Client Health

The Truth About Hormones and Nails

There’s a theory floating around that suggests hormones can wreak havoc on nails, causing the product to lift and nails to “fall off .” Is there any truth to the tale or are the affects of hormones the stuff of urban legends?

Hormones can be altered during a are affecting her nails is this: over what length of time has there been a change in hormones? Once it’s been determined that there is a valid reason to suspect that the nail composition is changed due to hormones, then it’s the responsibility of the tech to evaluate the needs of the client with new eyes. “Techs should adapt their technique to the change in the nails,” says traumatic illness or during the treatment of that illness. If the condition continues for a significant amount of time, the hormonal disruption will eventually be evident on the nails. Cancer is an example of this. “Chemotherapy affects the whole body,” says Schoon.

The issue for techs to remember as they try to decipher if a client’s hormones Schoon. For clients who have experienced a hormonal change due to menopause, this may mean that the nails will become dryer or more brittle. Techs may be able to extend the appointment an additional week because of a dry working surface and a reduction in nail growth. When a client is pregnant, her appointment may need to be reduced to only two weeks to accommodate the rapid nail growth.


If the health of a client changes, and the client requires medications that alter hormones, techs should watch for changes in the nails. Some medications can cause such changes to a client’s nails that the best service to offer her would be a natural nail manicure instead of enhancements. Techs should honestly assess the changes in their clients’ nails and suggest the best service to meet their changing needs.

Clients may come in and say that changes in their hormones caused their nails to “fall off.” They could suggest an antibiotic or medication changed their nails. This is where those urban legends begin: Changes in hormones won’t make nails “fall off.” The changes will happen over time, not suddenly and dramatically. If clients return with severe lifting, poor adhesion, or multiple air pockets, they may want to blame it on their hormones. As a professional, you can consider this possibility, but if this change in adhesion happened at only one fill, you’ll know it’s not a problem with hormones. Analyze the conditions of the last nail service: Was there a change in product, application, or prep? Were there changes in the client’s routine or exposure to a new chemical or to excessive water?

If you find that a client who had responded well to enhancement services in the past begins to experience an uncharacteristic amount of lifting over the period of a number of months, ask her about her health. You could be the first professional to help her identify a nagging problem she wasn’t facing. If you suspect that hormones are affecting the client’s nails, refer the client to a medical professional.


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