A Summertime Nail Experiment

by Holly Schippers | July 14, 2011

Do you ever test things out that your clients complain about? There have been some mentions about water, chlorine, and generally common summer vacation activities causing challenges with nail coverings. It is not every day that one goes on vacation so I thought it would be a great chance to test out some of the theories on what would fix the problems, what causes them, and in what way clients could be contributing to the issues. Naturally this was not a scientific study by any stretch of the imagination, but it is always fun to see what you can figure out from the “other side”.

To begin, I had nails that had been on for a week that were done with Shellac. Since we are on family vacation I knew there would be hours of swimming daily in public pools that would have high concentrations of chlorine. In addition to that I’m the sunscreen nazi, so my nails touch lots of sunscreen on at least one hand. I applied Solar Oil to my left hand before getting in the water or opening the sunscreen, in addition to that I applied it to the index and ring finger of my right hand before applying sunscreen. I avoided touching sunscreen to my nails on my left hand. After a few hours of swimming on Sunday it was noticeable on the edges of the nails that had touched the sunscreen without the oil that they were lifting up. If left alone, they stayed on fine — but they were a very tempting opportunity to peel. Monday I did the same oil and sunscreen routine. After several hours in the pool the nails that had been in sunscreen without oil on them began to chip a bit as I played with the kids and their water toys. The nails that had oil and had been in contact with the sunscreen seemed to be lifting a bit on the sides, again tempting to peel although they did stay on since I avoided the temptation. Tuesday was a repeat of Monday and the temptation to pick even though I know better was so strong I could hardly stand it. LOL!

Therefore my (unscientific) hypothesis for summertime or vacation nails is that sunscreen is best kept off the nails, oil is ideal before water contact, and a stern chat with clients about picking is a must! Have you ever done “research/experiment” nail projects to better understand client complaints or issues?

P.S. Sorry it didn’t occur to me to take pictures of my nails!

— Holly

Ed Note: These aren't Holly's nails in the photo, but they are an outtake from our August covershoot showing fingernails underwater so we thought it was a perfect illustration of Holly's point. Thanks to Elsbeth Schuetz for doing these cool nails!

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