In July 2012, CBS-Chicago posted a story about a young woman who lost her nails to a botched removal of her soak-off gel polish manicure. The nail tech soaked her nails in a bowl of acetone instead of wrapping each nail with acetone on a cotton ball. The tech admitted that she had not done the technique before and after only 5 or so minutes started scraping off the gel nail lacquer with a metal tool. The nail bed was sore and bleeding. The resulting damage, caused the client to lose all her nails.
There are a lot of red flags here.
First, if a nail tech tells you this is their first time doing a new technique, ask for someone else. This could mean that they have not had any education or practice with the product or the technique. As a seasoned nail professional, I would never tell a client that I have never done a technique before, unless it’s something I do not offer. Before I offer a new service, I have had education and practice with the product. So my clients can trust that I know what I’m doing.
Second, consumers need to be educated as well. Information for ALL products can be found online. Before you consider a new service, research it. Have a familiarity with the steps before you have your nails done professionally.
I have found that most of the damage associated with gel-polish manicures has to do with the acetone used to remove them and lack of education. Acetone is very drying to the skin and nails and over-exposure to acetone can be very damaging. These products were designed to just come off when exposed to acetone for a set amount of time. No one should be scraping off the product, a gentle push with a cuticle stick is all that is needed.
There are several new soak-off gel polishes out there that do not use acetone to remove them. They are plant based products that are completely free of harsh chemicals. These are very costly to purchase and most salons will not purchase them, because they would have to increase the amount of the service, and most clients will not pay for the increase in price.
These nail enhancements are beautiful and last 2-3 weeks before needing to be redone. Instead of the repeatedly having your nail enhancements redone. I recommend allowing your nails to rest in-between applications. After you have had your soak-off gel nails properly removed, have a manicure performed that gives your hand and nails the moisture rejuvenation they so desperately need. My suggestion is a spa-manicure that includes a warm moisture wrap and a paraffin dip. This will leave your hands feeling soft and supple. Finish your manicure with a vitamin-enriched base coat that hardens your nails and seal with a nail-hardening top coat. Apply a top quality cuticle oil to your cuticles everyday as part of your after care and a moisturizing lotion to your hands.
We all love to have beautiful nails . Let’s take care of them. Using nails enhancements whether it be acrylic, soak-off no-chip gel polish, silk wraps, or traditional hard gel. They all cause some degree of damage to our natural nails, how much depends on you the consumer. By educating yourself you can still enjoy your nail enhancements and keep your natural nails healthy.