How do you take off gels without hurting your clients’ natural nails?

December 01, 2004

How do you take off gels without hurting your clients’ natural nails?


Taking off gels is a slow process. Most gels will not break down in acetone so they have to be filed off. I use a 100-grit file to take off the bulk of the gel, then change to a 180-grit and gently file down to almost the natural nail. At this point you’ll follow the same procedures as you would for blending a tip.

Graduate your files (starting with a rougher grit, which has a lower number, then moving to a finer grit, which has a higher number) to remove product, then buff the nail gently with a block buffer, followed by a 3- way buffer. If the gel has separated from the natural nail at the free edge you can gently clip this away as you would acrylic, then proceed with the graduating grit files. Remember that even hand-filing can cause friction so file slowly and gently.

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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