Don’t Let Your NAILS Damage You!

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!


4 thoughts on “Don’t Let Your NAILS Damage You!

  1. Your comments have really helped me! I have damage on my big toe from putting acrylic on to cover a split nail but I didn’t know that removing would be so horrible and only after having the acrylic on for 2 weeks, when the lady removed it, it ripped some of my nail off, and the rest came off later 😦 so now I’m at square 1 with a very damaged nail bed! I went to the poditrist yesterday because he had to remove a piece of my old nail I could not get. Sorry for TMI but my main question is what do you reccomend I do–I’m going on vacation to the beach in 1 week and I am mortified and really i
    Upset about my toe! The dr said not to wear nail polish and just let it breath…but I would rather die than have this toe looking like this (that is why I originally got the acrylic to cover something not nearly as bad because I was going on a work trip). I’m a girlie girl and work in the cosmetics industry and it’s important to me to.
    So a few questions are–is it ok to use nailtek and polish on my toe nail? Or should I use this new stick or push on nails?
    If you truly reccomend I don’t wear anything I won’t but want your advice since I’m upset about this and don’t know what else to do
    Do i dare consider gel or anything else to cover while it heals, although have a feeling that’s not a good idea??
    Any other suggestions?
    Thanks so much!

    • Wow, Mindy, that totally stinks! Before I start, I’ll just warn you that you probably won’t like my answer any better than the doctor’s. 😦 I’ve added an acrylic nail on top of many big toenails over the years, and I’ve never had a problem damaging the nail. Then again, I don’t remove them. I thin them out and shorten them until they come off on their own. This avoids the damage! Did your Tech pull or clip it off with nippers instead of filing or soaking it off? If that’s the case, there’s no way to avoid damage.

      Now to your questions…
      Does your toenail have a fungus or mold on it, or is it just split or super short and weak? If there’s a fungus or mold involved, you should definitely not put anything on top of it! That will only enclose the problem and make it grow faster. (damp, dark breeding ground). If it’s split at the end, take your nail down as short as you can so it has less of a chance of getting caught on something and ripping further. You can use a strengthener like Nail Tek and polish if you want. As for the gels, stick ons, etc…I can’t answer until I know the answer to my question.

      You could always buy some fun colored band aids to wrap your big toe! 😉

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