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Training hand vs model. Which model best serves you? Advice for the up-and-coming gel nail tech.

Some nail tech schools use practice hands to teach their students, while others require models. But which method best serves you and your up-and-coming career?

I have been working for nailbasics, a company that is a distributor, manufacturer and educator for nail technicians, for almost 6 years. Within the last year, I finally took the plunge and became a certified nail technician with the company. My recent journey in becoming a nail tech has prompted this blog.

What you should know before getting into the trade.

A nail tech’s salary, and return clientele is directly related to performance and personability, but what does that mean EXACTLY?  

In Alberta and in the western provinces that means creating gel nail enhancements that last approximately 3-4 weeks between maintenance.

Being personable helps, too...

… you’re only holding hands for an hour or more!

The Benefits of Using a Model Hand

Before beginning, I think it’s a good idea to look at the Young Nails Nail Trainer,  and some of the great features of this product. Training hands have come a long way and with with the many nail shapes and adjustable phalanges, it’s a great way to peacefully practice your up-and-coming craft!  Here are a few of the benefits I have found when using a model trainer:

  • It attaches with a clamp mount and adjustable extension so it mimics the client's position (it also makes it super easy to attach to almost any nail desk!)
  • The fingers and wrist pivot and rotate just like a human hand
  • The nails are removable and come in different shapes and sizes

These features make it easy for practicing grip and movement when applying a gel application. You don’t want to compromise on the issue of ergonomics; your longevity in this career is directly related. It also creates a way in which to practice nail art and new techniques. With all the information available on social media, there is so much to try.

Check out the nailbasics You Tube channel to get you started.

Practicing on a real model

One of the primary benefits of practicing on real people is that it teaches you how to pick up on client cues and how to adjust yourself accordingly. Certain subjects can be touchy, and can make your client tense up. That makes it harder for you to move their fingers where you need them to be! -Not to mention the strain on your hands!


  • Maybe your model pulled their hand out of your grip (perhaps you were filing too long in one spot).

  • Ease up your pressure and try not to file in the same place for very long.  Be sure to move around a lot when filing the nail plate with your e-file.

  • nailbasics offers Education Leaders who are equipped to help you decipher those cues as they arise and respond to them in a light and professional manner.

  • A second benefit to using real models is that you can see how their nails wear between fills!

    Keep in mind that a large portion of a nail technicians’ salary is attributed to integrity and wearability of the gel nail enhancements.

    The third  benefit of training on models is that they get to see you grow and are part of your growing process!  Taking care and building that relationship and rapport can help turn them into lifelong clients!

    <<<Is a career in nails right for you? give us a try! Click here to book your $150  Pre Program Prep with a nailbasics educator>>



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