Q&A

Does anyone know how to whiten discolored natural nails?

Q.

Does anyone know how to whiten discolored natural nails?

A.

Sometimes, you’ll encounter a client with a bit of yellowing to her natural nails. Often this is caused by the use of darker colored nail polish or smoking. Here are a few tips that may help.  

First, buff the natural nail very lightly to remove small amounts of yellow discoloration.

Then try one of the methods below:

  • Dissolve a denture-cleaning tablet in water and use this to soak nails for several minutes.
  • Squeeze fresh lemon juice into a small bowl, then soak nails for a few minutes. Wash hands. Be sure to use a moisturizer after the service, as lemon juice can be very drying.
  • Make a paste of baking powder and lemon juice and apply a small amount to each nail. Buff lightly, then wash, dry, and moisturize hands and nails.
  • Make a paste of three tablespoons of baking soda and one tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Use a cotton swab to apply the paste to the tops of nails and underneath the tips. Leave on for five minutes, then rinse off.   

— Greg Salo is the president and head of education at Young Nails.

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