July 2008

Vicki Peters

The Nail Extension | by Vicki Peters


Pedicures With Electric Files

Electric filing is becoming mainstream for fingernails, why not for toenails?

Once you start using an electric file for pedicures you will never pick up a hand file again, mainly because it is a huge time saver, the results are superior and the wear and tear on your hands is much less. If you already use an electric file, you already have most of the tools you need; you’ll only have to pick up a pedicure bit or two.

Setting up your pedicure station with an electric file is easy as well. A second machine is inexpensive; just detach your hand piece and go. Many electric file companies sell the box part of the machines separately if you ask. You can also purchase an in-table machine to insert into your pedicure cart or spa chair to simplify matters. Extension cords are available, and many handheld micro motors already come with 10-foot cords that will easily reach your pedicure area.

Wet or dry? Dry is better. There has been a lot of talk about dry pedicures lately. If you are concerned about sanitation when using an electric file, don’t be.

Start by washing the feet with a disposable washcloth, and wear gloves if you like. Work on calluses once the foot dries. When your electric filing is complete, soak the feet and do the cuticle work.

Pedicure bits come in several shapes and sizes. There is a sapphire disc with a safety edge that, when used flat, can shape toenails. Bits are all metal and disinfectable. Metal diamond pedicure bits for calluses come in large cone shapes and you should use them at a low to medium speed in one direction. You can use them in some of the more difficult areas that become callous that a large foot file cannot reach.

One of the higher end pedicure bits has rings of diamond on the surface for cooling and is hollow. The top of the bit is designed to run alongside the large toenails and underneath to refine the skin and calluses that build up there. Sanding bands are good for calluses, and feet as well, but they are one use only—be certain to discard them afterward.

Very fine diamond preparation bits are wonderful for smoothing the surface of ridged toenails. Used on a low speed with slight pressure you can smooth the toenails nicely without discomfort to the client. Using a very fine sanding band will do the same thing and prep the nail plates for bling toes, just be sure to use the bit gently and flat to the nail.

If you prefer to work on calluses with your electric file after you soak, do the pedicure as you normally would. Make sure the feet are completely dry before you use your electric file on the remaining calluses.

On a slow speed, use slight pressure and refine the callous area in short strokes in one direction. Frequently move from one area to another so you do not cause any heat discomfort. Refine all the calluses on the tips of the toes, dead skin around the big toe nails and any other smaller areas that are hard to get into. Refine the surface of the calluses on heals and undersides of the large toes.

Electric filing is safe, as we all know, so why not use the same techniques on feet and be part of the new trend?

Vicki Peters is a 26 year veteran master nail tech, competition champion, judge, international educator, author and manufacturer and serves on the Nail Manufacturer Council. For more information visit www.vickipeters.com or email her at Vicki@vickipeters.com.