There was a time in my Salon career when I wanted to build a "Foot Care Only" Salon. I had 2000 Sq Ft filled with Nails, Hair, Skin Care, Massage, Tanning and Retail. However, as with all of you, the challenge of keeping each of our services busy was sometimes too great to bear. It always seemed when one service was busy, another was way down. This is the cycle.....nothing is ever status quo.
For that reason and realizing my passion to dive into Foot Care only, I envisioned and dreamed of turning my 2000 Sq ft. into a first of its kind. Offering a variety of different Foot Care services. I envisioned a Foot Bar, I envisioned dry pedicures, wet pedicures, steam pedicures, clinical pedicures, luxurious pedicures.....on and on and on.
What I didn't envision at the time, is how the tides would turn so greatly in our Foot Care Industry. How we would be subjected to the backlash we get in our Industry from non-Educated Technicians, Technicians working out of the limits of their license and on the back flip, Technicians who are so overly Educated they almost put themselves in a category all on their own.
In addition, I didn't envision how the health of our society would play such an impact on our Business. We no longer need to just know how to polish toes, we need information to help us as the first responders we are. We can't diagnose, yet we need to know what we are dealing with so we know whether we can service them or not. Talk about a catch 22 right?
What I do know, is our Industry is forever changing. When I opened my "Foot Care" only Distribution, no one was talking about feet. They were talking about foot care products, but there was no where near the amount of articles, education and information available....as there is now.
So, in this day and age that we live in within our Industry, there are many challenges we face with safety, with proper disinfection and with proper applications. There are more challenges with health concerns, disease and health insurance. All of which, has moved us to be more pro-active and more safe in the way we handle our foot care clients.
Exactly what does this all mean?
What it means when it comes to safety its multifold. What processes can we perform on our clients? Do we soak, do we not? Do we use implements, do we not? Can we massage, or should we not? Do we proceed, or do we refer?
WE need to be asking these questions on a daily basis.
As I sit here in my office and look at all the certifications i've received from classes i've taken, i'm reminded of every little "new" thing I learned from each and every one of them. I'm reminded of how devastated I was in many cases, to learn I may have done something which could have turned out really bad.....because I didn't know. I'm reminded, if I had opened my "Foot Care" only facility, it would be a whole lot different today than what I envisioned over 15 years ago.
It's all the above things I think about when a client calls me to inquire about waterless pedicures. Their reasons for wanting to offer waterless are valid. But, my reasons sometimes differ. For me it's about providing a service to someone who shouldn't be in water. Providing a service to an immune compromised client. Providing a service to a home bound client. Providing a service to a wheelchair client. Providing a service which is waterless yet still falls into the category of performing that client consultation. Needing to know about the client and what their needs are, not just what me as a Technician wants to offer. Needing to know how to explain the why's of a waterless pedicure and needing to know I am providing the absolute best for that client sitting at my station.
What exactly is a "waterless pedicure"? Does it mean no pedicure bowl? Does it mean we soak the feet minimal? Does it mean we use absolutely no water at all? I guess, in reality....it can mean whatever you want.
The beauty of this Beauty Industry....this type of thing can mean anything you want it to.
What I understand and explain to clients, a waterless Pedicure means we are not soaking the feet. It doesn't necessarily mean we are doing a "dry" pedicure.
It is my Professional opinion, even though we may be offering waterless Pedicures, procedures need to be the same, if not better. After all, the biggest reason we want to offer this type of service is for safety and/or sanitary issues. Therefore....
- Complete and thorough client consultation. Both verbal and visual
- Complete and thorough cleansing/sanitizing of the skin on the feet
- Quality products to produce results
I can't help but think about myself in a consultation situation. Let's say a routine exam.
The Dr's assistant and/or Dr. come in and begin with a series of questions for me to answer. Somewhere in there they ask if "I" have any concerns. I do, but they may seem a little trivial so I typical don't bring them up. However, the Dr. continues with his series of questions, and as time moves forward i'm feeling more comfortable. Eventually, I ask the question(s) which were going through my mind.
This mindset is important in the Pedicure chair. Most people do not like to talk about their feet and/or the problems they may be experiencing with them. A quick yes or no consultation will NOT give you the information you need to move forward with a thorough and safe pedicure. Take your time, ask the right questions and keep asking until you are sure you have all the information to begin the service in a proficient, professional manner.
