A ski jump nail is one of the genetic challenges that makes the nails hard to grow out, in addition to causing difficulty in maintaining a nail coating due to the shape of the natural nail. There is more than one way to correct this; the most common is using liquid-and-powder acrylic since it offers a hard enhancement, which is the opposite of the generally weak, flexible nail.
The first step is finding a tip that fits precisely from side to side. Applying the tip with a gel adhesive or something that will fill in the gap is ideal because it allows you to use the tip to correct the curvature of the nail. Some professionals choose to use liquid-and-powder, others layer liquid adhesive, the choice is up to you.
Place the tip so the sides fit sidewall to sidewall and the end will adhere to the edge of the fingernail, then hold it in place to allow the adhesive to set, creating the new, corrected nail arch. As you can see in the photos, the tip is not snug to the nail plate like it would be in a typical application.
Remove excess length, shape, and blend the tip, then apply product, making sure to create a corrected arch. The arch does not need to be extreme — a natural-looking arch will thrill the client and add strength they are not accustomed to. Finish file the product as you normally would and polish if desired.
A ski jump nail is going to override the enhancement’s corrected shape as it grows out. This is one of the few nail types where the enhancements need to be removed and reapplied about every three to five months depending on the rate of growth; otherwise you and the client will notice the nails eventually take on a ski jump shape once again and the enhancement will be prone to breaking along with the natural nail due to the incorrect structure.
Holly Schippers is a contributing editor to NAILS.
*Editor's Note: This article was originally published in 2019, and the content continues to be extremely relevant.
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