As the wind picks up and the cold weather arrives, clients and nail professionals alike become concerned with one thing: how to take care of nails in the winter. As a professional, sharing tips and tricks about salon and home care with your clients can make all the difference when dry hands and dry nails appear in the winter months. Since nail appointments create a partnership between you and your client, asking them to perform some home care rituals in addition to their salon visits does double duty: It builds trust, and it helps your clients maintain the beauty of their nail art. Take that, winter.

In-Salon Tricks

In the salon, a warm oil soak can boost nail flexibility and skin softness — a great way to combat winter dryness and brittle nails. If you’re using polish, soak the nails in oil before the polish service. If you’re using gel polish or enhancements, though, do the oil soak at the end of the appointment. A little oil can go a long way, too: Dip the tips of the fingers in a small amount of oil and massage some into the rest of the hands after a three- to five-minute soaking period. You’ll leave the nails, cuticles and hands moisturized and give your client a luxurious moment of relaxation.

At-Home Remedies

The first step of home care is applying a moisture pack nightly. Encourage your clients to use moisture packs consisting of a conditioning cuticle cream — ideally one that also micro-exfoliates the skin — and a high-quality nail oil that’s able to penetrate the nail. Jojoba and squalene are the best natural ingredients to look for in a good oil, since they both have moisturizing and protection properties that are perfect for the winter months. For the best results, the oil should penetrate the skin and absorb into the nails, lubricating the individual nail cells.

Along with caring specifically for the nails and surrounding skin, it’s essential to keep the hands moisturized in the winter. For normal to mildly dry skin, applying a hand and body lotion daily is perfect. For your clients with more severely dry skin, like nurses, teachers, cosmetologists and other frequent hand washers, recommend that they apply a heel cream nightly along with their daily lotion. Creams formulated for dry, cracked heels can also soothe hands that are prone to cracking from overexposure to water, paper, cleaning products and more.

No winter hand and nail care regimen is complete without gloves. Encourage your clients to avoid exposure to cold, dry air by regularly wearing gloves to protect their nail coating and keep their hands moisturized.

Beating the Winter Blues

If your clients are trying to figure out how to take care of nails in the winter, these tips can certainly help. Between in-salon luxury treatments and regular at-home care, your clients can avoid the dry hands and brittle, cracked nails that develop during these cold months. Talk with your clients about a full care program — it’ll help your art shine all year round.