I have a client with fan-shaped nails that are also very flat.


I have a client with fan-shaped nails that are also very flat. We have tried all types of artificial nail treatments. Everything will be fine until the second or third fill. (She loves beautiful nails and has even tried getting fills every eight days.) She has also tried hard to grow her own natural nails, but nothing seems to work for her. Please help.


irst, know that these are the most difficult type of nails to work with. So is she lifting? Cracking? Coming off? If she lifts at the cuticle, proper nail prep is a must. Make sure the cuticles are pushed back and the entire nail — especially around the cuticle edge — is well etched. If she is lifting from the free edge, you must remove the lifted area and replace it with new acrylic. Don’t try to make the nail follow the shape of the acrylic. Acrylic will grow straight out with very little flexing, but the natural nail will twist and turn (and dip down and up) especially once it leaves the nail bed.

If the nails are coming off, make sure there is no dust left on them and a bonding agent is used before applying the tip and before applying the primer. Next, I would suggest using a full well tip and a gel glue to accommodate the flat nail, making sure there are no air pockets under the tip. Also make sure the tip is as wide as the nail’s free edge. Concentrate your tip, blending to the center of the well that overlaps the nail (leaving the area closest to the cuticle the thickest). This enables the C-curve of the tip well to “flex” to the nail instead of squeezing its way off the nail bed. I’m a big advocate of acid-less primers, but in this situation I’d use an acid primer. It is especially important to make the free edge no more than half the length of the nail bed. The longer the free edge, the more pressure the stress area will take on. When applying the acrylic, having a good arch is important for added strength.

If the nail is cracking in the stress area, cut into the acrylic where it is cracked to allow the acrylic to get into the crack instead of just laying on it. Also when filling in, add a ball to each side of the nail (parallel to the cuticle) sweeping it toward the center of the nail. — Angie Gross is a nail tech at Soge Hair and Body Care in Atlanta

You have not said if you are using tips or sculpting, but I would assume that you are using tips. Try to sculpt her nails and see if you find a difference. You may also want to keep her natural nails under the enhancement shorter by using your electric file or a round file under the nails. You cannot force or change the shape of these nails. Her nails are most likely pulling away from the product and lifting. Keeping her nails shorter and preventing them from growing out might help you. — Lynnette Madden is owner of Salon 29 at Main in East Greenville, Pa.



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An  acid belonging to the alpha hydroxy group of acids (AHA), mainly found in citric fruits, sour milk, and sugar cane; used to slough or...
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