cuticle using a cuticle stick and not trim it.

Polishing the nails is a comprehensive task that involves first separating the toes with a toe separator—an implement that steadies the toes and keeps them from moving around. The first coat is applied on the nail and allowed to dry for one or two minutes before the second coat is put on. A clear polish is applied on top of the second coat to protect the color and allow it to stay on for a longer period of time. The final step involves letting the clients put their feet under an ultraviolet light or fan so that the polish can dry completely. They then receive payment and try to schedule the client for their next appointment.

Aside from attending to the client’s nail needs, pedicurists also advise them on how best to care for their feet. They also sell nail and skin care products to clients if these are available in their establishments. In between customers, they also make calls to remind clients about their future appointments. This helps reduce cases of no-shows and allows them to see other clients to take the place of those who have reset their appointments to later dates.

Self-employed pedicurists may offer their services by making house calls. While they do have the flexibility with their work schedule, they often have to work late to accommodate the demands of their clients. Pedicurists who have their own nail salons also have to manage the inventory, order the supplies, sell foot care and nail products and hire and train employees.

They also take steps to ensure that their establishment is following the rules of the state in terms of the permits that need to be renewed each year as well as seeing to it that the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene are maintained all the time in the salon. In order for the business to thrive, salon owners also have to think of promotions to lure customers and encourage their existing clients to refer others to them.

Career Spotlight: Pedicurist



Pedicurists are the foot counterparts of manicurists. If manicurists are in charge of doing a client’s fingernails then a pedicurist takes care of cleaning, polishing and painting the nails on her f[...]

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