While reading a post on NAILS that talks about letting nails breathe, the comments brought to my attention that a bit more explanation and clarity is needed on a few points to help get the message across.
It’s a great example of a dialogue that nail professionals could be having with their clients. Let me further clarify what this post means to clear up some lingering questions or misunderstandings.
Completely removing and replacing a full set.
When nails are properly rebalanced and do not have a foundation that requires restructuring such as a ski jump nail, it is possible to ideally maintain them without ever needing to remove them. Bear with me for a moment and I will explain!
Let’s take some nails that I rebalanced for someone whose original set was done at another salon. They are grown out with a little bit of lifting and cracking.
To start with the length should be reduced and shape put back into the extension edge. This can be followed with debulking the nail by 50-70%. This removes a good portion of the old product, as well as the arch which has now grown out to be in a structurally incorrect placement. It also removes color and design so that a new style may be applied.
Following the debulking, take care of any lifting or service breakdowns. If there is a lift, make sure not to file right on top of the lift itself which will result in “chasing the line.” Instead, file toward the lift making sure not to hit the natural nail and it will flake off when the product thins enough.
Once the remaining product is debulked, reshaped, and repaired, you are ready to prep the nail with your cuticle work, light shine removal, and nail cleanser.
Once you cleansed the nails, they are ready for a thin reapplication on all three zones. This results in the nails looking like a new set at each appointment. When they’re maintained with an uncontaminated brush by a trained professional that uses new liquid for every client and correctly disinfected tools, the enhancements should not need to be completely removed.
This particular client wears an enhancement for strength then likes polish so that she can change the color frequently at home. You could use the same technique for a colored tip or other embedded artwork since it would be removed each time as part of the debulking process.
Hopefully this clears up why it is not necessary to remove the product. Generally, removal is a myth told to clients in order to cover up poor practices and service breakdown that the technician has not learned how to avoid or correct.
Polish vs. Cured Coatings
Why would nails seem weak after wearing a gel-polish when regular polish does not seem to bother them? This could be for several reasons. When wearing a nail coating, it is important to condition the nails with quality oil containing jojoba or squalene, which are carrier oils that allow it to penetrate the coating and lubricate nail cells. Nails are made of keratin, so is hair. Just like you condition your hair when it has been colored, so should you condition your nails.
The next reason is improper application or removal. If the product requires the nails to have the shine removed, aggressive or excessive buffing can thin the nail. Soaking might also be a culprit. When the nails are placed in a bowl of water or acetone to soak, the nail absorbs liquid and expands, which causes a gradual breakdown of cells. Then there’s removal which should be done gently and with patience to avoid damage to the nail which results in white spots and can lead to breaking or peeling. Choosing a well-educated nail professional is the key to healthy nails underneath any coating!
Finally a little humor to lighten the mood in the form of a video spoof that jokes about the need for nails to breathe and yet illustrates how easy it is to frame a myth as truth and then profit from it. If he didn’t deliberately wear a costume to show it was meant to be comical and instead were wearing a business suit, how many people would be lining up to #savethenails.