Everyone wants to have nice nails, but does everyone do their research before selecting a salon or Nail Technician to fulfill their desire? Unfortunately, that answer is NO. After 13+ years of having the privilege of being a Nail Technician, I find it’s EXTREMELY important to take the time to do the necessary research! There are many establishments out there who want to make the most money they can by providing a quicker and cheaper service than someone who is fully trained in the trade. This is absolutely imperative when it comes to having acrylic nails! I’m not saying the following applies to all ‘non-standard’ salons, but this will apply to a good majority of them…
There is an extremely dangerous chemical that can be found in acrylic products called methyl methacrylate or MMA for short. With repeated usage, nails and the skin around the nails can become severely damaged! (It’s actually a banned substance, but it’s still found in the nail world due to lack of education and/or enough patrolling by each state’s Cosmetology Boards.) Acrylic containing MMA smells a heck of a lot stronger than board-approved acrylic, and it dries a lot harder as well. With that being said, a Nail Tech must file excessively with a coarse drill bit before application to increase the adhesion of this type of product. This causes the natural nail to deteriorate, which leads to lifting, a possible fungus or even permanent nail deformity. Right there damage is incurred before actual chemicals are ever applied! Can you imagine repeating this process every 2 weeks and expecting your nails to still be in good, healthy condition?! If the use of MMA acrylic still doesn’t seem to bother you, here are a few more… skin disorders, open wounds or numbness in your fingertips! This doesn’t exactly sound like ‘nice nails’ to me!!!
Now if you currently suspect that you have this type of product on your nails, there is still time to fix this situation and get your nails on the road to repair! First step is to do the research I referred to at the beginning of this post…FIND A NEW NAIL TECHNICIAN!!! He or she should know how to properly remove the MMA based acrylic product with the least amount of damage possible to your nails. (You don’t need any more damage than what’s already been done!)
Your nails WILL be weak and need some extra TLC now that they’re ‘naked’. You need to avoid harsh cleansers and solvents, which will further dehydrate the nail plate and lead to brittle nails. This means…gloves, gloves, gloves…when cleaning your home. Make sure to apply cuticle oil 3 times a day. (My favorite to use on my clients is Solar Oil by CND.) Don’t just apply the oil: Massage it into your nail plate and the surrounding cuticle area. When filing your nails, do so in one direction only! DO NOT ‘see saw’ your nails, when you file them. This will only shred the fibers that make up your nails’ structure, creating weaker nails.
After your nails have been nursed back to health (or at least given a great moisturizing break), you should also invest in a good nail strengthener. (The one I swear by, as do my clients, is by Nail Tek. It’s #4 in their Hydration Therapy line. #4 is for difficult nails!) These topical, polish-like strengthener are meant to be applied daily, creating layers on the product on the nails. After about 5 days, I would remove all of the layers and start back at square one. My final suggestion is to take biotin supplements to help strengthen the nails. (I personally have not tried this, but I’ve read in my industry-issued nail magazines that it is recommended.)
I hope that I was able to help in some sort of way with writing this post. If anything…I’m happy to help educate others who share in my love of nails to make the right and healthy decision regarding their own!