Editor’s Note: Q & A is a new bimonthly column in which your questions about technique are researched by Lynn Parentini, who suggests possible approaches toward finding a solution.

I am writing in hopes of your being able to help find a nail product currently on the market. (I have enclosed a small linen and rubber-based nail tip.)

I found this nail product in Oklahoma about a year ago. Since receiving my cosmetology license, I have decided to go strongly into the nail market. The only facts I know about this mystery product are: It is manufactured in the Midwest and is not sold openly to the general public. I tried to contact the salon in Oklahoma, but the owner has passed away and the shop has been closed.--Sandi Duvall, Springfield, Missouri

PARENTINI: An analysis of the two nail tips revealed that both samples are conventional nail tips, and neither one is made of linen. Trying to locate this exact product is difficult. In this industry, many nail tips are similar—if not exact—in color, thickness and flexibility.

My suggestion is to go to your local beauty distributor with these nail tip samples. The salesperson can assist you in locating a professional nail tip with similar properties. Try to direct your investigation toward a nail tip made of tenite acetate. This will give you the flexibility and thinness that your sample tips have.

QUESTION:  For two years now I have been a reader of NAILS Magazine and have found it very informative, using many of the techniques and nail art ideas you have published.

Recently I have come across a problem with one of my clients. After having acrylic nails for six years, her nails have begun to separate from the nail bed, starting at the free edge center and going back to the lunula.

I have been told this could be caused by fungus, although she did not experience any infection. Your magazine states the description and recommended cure of fungus, but nowhere could I find an explanation of the causes.--Diana Garibyan (Woodland Hills, Calif.)

PARENTINI: Your curiosity about the cause of fungus is extremely important. There are many causes of fungus, beginning with preparation of the nail plate, an improperly fitted acrylic nail, fill-ins, tips or wraps.

Nail Plate Preparations: Improper cleansing or removal of foreign matter could cause fungus growth. Reason: Any dirt or moisture that is covered by an artificial nail product becomes an excellent medium for fungus growth. Remember, bacteria have to breed and will thrive on dirty, dark, moist places.

Improperly fitted acrylic nails, tips and wraps: Improper fit can allow moisture and dirt to become trapped, only to develop into an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.

To Prepare the Nail Plate:

Step 1. Remove nail polish/foreign matter.

Step 2. Have a client scrub hands and nails with anti-bacterial soap.

Step 3. Cleanse nail plate with alcohol (antiseptic).

Step 4. Use primer and let dry.

NOTE: Do not blow on nail plates and do not touch nail beds once cleansed.

These simple procedures will help prevent fungus.

QUESTION:  I am nail technician and have been doing nails for several years. Within the last year I have been doing a great deal of designing. I wonder if you could help me with a big problem.

In doing my nail art, especially two-toning with flat white polish, every clear top coat I use changes the white and yellows it. Also, many top coats change other colors, especially fluorescents. Is there any top coat on the market that won’t do this?--Ilene Modica (Deltona, Florida)

PARENTINI: The yellowing and changing of white fluorescent nail colors can be a direct result of ultra-violet rays. Some clients use tanning salons as well as long exposure to direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time.

In some cases ultra-violet rays might even cause cracking. Bring this matter to your client’s attention so they know that it is not the product’s fault or your techniques.

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