Enhance your pedicure confidence and elevate your promotion of the service with top tips from footcare specialist, Denise Spragg, owner of The Sangha House.

Feet, right? ‘Ugh, I hate my feet, and I couldn’t bear anyone touching them’ is something I hear so often as a pedicurist. In this article, I want to explain the benefits of being able to give a really good pedicure, how to market it to a wider range of clients (including men) and how to approach the service with confidence.

I feel that the word ‘pedicure’ has been misrepresented in the last few years, implying a pampering service, or something very feminine. There is nothing wrong with that, of course, but I have found that simply changing the name to ‘footcare treatment’ makes it more attractive to male clients. If you have positioned yourself as the footcare expert in your town and feel confident in your treatments, you will be the first name that comes to mind if someone wants to treat their feet after years of running, playing football or wearing work boots.

Some clients may treat a pedicure as a project, rather than as an occasional pampering treat – and that’s fine, as long as they are booking the service. In addition, if you stock a quality footcare range, there is great potential for solving your clients’ pain points and benefitting from retail income.

A pedi before and after.

So, how do we, as nail techs, learn how to take care of feet?

High-quality training, continued learning and practice are all key. Initially, I recommend looking at the National Occupational Standards for pedicure and figuring out what you can and cannot do. An existing qualification, either level 2 or 3, lays the groundwork, and seeking out great educators to teach you more advanced skills and techniques will improve your confidence. This will enable you to help more clients and keep your insurer happy, too!

Much of what we learn during ‘pedicure week’ at college, especially cuticle work and cleaning around the proximal nail folds, can be greatly improved with a few tweaks. Also, don’t forget to enlist help from your family and friends. If you have a ticklish person close by, try practicing on them, increasing the pressure with which you hold their feet until they feel comfortable.

Of course, the really important point about footcare is hygiene. It’s absolutely crucial that your hygiene protocols are on point. The days of simply dunking your tools in a jar of Barbicide without wiping them first, and allowing everything to sit in toenail soup are, mercifully, long gone! Make sure you have enough sets of tools and bowls, so that you can disinfect and sanitise them properly while you work on your next client.

A pedi before and after.

Finally, YOU are the expert. Don’t be tempted to overtreat, just to get a perfect finish on a complex client. Explain to them that, while it might be tempting to file away at their calluses until there’s nothing left, it will hurt and possibly damage them.

I set clients’ expectations at the start of their first service and tell them clearly how many treatments they will need with me, the timescales and products they will need, and get them booked for treatment course then. If necessary, even say something like: ‘I want to see you again in four weeks’ time.’

From a business perspective, I believe there is a huge gap in the market at the moment. There is cosmetic pedicure, and then there is podiatry, and it seems to me that as an industry, we are failing a lot of people who don’t have beautiful feet, but who are not in need of podiatry, which is a medical service.

It is a wonderfully underrated thing to have a client coming in with painful feet and leaving feeling comfortable, healthy and listened to, and I hope this will inspire you to join me.


Follow Denise on Instagram, here.

Follow The Sangha House on Instagram and Facebook.

By Editor