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If I don't etch the nails before applying acrylics, do I need to apply more primer?

April 18, 2010 | Bookmark +

During my training for fills, I was taught to etch the natural nail regrowth for the strongest hold and to prevent lifting. Yet, I recently read that a technician did not etch the nail because it causes so much damage. I agree, but wonder what the major difference would be without etching? Should I apply more primer?


Etching is a practice that began in the very early days of acrylic application. Since then, we have learned that etching the nail plate removes too many layers of foundation that are vital to the success of the service. Oils and moisture, inherent in the nail plate, inhibit adhesion. Removing the shine from the nail plate should be the extent of surface filing before application. One thin coat of primer is all that is needed, unless specified differently by the product manufacturer. -- Marti Preuss, Hair Spa, Houston


Extra primer is not necessary. Keep in mind that “etching” should be done lightly to remove a top layer from the nail plate, but it does not cause permanent damage. Meanwhile, the body’s natural healing process reinforces the nail plate. -- Sue Roberts, My Nails of Westerville, Westerville, Ohio


No more than two coats of primer are ever recommended, and one usually works best. To prevent fill lines, buff off the shine, then fill. Etching is fine on top of acrylic, but must be used widely and sparingly on the natural nail. -- Tracey Stadamire, Tracey’s un-4-gettable nails, Portland, Ore.




















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How can I prevent lifting when my client's hands are constantly in water?

I have a client who is in the medical field so her hands are constantly in water. She has me keep the length of her acrylic nails short. No matter what I do, she always has at least one nail that comes off, and she always has lifting and gets water under the acrylic. I prep the nails correctly, I have a cuticle bit to clean the cuticle area, and I wipe the nail with alcohol, dehydrate the nail, and prime the nail. What should I do?

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