Natural Nails

The Incredible, Versatile, Wrap

Are wraps as versatile as acrylics?

Are wraps as versatile as acrylics? (If you ask wrap proponents like Cookie Robb, owner of Nails by Cookie Inc. in Winchester, Va., the answer is yes. Robb says 95% of her clients wear wraps, and she gets all of her new clients through referrals because it’s hard to find salons in her area that offer wraps.

“Everyone does acrylics, but not everyone does wraps,” agrees Janice Capilli, owner of Bravo! Nails in Cranston, R.I., and Star Nail Products’ national technical advisor. “We get a lot of calls asking if we do wraps because people hear about them from their friends.

“A lot of clients come in predisposed to not wanting acrylics or gels because of the bad press they’ve received, but they need something that gives their nails strength,” Capilli says. “Also, we’re seeing more people with a sensitivity to acrylics.” Acrylics and gels are chemical cousins, so once a client develops an allergy or sensitivity to one, she normally cannot wear either system. Wraps, however, have a completely different chemical makeup, and clients who develop a sensitivity to acrylics can usually switch to wraps with no problems.

“Wraps are gaining in popularity again because people have heard good things about them and become interested,” adds Linda Elmore, director of education for Omni P.O. (Duncanville, Texas).

The biggest objection to wrap services has been the feet that they aren’t as versatile as acrylics. Extending without a tip was unheard of; permanent French manicures were much easier to achieve (and maintain) using acrylics or gels.

Still, more technicians are turning to wraps because clients are asking for them. “I haven’t seen growth in the sense that technicians are swapping services on clients; rather, new clients are wanting wraps,” says Terri Lundberg, national educator for Elegant Glass (Huntington Beach, Calif.). As a result, educators, manufacturers, and enterprising nail technicians have come up with various techniques to extend with wraps, create a permanent French manicure wrap, and repair natural nails. Mastering these techniques in addition to the basic natural nail and tip overlays will give nail technicians yet another tool in their “box of tricks” to make any nails beautiful.

Extending With Wraps

Elmore and Myra Schmitt, co-owner of Linen Batiste (Klamath Falls, Ore.), tout wrap extensions as the answer for clients who can’t or won’t wear tips. “A wrap extension duplicates the natural nail because the extension is formed directly to the natural nail,” Schmitt says. “It’s like going to a tailor. You take the client’s measurements and custom tailor the nail instead of trying to fit a tip to the nail.”

“You can extend with silk, fiberglass, or linen,” adds Elmore. “Silk and fiberglass need at least two layers of material. My choice for building a free edge is linen because you only need one layer of material and it gives you a white free edge.”

To extend with wraps, follow these steps:

Build the Linen Extension

1. Wash your hands and your client’s hands with antibacterial soap and water, Dry hands thoroughly, remove polish, and push back cuticles with an orangewood stick or cuticle pusher.
2. Remove the shine from the surface of the nail plate, filing from cuticle to free edge with a 180- or 240-grit file. Remove the dust with a soft-bristle brush.
3. Sanitize the nails with a nail dehydrant or nail prep product.
4. Apply a drop of resin to the center of the natural nail, using the nozzle tip to spread the resin evenly over the entire nail surface, being careful to maintain a 1/16-inch border between the resin and the cuticle and sidewalls. Seal the free edge by pulling the resin over the free edge.
5. Mist or brush the nail with activator.
6. Cut a strip of heavy linen that is the approximate width of the natural nail and slightly longer than you want the length of the finished nail. On the side that will “attach to the free edge of the nail, smoothly cut a moon that matches the smile line of the natural nail.
7. Place the linen on the free edge with the cut-out moon lining up with the smile line on the natural nail. Gently press the linen at the edges to produce the C-curve.
8. Apply a bead of thin resin to the linen extension, saturating the fabric. Using a pair of tweezers, pull down on the fabric on each side at the stress area to help form the C-curve as well as to prevent the edges from curling up.


9. Mist or brush the nail with activator.
10. Gently form the extension into a natural shape using either the nozzle tip or an orangewood stick. Work quickly as the resin will dry in seconds.


11. Turn the client’s hand over and apply a small bead of bonder to the underside of the linen extension and spread with the nozzle tip; mist or brush the nail with activator.
12. File the extension to the desired length and shape using a 240-grit file. Then use the file to blend the line between the linen extension and natural nail. Dust the nail.
Proceed with the instructions for a “Silk or Fiberglass Extension Overlay” or a “Linen Extension Overlay”.

Editor’s note: Technical information provided by Backscratchers Salon Systems, Becky Lynn Co., Elegant Glass, European Touch Co., Omni P.O., and Star Nail Products.

