Q&A

Glass Files Work Well on Natural Nails

Q.

What files work best on natural nails? 

A.

I mostly offer manicures. What files (glass, ruby stone, metal, three-or four-sided) are best to use on the natural nail and in what grits?

Tanis Darling: The glass files get top marks from me. I love the feet that I can wash, disinfect, and autoclave my glass files right along with my metal implements. I love the feel of them and so do most clients. Also, the sides are bevelled so that it is impossible to cut a client with this type of file. The grit rangesfrom 240 to 400 (different glass file manufacturers make different grits) and they are very gentle to the natural nail. I do not buff out the ridges in natural nails, as this tends to thin the nail plate. Instead I use a good ridge-filling base coat to smooth out the nail. I use only glass files for manicures. The only downside to these files is that you cannot drop them. Even though they are tempered glass, they can chip or break if you knock them off your workstation.

Board files are the only other tools that I use and they are strictly for enhancement work. I like three- and four-sided files, though the disinfectable ones are hard to find and the different grits can separate in the quats [disinfecting] solution I use. Still, they offer a speed benefit since you don’t waste time picking up and putting down other files.

Remember, new board files have to be seasoned; otherwise, the sharp edges along the sides of the file cancut right into the nail walls and grooves with very little pressure. To season a regular board file just take a clean old file and smooth the edges of the new file.

I haven’t used the ruby stone type of files in years. If you are asking about the files I believe you are, they are made from a ceramic type of material. Just like the Hindu stones that are also out on the market for use around the cuticle area, these types of files or implements cannot be disinfected as they are porousand can absorb dirt, debris, and bacteria. This is why I personally don’t use them.

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