I’m always getting asked how to best care for your nails, whether having products applied professionally or painting them for yourself at home here are some tips and advice to keep healthy, beautiful nails.
The most important thing to realise is that nails are made of Keratin, the same structural material as your hair, the nail is made in the nail matrix underneath the skin between the last knuckle and the eponychium (the bit that most people think of as the cuticle). Once you can see the nail it is actually dead (like hair) and therefore doesn’t need to ‘breathe’ or take a break from enhancements or polish.
What the nail DOES need however is the same as your hair, conditioner! How many of you wash your hair without conditioning it afterwards? Not many I bet, but you all wash your nails many times a day without conditioning them after. This leads to delamination (where layers of the nail flake off), weak, dry and brittle nails. Simple cuticle oil, rubbed onto the nail and surrounding skin at least once a day at bedtime will do wonders for the condition of your nails. You can buy special blended cuticle oil from your manicurist or chemist or you can use Almond oil. Did you know that nail polish and any coating such as gel or acrylic that can be soaked off in acetone is porous enough to let the oil penetrate through to the nail underneath? It is, so get using the oil!
Another thing I’ve often heard is ‘acrylics ruined my nails’! This is not correct as scientific studies have shown that nail enhancements do not damage nails, it is the therapist that causes the damage by over zealous filing and thinning of the nail plate most often with an electric nail file that looks a bit like a drill. During the removal process the nail absorbs lots of acetone making them feel weak and bendy for a few hours after, it’s most important to take care and oil them during this time.
In Thanet we are blessed with a wide choice of nail bars and salons, when choosing a therapist or salon look out for a therapist who uses branded products rather than unlabeled bottles and jars, unlabeled products often come from china and don’t meet health and safety criteria, if they do use an electric file make sure they don’t use it on the natural nail plate, ask if they can remove the cuticle in a more traditional way and if the product requires the natural nail to be ‘etched’ to get the product to adhere ask if they could they use a hand file which should feel as comfortable on your nail and no rougher than one that you would file your nails at home with.
If you have fairly strong nails go for a gel manicure that doesn’t require any ‘roughing up’ of the natural nail first to preserve the nail’s integrity.
Lastly look after your nails and remember to treat them as Jewels not tools!
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your nail queries, advice is given free of charge with no obligation.