Feb 28, 2014 03:00
by Cailtin Reid
A manicure is an indulgence many women relish regularly, including celebrities Rihanna, J Lo and Princess Kate. Not only are they the key to having pristine paws, but you also leave feeling relaxed from the warm water and complimentary hand massage.
But the questions is – do manicures damage nails?
No, well not necessarily....
Professionally trained nail technicians know any manicure, from gel and acrylic nails to gel polishes, shouldn’t damage your nails. Not one bit. So why the rumours of dangerous manicures?
Ever frequented your local salon only to look down and see the therapist scratching and scraping at your gel polish to remove it? Or, politely requested a Shellac treatment only to see half your nail filed and buffed away? The horror! These practices are found far and wide, yet not what trained technicians advise.
What happens during application:
Acrylic, gel nails and gel polished (eg. Gelish, Shellac) work best when nails have been lightly buffed prior to application. yes, lightly buffed. Salon quality files and buffs used by an expert do not damage the nail or the delicate nail plate, they will preserve the nails’ integrity.
What about chemicals?
A number of gel polish and acrylic brands are Formaldehyde, toluene and DBP free, which means no nasty chemicals sitting on your nails. And, if you head into your salon with your old, chipped polish you can request an acetone free/non-toxic option for removal.
Drying - how to avoid UV damage
If you always slip slop slap in the sun, beware of UV lights used to dry nails as they can contain up to 5 times the strength of UV as tanning bed lamps. Women with freckles and moles on their hands need to be extra careful! Request an LED lamp instead.
Tips on how to remove:
1. Never try to take gel or acryclic nails or gel polishes off yourself.
2. Never scratch off your own gel polish, you might as well be using a cheese grater on your nails. Trust a pro, its their job. With correct remover product and proper buffing, the manicure should lift away from the nail without destroying the delicate nail plate.
Takeaway messages from nail experts:
1. Damage is often the result of poor application and removal, not the actual product.
2. Nails are jewels not tools - don’t open bottle tops and scratch heavy materials with them, be gentle.
3. Use high quality nail and cuticle oil everyday, and lightly buff the end of your nails to make your manicure last.
4. Always request to see certificates when visiting a new salon