Nail Appointment or Therapy?

Getting your nails done isn’t supposed to feel like therapy. While your nail tech is hopefully a licensed individual, It’s doubtful that they are also a therapist or mental health professional. Though the act of getting your nails done can feel extremely therapeutic because self care is important, you unfortunately can’t bill your insurance and you typically don’t tip your therapist.

My nail tech is not only insanely talented, but exceptional. At just 19 years old, she runs her own successful business out of a salon in the neighboring town. For reference, today is March 24th, and she is currently booked out through the end of May.

My previous and favorite set!
Find her on Instagram @ cosmetichaylee

Since July of last year, Haylee has become more than just my nail tech. She is a sound board at the end of a long day of school, a breath of fresh air, and what I would now consider a friend. Even though she considers me as one of her “older clients” which I still giggle about, I am genuinely one of her biggest fans! Aside from talented, she is hard working, precise, accommodating, incredibly kind, and just an all around girl boss!

My previous set lasted 3 weeks- this is ground breaking for me, as I usually see her every two. We were both surprised I didn’t anxiously rip them off and/or damage them in some way. They also happened to be my favorite set yet. Today’s inspiration was based off of them- I essentially wanted the same thing but made it “springy” with flowers on the tips of two nails. Haylee was impressed by my willingness to choose something a little loud, as I usually keep it safe with a simple design or color.

Much to my dismay, she was out of the cult favorite, “Bubblebath” by OPI which I mistakingly referred to as, “Bubbly” more than once, and she didn’t correct me. When I finally caught myself, she just said she knew what I meant and shrugged it off.

“Bubblebath” is the perfect mix of opaque and translucent, which makes it the ideal choice for French manicures. When Haylee started to paint my nails with a replacement color, I started to panic. By the time she started the white tips, she caught my eyes.

“What’s wrong?”

She knew. The translucent pink was too translucent and I could see my nail peeking through between the perfect white line she drew by hand, and the base of my nail. We both knew it was going to bother me, and covering it with the white tip would have been too thick for my liking, which she was also aware of. This is when she made me extremely uncomfortable- the kind of uncomfortable your therapist makes you when they just wait for you to respond to say what’s on your mind. I’m talking about the kind of silence that screams in your ear until you blurt out what’s bugging you. I finally spoke up and asked for something different and relentlessly apologized for being a pain.

Without blinking, Haylee reassured me that I wasn’t being a pain. She validated my feelings and told me it was okay. The rest of the appointment was unsettling for me because I have a really hard time disappointing others, or in this case inconveniencing them. While I didn’t end up with the nails I thought I would, I ended up with nails I was happy with along with a quick exercise in self advocacy thanks to my nail tech/ therapist.

Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by!

5 comments

  1. Your nails are always amazing, and I loved reading this tribute to your friend and nail tech! What a good lesson in self advocacy. I too hate inconveniencing someone with stuff like this. Good job speaking up – and it really seems like a safe place to do that!

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