Silk or Fiberglass Extension Overlay

1. Apply a drop of resin on the center of the entire nail and spread evenly from cuticle to free edge, being careful to maintain a 1/16-inch border from the cuticle and sidewalls, and mist or brush with accelerator.
2. Turn the hand over and apply a bead of resin to the underside of the nail and mist or brush with activator.
3.Apply a piece of self-adhesive silk, fiberglass, or light-grade linen mesh to the nail, trimming it so there is a 1/16- inch border between the resin and the cuticle and sidewalls.
4.Apply resin to the center of the nail and spread with the nozzle tip until the mesh is fully saturated. Allow the bonder to penetrate the mesh for 15 seconds, then mist or brush with activator.
5. Gently smooth the nail surface with a fine-grit file. Be careful not to file through the resin and into the mesh.
6. Apply another layer of resin to the entire nail and spray with accelerator, then mist or brush with activator.
7. Repeat step 6.
8. Finish the nail using a fine-grit file to blend the cuticle and sidewall lines. Buff the entire surface with a white block buffer. For a high-gloss shine, buff the nail with a gray buffer.

Linen Extension Overlay 

1. Cut a piece of lightweight linen to cover the entire nail, leaving a 1/16- inch border between the fabric and the sidewalls and cuticle. Round the corners that will fit in the cuticle area with stork scissors.

2. Apply a drop of thin-viscosity resin on the center of the nail and spread evenly from cuticle to free edge, being careful to maintain a 1/16-inch border from the cuticle and sidewalls. Place the trimmed linen on the resin before activating. Cover the linen with a piece of plastic and smooth it to eliminate air bubbles from underneath the material.
3. Apply a bead of resin on the linen and spread with the nozzle tip until the linen is saturated.
4. Mist or brush with activator, then quickly pinch the sides and the free edge to make sure the layers are bonded.
5. File the surface of the nail with a 180-grit file, making sure to blend the cuticle and sidewalls.
6. Resaturate the linen with resin, then mist or brush with activator.
7. Apply a bead of resin to the underside of the nail, spread with the nozzle tip, then mist or brush with activator.
8. Finish the nail using a fine-grit file to blend the cuticle and sidewall lines. Buff the entire surface with a white block buffer. For a high-gloss shine, buff the nail with a gray buffer.

The French Wrap

While you can create the French manicure look by overlaying a white tip with silk or fiberglass or by building an extension with linen at the free edge overlaid by fiberglass or silk mesh, nail technicians have never been able to maintain the look without soaking off the nails or using polish to freshen up the smile line. But now, dedicated wrap wearers can have it all with one of two new systems. First, Becky Lynn Co.’s new French Silk Fill-ins come pre-cut in seven sizes. Each self-adhesive silk piece already has a crisp smile line cutout. All you have to do is trim the white silk to fit the length of the nail. Fill-Ins can be used over tips or over natural nails.

Another option is the new Perfect Finish system from Simply Elegant that creates a permanent French manicure look for wraps whether if s a tip overlay, natural nail overlay, or wrap extension.

French Silk Fill-Ins From Becky Lynn Co.

1. Push back the cuticle and buff lightly around the cuticle with the black side of a 3-way Gel Buffer. Buff the demarcation line flush with the natural nail; then lightly buff the entire nail. Remove sanding particles and repair any lifted product.
2. Select a piece of French Silk Fill-in fabric the width of the nail at the smile line. Cut the material to the desired length to cover the end of the nail. Gently peel off the backing paper from the side only (not from the smile line). Place the material just above the natural smile line, sticky side down. Press into place with a piece of plastic and trim the excess silk at the sides and free edge; then press with a piece of plastic again.
3. Apply an even coat of Silkbond (thin glue) to the entire nail, completely covering the new material. Let dry.


4. Cover the entire nail with a piece of Self-Adhesive Silk Wrap. Trim the excess material from the free edge, press into place with a piece of plastic, trim the sidewalls, and press the mate­rial again with a piece of plastic.
5. Apply an even coat of Silkbond to the material, making sure it’s completely covered and translucent. Allow to dry.


6. Apply a bead of French Silk Gel down the center of the nail, starting one-eighth of an inch from the cuticle and stopping one eighth of an inch from the end of the nail.
7. Using French Gel Setter, pull the saturated brush from the bottle (do not touch the sides) and touch the brush to the end of the gel bead at the free edge and stroke off the end of the nail. Next, brush down the center from the top to the end of the nail. Then quickly place the brush at the top of the nail and brush down the left side of the nail to the end of the had; repeat on the right side of the nail. Wipe the brush two or three times with a circular motion on the green pad. Quickly return the brush to the bottle without touching the sides of the bottle. Let the nail dry.


