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Jack of all trades: how do left-handed people deal with manicure?

STALEKS Journalist.
I write about the beauty industry, collect information, and share trends. I manage an interview column on the STALEKS YouTube channel.

According to the statistics, one person out of seven is left-handed, which is roughly 15% of the entire world’s population. And if in the Middle Ages those who could use their left hand efficiently were perceived as sorcerers or witches, during the Renaissance left-handedness was considered an attribute of a genius. Many great painters, writers, politicians of that time were left-handed, and in certain cultures (Celts and people of ancient India) lefties were thought to be related to gods bringers of luck. Psychological studies tell us that lefties are more likely to realize their potential when it comes to creative thinking – as compared to the righties. Among the left-handed crowd, we can name many talented artists (Leonardo da Vinci, Rafael, Pablo Picasso, Rubens, Michelangelo), writers (Alexander Pushkin, Leo Tolstoy, Mark Twain), or musicians (Mozart, Beethoven, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Paul McCartney). And the beauty industry is no exception: the talented beauticians have proven on many occasions that lefties are in no way inferior to their right-handed peers when it comes to skill. A left-handed beginner might face a few challenges related to organizing their creative and work routine. Does one have to go against their nature and start using the right hand, as they suggest during training? What instruments are needed, and are they any different from the right-hand tools? Are there any special techniques for left-handers, and how does one organize their workspace? Let’s have a closer look.

How are left-handed manicure specialists trained?

Despite the fact that today we are far from the ridiculous medieval superstitions related to the magical powers of the left-handed people, it is undeniable that the question of convenience is crucial for lefties. To properly organize the creative process, it is important to consider all aspects of comfort: from the creation of the working area and selection of professional tools to mastering the special techniques that reduce strain on your eyesight and the hand muscles. In this respect, of course, it would be bold to say that there is no difference between approaches to the training of left- and right-handed manicure specialists. Anyone who loves nail art and beauty industry is capable of mastering the theoretical basis (knowledge about the structure and architecture of the nails, diseases of the nail plate, personal protective equipment and handling of tools, materials), and the question of the dominant hand is absolutely irrelevant here. Still, the practical aspect calls for an individual approach to every student. An experienced trainer will take the dominant left hand into account and will suggest a special training program.

The founder of an educational portal and beauty studio Annushka Moroz has been in the nail art for 5 years, and during this period she has developed a special technique for training of the left-handers: “It was sort of stressful when I had to teach a leftie for the first time. I knew that these people were just different, so I had to find a different, special approach. I gathered my thoughts and tried to think as a lefty, and this allowed me to find the right words to make my explanations during the training sessions. Sometimes by the middle of the course, my students were able to use both hands efficiently, and everyone was fascinated about that – both students and models. And in some cases, my students could not master the right hand, and then I had to set the example myself – then the only solution was for me to learn how to operate instruments with my left hand.”

Instruments for left-handed manicure specialists

Many instructors point out that it is not that difficult to teach necessary techniques of machine or combo manicure to the left-handed beautician-to-be. The real problem here comes from the hardware: finding the right professional tools is quite often a really challenging task. And by this I mean the instruments that are of vital importance – I’m talking about scissors, nippers, and spatulas. The special series of manicure instruments intended for left-handed users have been on the market for a while. Experts advise beginners whose work experience is under 5 years to find left-hand scissors and train with them. If the work experience of a beautician exceeds 10 years, and all this time they have been working with the conventional tools, then it is not necessary to switch to dedicated left-handed instruments as their hands have already adapted to particular grip and transition might not be smooth. That is, of course, if operation is not causing any discomfort. But still, why is it advisable to use special instruments if you are left-handed? While operating conventional hardware, lefties are making certain unnatural movements, and this might result in muscle and neurological pain. If you are just beginning your career in the nail industry, you will hardly notice any problems of this sort. But with time, when your clientele has grown, and you have to deal with higher workloads, health issues will have more obvious manifestation.

