Q&A

How do I keep clients' nails from lifting?

Q.

I’ve been working as a nail tech for some years now, but have always had problems with clients’ nails lifting or popping off within two to three weeks. When they lift, I use a nail dehydrator after clipping the edges and filing the exposed natural nail, and then I double prime before applying acrylic. I have tried different products with no noticeable improvements. Am I clipping too much?

A.

Many variables can cause lifting. I recommend attending a manufacturer’s class on your specific product. When switching products it usually takes a couple of weeks to master a slightly different liquid-to-powder ratio.

Also, prepping around the cuticle and groove walls makes a huge difference. A 180-grit file is coarse enough. Most techs make the mistake of only prepping in one direction, going in a circular motion around the cuticle. Instead, use the file like a pusher. This ensures better adhesion.

If a client has some lifting, don’t clip off the lifted product. This usually causes more lifting. Thin out the product around the area with a hand or electric file. Don’t file directly on the lifting; thin out the product behind it, then work on the lifting. If you try to go directly at the lifting first, you might file at too much of an angle and too much on the natural nail. — MaeLing Parrish is an EZ Flow educator and co-owner of Nail Sensation in Reynoldsburg, Ohio.

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