The new Lektra-Bond Light-Curing System is designed by a man who has been working in the beauty industry for 28 years, and who has been doing nails since 1971. For the past quarter of a century, Vincent Ragusa has been a licensed instructor in cosmetology and has taught acrylic nail techniques since their inception. He also currently runs an active beauty and nail salon and is doing nails daily.
Ragusa recognized the potential of the light-bonding developments in dentistry, and set about designing his system with himself, the technician, in mind. His prototypes were tested and refined through use with his own nail clients.
He knew that the odorless gel, the permanent polymer finish, and the speed with which the nails could be created, could revolutionize the nail industry. Consequently, he did not immediately jump into the market when the first light machines came out, but patiently worked to refine his product. The result is an attractive, table-top unit with a special, sliding handpiece capable of exposing all nails of both hands at the same time.
"I built four different prototypes before I was satisfied," says Ragusa, president of Lektra-Bond, Inc., of Winter Haven, Florida. "It was important that it be comfortable and convenient and that there be some way to control the distance from the lights."
According to Vincent, the machine uses three six-watt, cool, filtered ultra-violet lamps, similar to those used in dermatologist's Wood's Lamps. The bulb's life expectancy is 7500 hours, "so with only three minutes total exposure time per client, lamp burnout should be no problem. All component parts are UL approved and are fully warranted for one year, with the exception of the lamps," claimed Vincent.
Lektra-Bond uses a single gel process, which has the consistency of nail polish, and is painted on the surface of the nail and tip in three separate applications and exposed, each time, for one minute to the ultra-violet light. The odorless gel contains a special photoinitiator that causes a chemical reaction under the UV lights, creating a polymer bond on the nail. "Because this bonded product cannot peel or lift, the problem of fungus is completely eliminated. The resulting finish is smooth and glossy and requires very little final sanding or buffing. It can be left natural or polished, as the natural finish will not yellow with time," said Vincent.
The Lektra-Bond light-curing machine includes a special, built-in nail polish dryer. Fill-ins are quick and simple, requiring only a filling of the cuticle area and a light roughening of the entire nail surface, with two applications and curing exposures of the gel.
According to Ragusa, the advantages of his system to the salon and to the client are numerous. "There is no odor with this product and a single gel and brush is much easier to keep track of. Curing all 10 nails simultaneously is much more comfortable to the client. She's happier, because these nails are strong, but pliable. They give a good scratch sensation and feel like her own natural nails. She can go three weeks or longer between fill-ins and best of all, she'll never get fungus again."