Trade instruments created for left-handed users will become an irreplaceable asset for both beginners and seasoned professionals. Let’s talk more about those handy devices that are always used in work routine by left-handed manicure specialists.

1.Left-hand scissors.

Using nail scissors for right-handers, a beautician with the dominant left hand will experience all the “charms” of such an inappropriate tool: the wrist is bent unnaturally and gets tired quickly, it difficult to control the quality of the cut, and the view of the work area is partially obstructed. Manicure with left-hand scissors offers better results: the cuticle is not torn off, but rather cut off accurately, preventing painful feeling for the customer – and bringing peace of mind to the beautician. The main difference between right- and left-hand scissors is the positioning of the top blade. It is easy to distinguish visually, all you need to do is to take the scissors and check which blade is on top: if it is the blade attached to the left handle, you have the left-hand scissors. If you turn the scissors around, the left blade will be on top again – that is the main distinction of the left-hand tool.

Staleks PRO  offers Expert 11 series left-hand scissors of different length options: 18, 21, and 23 mm. These scissors feature curved blades, gap between the handles, and polished back surface. Manual grinding process ensures impeccable sharpness, and medical grade AISI 420 stainless steel guarantees long service life of these left-hand scissors.

2. Left-hand spatulas.

Special left-hand spatulas decrease strain in wrists and guarantee precise, natural moves. The instruments feature rounded pushers (the part for treatment of sinuses) The left-hand spatula does not damage the nail plate when the cuticle is pushed.

The Staleks PRO Expert 30/4.1 и Staleks PRO Expert 30/4.3 spatula series provides superior comfort of operation to the left-handed users. The non-slip handle ensures comfortable grip, and the high-quality steel guarantees long service life and unmatched performance of the instruments.

3. Cutting bits for left-handed users. Manicure cutting bits are used for removal of gel polish, correction and shaping of acrylic or gel nails and treatment of thick outer nail parts. Cutting bits for left-handers (regardless of shape – tapered or cylinder) should have cross-cut teeth. Bits of this type are very common.

Ceramic bits are most suitable for those who have the dominant left hand. The manicure specialist can easily remove gel polish in 5-10 minutes with such bits without having to apply excessive pressure. Their streamlined shape allows to treat areas around nail folds and cuticle. Reverse hard alloy bits are also efficient when used by lefties, but they tend to overheat (this might result in damage to the nail plate), and their service life is not exactly too long.

4. Left-hand nippers.

Generally, all nail or cuticle nippers are versatile – suitable for both righties and lefties. The only important distinction is the design of the handles. Some nippers have undulated handles: right-handed users will find it ergonomic, whereas comfort of use becomes questionable for lefties.

We would recommend that beauticians who use left hand choose nippers without undulated surface of handles – Staleks PRO range has an Expert, Exclusive and Smart series of instrument with double or coiled springs.

Workplace for left-handed

Every manicure specialist knows that proper positioning of materials and instruments in the work environment saves a lot of time and effort. Lefties need to organize their work zone differently – compared to their right-handed peers.

  • Light source must be placed on the right side. Thus, the light will be flooding the correct area without forming shades that obstruct the view.
  • Put the instrument tray on the right. If you do so, you will not be striking against the container where scissors, spatulas, files, and other instruments are stored within your reach.
  • Do not clutter up your work table, keep only essential things there (instruments, antiseptics and disinfectants, tissues and paper towels) – drawers and shelves were invented for some reason, right?
  • Do not forget about the waste bin with a lid.

Russian literature has a character whose name – Levsha – is literally translated as “Lefty”. Levsha was an extremely skilled, self-taught mechanic and craftsman. There is a widely supported theory that individuals with dominant left hand do have a significant creative potential and are capable of very productive work. Works of Ukrainian nail artists Alina Agafonova (Kharkiv), Ruslana Ugrak (Kolomia, Ivano-Frankivsk) and Evgeniya Isay (Dnipro) prove that left-handed professionals are in no way inferior to their right-handed peers in both quality of manicure and organization of creative process. The only important thing here is to find the right tools for the job and create a properly organized workspace!

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