8. Repeat steps 6 and 7.

When nails are completely dry; buff edges and shape the end with the white and gray side of 3-way Gel Buffer. Apply air dry Crystal Coat to finish.

Perfect Finish by Simply Elegant

1. Prep the nails following steps 1-3 in the “Extending With Wraps” technical.
2. Apply a drop of resin to the center of the natural nail, using the brush-on activator to spread the resin evenly, being careful to maintain a 1/16-inch border between the resin and the sidewalls, and 1/8 inch from the cuticle. Seal the free edge by pulling the resin over.
3. Apply a piece of self-adhesive silk, fiberglass, or light-grade linen mesh to the nail, trimming it so there is a 1/16- inch border around the entire nail and 1/8 inch from the cuticle. For added strength and durability, a second layer of mesh may be applied.
4. Saturate the entire mesh area with Control Brush-On Glue.
5. Apply resin in a straight line down the center of the nail.
6. Brush out with the brush-on activator as you would red nail polish.


7. If you didn’t double the mesh in step 3, repeat steps 3-6 now.
8. Apply a thin line of Elegant GlassPink Resin Gel down the center of the nail (a), and brush out evenly with the Brush- On Activator, leaving a 1/ 16-inch border from the sidewalk and cuticle area (b). If a deeper pink is desired, use a thicker line. (To clean the brush, wipe it on a lint- free towel. If resin remains in the brush, dip it in the activator and wipe again.)

    

9. Use a fine buffer to smooth out any rough edges along the free edge and near the cuticles and sidewalls.
10. Apply Perfect Finish, a white acrylic copolymer, to the free edge of the nail. Swipe the brush from left to center and right to center with even strokes or use a French manicure guide for a clean, crisp line. Seal all edges of the nail. Note: Perfect Finish White is self-thickening. If product seems too thick, use thinner.


11. Apply 1-2 coats of clear resin over Perfect Finish, being sure to pull the resin over the free edge to seal the nail. Activate after each coat.
12. Buff lightly with a three-way buffer. If too much buffing is required, do an additional light coat of resin and activate. Perfect Finish White and Pink can be removed with Miracle Dissolve or buffed off.

Repairing a Natural Nail Break

Clients with long natural nails are rightfully proud of them—until the devastation of a break, which can take months to grow back out While they wait for nature to take its course, a wrap is the perfect “bandage” to repair a break or tear that runs as much as halfway across the nail while keeping the length intact until a new nail grows out Lundberg says she has been doing this repair for 17 years and that clients pay well for it because she guarantees the nail will not crack again.

1. Cut a very thin strip of fiberglass or silk that measures the width of the crack or tear. Slip the fiberglass between the crack and press the natural nail back together to close the crack.


2. Trim the fiberglass sticking out of the crack both on top and underneath the nail with stork scissors.
3. Apply a small amount of thin viscosity resin on the fiberglass both on top of the nail and underneath the nail (a). The fiberglass acts as a wick, pulling the glue into the crack and helping to seal it, Working quickly, use a cuticle pusher to press down the edges of the fiberglass on both sides of the nail (b).


4. Smooth the glue “ridge” on the top of the nail with a medium-grit file.
5. Apply a piece of self-adhesive silk, fiberglass, or light-grade linen mesh, trimming it so there is a 1/16-inch border around the entire nail. For added strength, a second layer of mesh may be applied directly over the first.


6. Apply resin in a straight line down the center of the mesh. Use the nozzle tip to evenly spread the resin over the mesh, using a side-to-side motion. Allow to penetrate for 15 seconds.
7. Mist or brush with activator.

Extending With Fiberglass or Silk

While most nail technicians recommend using linen to build wrap extensions, Cookie Robb, an educator for Elegant Glass, says fiberglass or silk works just fine if you double the material “With fiberglass you need at least two layers. When I extend with silk or fiberglass I cut two strips of material to the length I need and layer one on top of the other I place the edge of the doubled piece at the stress area and then apply two layers of resin, activating between each layer “If I am extending with linen I cut the smile line, but if I’m working with fiberglass I cut two straight strips and blend them into the nail. Cutting the smile line takes practice.”

To prevent a “lip” where the fiberglass ends and the natural nail begins, Sheila Gardner western regional manager for Backscratchers Salon Systems (Sacramento, Calif), recommends slightly overlapping the second piece of fabric on the first.

To try this technique, replace steps 6 and 7 in “Build the Linen Extension” with Robb’s instructions and proceed with steps 8-13.

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