• Young Nails South Africa

You want to be a Nail Trainer but do you know where to start?

Updated: Jun 21, 2018

So… you’ve been a nail tech for a while now…what next?


For many Nail Technicians who want to add to their skill set, the next move is to become a Nail Trainer. While this may seem very attractive on the surface and an easy way to make more money, this is not always the case. Although you may be an excellent Nail Technician, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have the qualities to become a successful Nail Trainer. This is because there are so many aspects to being a successful Nail Trainer.

First, we need to understand that Nail Technicians need passion, drive, skill and creativity to become successful Nail Technicians. It is imperative that you love what you do and also to have deep respect for the industry. There must be a willingness to learn, learn and learn more. Don’t be one of those who believes that anybody can become a Nail Technician. Like anything in life, if you want to succeed, it sometimes takes blood, sweat, tears and many a late night to do so. You also need to have great people skills as well as a flare for business as many nail techs work for themselves. With that being said, if you’re wanting to make the move from Nail Technician to Nail Trainer, it is all of the above and even more to consider.


Considering all the aspects of being a Nail Trainer

You need to do lots of research on the companies that you would like to be affiliated with. You need to believe in the product and the company you’re dealing with. While there are many nail companies out there, not many spend the money and time necessary on training, particularly training the trainer. In order to be a sought after and a well-respected world class trainer, it would be advisable to do your homework, speak to other trainers, be willing to make the commitment to continually upgrade your skills, learn new techniques, attend workshops and re-certify annually. You would also need to network with other trainers both locally and internationally to exchange notes, ask questions and learn from. Remember, although you are considered a Nail Trainer, there will always be another Trainer who has more experience and skill then you have. Rather than be afraid and intimidated by this, learn and ask questions. Show admiration and respect to those who deserve it. Don’t slate anybody no matter how tempting because it only shows you in a bad light and makes for very poor leadership. The Nail community is sometimes smaller than we think and word gets around.


10 Important traits to have as a Nail Trainer or Mentor


1. People skills


One of the most challenging aspects of being a Nail Trainer, is dealing with different people and personality types. Great people skills are an absolute necessity to avoid problems along the way. There are times when students deliberately undermine you as a trainer or stir problems in the classroom. This is when you would need to be assertive enough to handle these difficult students or classroom situations.


2. Confidence

You will also be required to lecture and speak to your students on a daily basis.

It is vitally important that you are confident and eloquent enough to stand up in front of your students and speak to them in a clear, concise and coherent manner. The classroom can become a place where students talk over you and make it very social. Students can also take you completely off topic and you need to have the ability to draw them back in. This takes a certain amount of firmness and confidence to take the lead in a classroom without being intimidated by a student or situation.



3. Eloquence


There will also be times when you will have students whose first language isn’t always English. Are you articulate enough to break through language barriers sometimes and to just generally get the message across loud and clear?


4. Patience


You spend time with your students from early in the morning until early evening most days. Can you sit in a classroom for sometimes two weeks at a time with the same people and not get irritated and impatient? There will be times when some students are just not getting certain aspects of the training. This is when you would need to display enough patience to state the same things over and over again or show the student the same thing over and over again.


Patience, persistence & perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success. -Napoleon Hill

5. Positive Influence

Students can become very despondent and demotivated if they’re battling with something. Your ability to motivate and encourage students to be the very best that they can be, even on bad days is vitally important. You need to understand that if a student walks out of your classroom feeling like a failure, it could have far reaching consequences.


6. Leadership


Students come into a classroom believing that you are the expert in your field and rightfully so. They look up to you and watch your behavior and expertise very closely. Your leadership skills are also being tested daily and to be seen as a great leader, you need to know what you’re doing and saying with the greatest of confidence. You also need to impart your knowledge in a way that is understood.


7. Impartiality


Nail training brings all types of people to your classroom, irrespective of race, colour, religion, social status etc. If you are unable to engage with people from all walks of life and without prejudice, then this isn’t for you. Very importantly, your personal views and opinions need to be yours and yours alone. Professionalism at all times is vital. Although it may be your classroom, be aware and considerate of others feelings and beliefs.


8. Desire to Learn


Your job as a Nail Trainer doesn’t stop in the classroom. It is vitally important that you stay abreast of the latest nail trends and techniques. Trainers can sometimes spend hours just surfing social media and the internet to see what’s new and also learning how to do certain designs. Although there are a vast number of products out there, it is in your best interests to be aware of what the top products are and why. It is important to know your facts and to answer any question that may be thrown at you regarding nails and in particular nail training. Knowledge is definitely power – not just with nails but business as well. Read business books and journals, do business courses and people management courses. If you’re not a great speaker, then go and sign up with an organization that will help you become a better speaker. It won’t hurt to go and do a social media course if this is not your forte and you find it a bit scary.


9. Be Social on Social media


As a trainer, it is important that you have a strong social media presence. You would want to stand out as a Nail Trainer and it is important for potential students to see your work. This way you will also stay in touch with your students allowing you to follow their work and support their businesses. If time allows, it does help to enter competitions and perhaps even start your own blog or vlog. As a trainer, you should be taking photos of every set of nails that you do and build up a strong portfolio.


Social Media is a great way to support your students

10. Self Worth


Most importantly, as Nail Trainer, you need to value yourself and value your worth first. Don’t compare yourself to others. Be confident in who you are and what you have to offer. While nails may not be rocket science, it is a lucrative skill to have and continues to make an impact on economies all over the world – no matter how small.



Being a Nail Trainer is an extremely rewarding job. You start off with some students who have never picked up a brush or worked with acrylic and/or gel before and as the days go by, you see the improvement, the big smiles and the motivation to go on. Believe it or not but by teaching students every day, your own skills improve. What you may have feared once, you learn to become an expert in and view in a completely different light, just by teaching it. It’s an amazing feeling when a frustrated student finally sees the light and starts smiling as progress is being made. It’s very flattering when you show them a simple art design and they think you’re this fabulous artist. It’s an even better feeling when they recreate the design and are thrilled by their own success.


<<Read: Success Story>>


By the time the final exam arrives and your student passes, it is wonderful to see and experience their growth and know that you had some part in it. As a trainer, you are definitely part of a bigger picture when it comes to creating job opportunities and entrepreneurship. Over time you build your own tribe of successful Nail Technicians and your heart will swell with pride the day one of your students becomes a trainer or wins a nail competition or opens a successful business or does all of the above.





Young Nails South Africa are always on the lookout for vibrant, inspiring and brand loyal individuals to join our Mentor Family. If you have a passion for the industry and want to take the next step to becoming a nail trainer, you can read more HERE



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