Nail technicians are a resourceful bunch. As proof, we offer Vanessa Wright, a nail technician at Hair Works Salon in Las Vegas Nevada, whose two tips for between-visit nail maintenance involve the inventive use of ordinary household objects. For those clients who like to garden but hate to wear gloves, Wright has a homespun solution: soap. “Before digging in the dirt, scratch nails lightly on a wet bar of soap until the underside of the nail is full and let dry a few minutes,” she advises. The soap prevents dirt from getting under the nail or between the nail and the overlay. Just wash out when done, she says.

For the natural wearer faced with a break or crack, Styrofoam cup provides temporary salvation, says Wright. When a break occurs, clients can place a tiny piece of Styrofoam over the area and apply a drop of nail glue. The glue dissolves the Styrofoam into the crack, and the break is bonded until the client can get professional tending.

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