How do you cleanse the feet if you are not soaking?
I'm sorry, but if I was receiving a pedicure and my Technician went straight into callus work, i'd be like icky icky. I can't EVEN imagine not prepping the feet. Not just for my clients safety, but for the safety of you, the Technician. After all, if you are performing a "proper" consultation, you HAVE to touch the feet. Gloves or not, lack of sanitizing and cleaning is just inappropriate.
- Feet should be sanitized prior to consultation, prior to removing nail polish. Appropriate products would be low alcohol, skin specific products. Our two favorites are the LCN Kodan Spray and the FLX Foot Deodorant Spray. Both of these products are designed for and safe for skin contact.
- When you don't soak the feet, you still have to cleanse them. I suggest using a spray bottle with water and mixing with your favorite brand of foot soak. Our two favorites are LCN Urea 15% Foot Bath and the FLX 10% Urea Foot Soak. Both of these products work very well in a spray bottle.
- You can keep your spray bottle in a baby bottle warmer to keep the water warm
- You can use heated towels (if appropriate for the client), to wrap the feet in after you spray
The great thing about both these brands of cleanser is the Urea. Urea is a natural anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-pyritic ingredient. It will cleanse, sanitize and eliminate cross-contamination.
At some point you will do the manicure work on the toenails. There is no wrong or right time to do this. However, I always always suggest you keep the foot wrapped with a towel while manicuring.
Using a facial steamer at this point is really nice and full of ambience. If you are using warm wet towels to begin with during your cleansing process, this will help keep the towels warm and cozy. If you don't use towels, the heat from the steam will keep the client comfortable. Be sure however, you have checked with your client for any concerns which would eliminate being able to use a steamer.
Many Technicians feel like they have to skip an exfoliating scrub when they offer waterless pedicures. Why? Because it's messy. I disagree.
I love and always suggest the LCN exfoliating scrub. This scrub is great because you can use it wet, as we traditionally do here in the States. Or, use it as a Gommage as they do in the European Countries. The LCN exfoliating scrub is more of an exfoliating "cream". It sloughs the skin as it hydrates. When used as a Gommage, it's used until you can't "slough" anymore. When done, you simply wipe away any excess "crumbs"....for lack of being able to think of a better word.
Callus work would be your next step. We all have our favorites and i'm sure, but not 100%, that most callus reducing products can be used in a dry circumstance.
Our LCN Soak Spray with 17% urea plus lactic acid and our FLX callus softening with 20% Urea are amazing. Both can be used for this type of service and both are very effective. In my opinion, our LCN Soak Spray offers a bit more hydration.
We also have the PodoSafe callus solution product which we specifically target for use with a dry pedicure. It's a little different process than just spraying and filing. However, our Salons are charging $75.00 for a 30 minute service.
Finally, we finish off with your favorite massage product.
Of course, we have our favorites. LCN Urea 10% Foot Cream and FLX Massage Formula. Both are great products. LCN Urea 10% Foot Cream offers a bit more ambience as far as hydration and scent. FLX Massage Formula is a bit more clinical, but effective and nice.
The subject for waterless pedicures have been frequent lately due to the introduction of our OSS class on servicing clients with cancer in the Pedicure room. It's important check the brands you are using, if working with cancer clients is the way you are taking your Business.
We recently partnered with with a skin care Company called 'dermaviduals'. The products are endorsed by the OSS and we offer 3 products designed specifically for the waterless Pedicure for cancer clients. We are planning an informational webinar this month and will have a date posted soon.
- Tenfione-Semisomal Bath (your foot soak)
- A customized base gel (for use with a red lite)
- Foot cream for normal to dry skin
These products are custom for our Pedicure needs in servicing the oncology client.
I think in offering a waterless pedicure, it's important to make sure your client doesn't feel slighted in their service. In order to realize this, you need to use good quality products. Your everyday fluff-n-buff products, in my opinion, don't fit the bill.
There are great effective products on the market. Find what works for you and your client.
Are waterless Pedicures on your service menu?
- Great for immune compromised clients
- Great for an add on in the massage room
- Great for an add on in the facial room
- Great for outbound clients
- Great for wedding parties
- Great for clients processing at the hair station
It's a money maker.....if you don't offer them, you certainly should consider it.