When it comes to the future of the nail industry, the respondents of the recent nail survey by Professional Beauty had similar concerns about industry standards and regulations and being undercut by new nail bars, which don't have the same training and hygiene standards. We spoke with representatives from some of the professional nail brands to see what they think the future holds for the industry.

Ali Magliveras, Essie ambassador: “In response to the increase of express nail bars and consumer concerns over hygiene standards, our savvy salons have again sought to differentiate and elevate their positioning by focussing on maintaining high professional and hygiene standards. Having well kept hands and nails is becoming the norm and no longer perceived as a luxury, equally the consumer expectation is that hygiene and professional standards are not compromised in the delivery of nail services. And rightly so.

“I see the industry growing in the next five years, driven by beautiful nails becoming as much a part of an outfit as the clothes themselves. Having the right manicure and colour is becoming the norm, not a luxury. Individual customization will offer even more for those who express themselves through their nails.”

Jan Arnold of CND said, “The industry is in a boom period. New product innovation and a new found competitiveness has invigorated the professional nail business in this country. Australian nail salons must stay up-to-date with the latest technologies in order to ensure they remain competitive with the new style businesses popping up throughout the market place. It is imperative for the nail professional to remain positive about the future prospects of their businesses and gear up to be able to offer a full range of fast, reliable, on trend services rather than focus on the old style nail business and what is wrong with their competitors.”

While Nicole Holmes of Orly Australia commented, “The challenge for salons over the next 5 years is to maintain market share in the face of aggressive discounting by sections of the industry. To do this they need to offer a point of difference, be more vocal about their services and more vigilant about their standards of professionalism. This means more training of staff, more efforts in marketing their salons and the services they do offer, more creativity in their specials and perhaps a little more flexibility in bookings. I believe that the industry is only going to be strengthened by this period of intense competition and Orly is looking forward to working with those salons that want to differentiate their offering, stand out from the pack and create a special service for their customers.”

“My advice is to hold yourself and your own business to the highest possible standards in particular hygiene standards, insist on great product, invest in innovation and ask your suppliers for the latest in education and information at all times. Recent innovations such as LED light cured soak off gel polish, nail forming gels and nail foils allow the nails artist to use cutting edge technology to get their service times down low enough to be cost competitive across all areas of the market. When they add this new found cost competitiveness with offering very the latest in nail fashion and colour they have a winning formula. It is critical, now more than ever, that the individual nail artist ensures they are offering the latest on trend colour pallets, nail styles and finishes that separate them from their competitors,” said Peter Lykissas of Switch Funky.