The Science of Nails

Do Hormones Cause Artificial Nails to Lift?

Though doctors cite a lack of scientific evidence that hormones influence product lifting, some nail technicians say their clients’ experiences provide all the proof they need.

Nor does Monique Maginnis, a nail technician at Salon 51 in Perth, Australia, believe hormones cause lifting. “I have had many clients in my six years doing nails from all walks of life and with varying health problems, including hormone replacement therapy. I also had one client doing in vitro fertilization, which required massive hormone treatments to harvest her eggs. None of my clients ever suffered from lifting,” she says. “I am not saying that I don’t have my problem clients – I do. But I can’t attribute it to medications.”

Until a study conclusively proves or disproves a link between hormones and the adhesion of acrylic, we may never know for sure. However, that the suspicion leads to a thorough client history and full troubleshooting of one’s own procedures is a promising outcome.


Troubleshooting Lifting

Traditional acrylic services still remain the second most requested salon services, according to NAILS 1998-1999 Fact Book, with 85% of salons offering the service to clients. Chances are your salon has a large number of acrylic-wearing clients. It may be hard to keep track of what could be causing service breakdowns. Here is a checklist of items that, if neglected, could lead to lifting.

1. Take a client history

Prevent problems before they occur. Thoroughly review the client’s history, list of regular medications she takes, and any hobbies or job duties that could affect her nails. Record this on her client card and be sure to remind her to update you about any lifestyle changes that occur

2. Proper preparation of the nail plate

More than 80% of the problems nail technicians have with lifting occur because they did not take the time to properly clean, dehydrate, and prime the nail plate. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and follow them implicitly. Be sure not to forget even the simplest steps, like washing your hands before the service.

3. Application and filing

Be sure that when you apply the product, you do so according to the manufacturer’s instructions, using the proper ratio of liquid to powder and application procedures. For instance, don’t overwork odorless products because they tend to bubble, and keep product away from the cuticles and sidewalls. Be sure not to file the acrylic before it is completely cured and don’t overfile the nails.

4. Regular fills and maintenance

While it is your responsibility to make sure the client’s nails don’t lift, enlist her help. Explain the importance of regular fills (especially if lifting is a regular problem). Also, educate your client on how to use her nails and what to do if problems occur that will minimize repairs and future problems.

5. Other things to watch

Regulate the temperature in the salon, the temperature at which you store your products, and the temperature of your client’s hands. Be careful not to contaminate products and watch for products that have expired. Check to make sure you are using the right product — some product lines have bottles of product remover that look similar to monomer.

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The property, usually used to describe gel products or some acrylic products, that allows it to even out on its own, without being pulled or...
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