Myths and Facts About Nails
“Fake nails” will ruin my natural nails.
Nail enhancements don’t ruin natural nails – people do. Proper care of your nail enhancements and a knowledgeable technician will ensure your own nails remain healthy during and after your service.
Nail enhancements are applied to the surface of your natural nail only. The products do not penetrate the natural nail or skin or affect the nail matrix (lunula or moon) where the natural nail is created. As you are continually growing a whole new nail every 3-6 months it is not possible for a nail enhancement to cause
“permanent” damage to the nail plate. It is a common misconception that artificial nail products "damage" or "eat" the nail plate. This can be verified by soaking a natural nail clipping in the monomer used to create acrylic nails. The same can be done with any of the products used for any kind of nail enhancements and nail services. None will damage the natural nail, including the primers used for better adhesion.
Methacrylic acid based primers are not corrosive to natural nails but may cause a mild burning sensation if it gets on the skin. This burning sensation of the skin can usually be avoided if the technician applies a thin, dryish layer of primer to the nail plate only, for adhesion.
The “temporary damage” some people may have seen or experienced is usually the result of one of the following:
- Letting nail enhancements “grow out”.
- Going too long between “fills” (or maintenance services such as buff ups or repairs if needed).
- Picking, pulling, prying, clipping, biting, at the nail enhancement.
- When a client or technician inadvertently files on the natural nail while trying to smooth the ridge at the back of the nail enhancement as it grows out.
Only the dead cuticle tissue attached to the nail plate should be removed from the natural nail and the nail plate itself should be lightly etched to remove the shine. It is not necessary to “rough up” the surface of the natural nail to promote adhesion of the nail enhancement.
All of these behaviors will compromise the structural balance that is built in to the nail enhancement during the application and filing procedure and can result in lifting and breaking which can leave the natural nail feeling rough, thin, and sensitive.
Acrylic nails are hazardous to your health because of the strong odor, dust and because toxins leech into the bloodstream from them.
- Odor - Many believe that "smelly" chemicals must be dangerous. This is quite wrong! A bad smell merely means that your brain does not like the odor. It does not mean the chemical is more toxic or dangerous.
- Dust - A client’s exposure to nail filings is minimal and infrequent. It is mainly the technician who is at risk from frequent exposure to nail dust. But anyone, concerned-client or professional, who is exposed to dust
should take the necessary precautions, such as masks, filters and ventilation, no matter what the source of the dust is.
- Leeching - Artificial nail products polymerize and harden within three minutes. This eliminates the chance
of any product penetrating beyond the very topmost of the, approximately, 100 layers of a nail plate.
Acrylic nails have been around since 1952. While they may require the highest level of skill to apply they are the favored nail enhancement by nail technicians around the world for use in nail competitions, photography and with their clients because acrylic nails have no limits and no equal as far as:
- Strength and durability.
- Corrective nail services for clients needing specialized services.
- Customizing French manicure look nails.
- Creating amazing and beautiful nail art.
Gel nails are better for your nails.
The main ingredients use to make each of these (UV Gels, liquid/powder combinations, wraps and no-light gels) are very closely related. In fact, they all come from the same chemical family, the Acrylics. People don't realize that all artificial nail enhancements are based on ingredients from the acrylic family.
Some claim that UV gel enhancement products are "better" or "safer" for the natural nail than liquid/powder systems or wrap resin systems. This is absolutely false! In fact, it could be argued that UV gels are more damaging since they are more difficult to remove. But remember, no type of artificial nail enhancement product is better for the natural nail or safer to use than others when properly applied by a trained professional. Nor is it true that some enhancement products are more "natural" or chemically "organic". These are bogus marketing claims designed to scare nail technicians away from competitive product.”
The extra weight of artificial nail enhancements makes the nail plate grow thinner.
The length of the nail matrix (moon) determines the nail plate thickness. The nail bed doesn't make keratin cells (dead protein cells that make up the nail plate), so it can't affect the plate's thickness. There is no way for the matrix (moon) to "feel" any extra weight on the nail bed.
Covering my nails will weaken them so I should take my artificial nails off occasionally to give my natural nails a rest and allow them to breathe.
Nails don't breathe. Your nail plate is made of approximately 100 layers of dead keratin cells. The oxygen and
nutrients your nails require is provided by blood carried through the many tiny blood vessels in your hands and fingers to the nail matrix, under the cuticle, where keratin (a protein) is produced to create the nail. You are continually growing a new nail so your natural nail is completely replaced every 3-6 months. Therefore it is not necessary to allow your nail to ‘rest’ or ‘breathe’ by uncovering them. It is safe to wear nail enhancements for as many months or years as you wish to.
Artificial nails cause mold and fungal infections.
Mold and fungal infections are caused by bacteria picked up from surfaces we touch and may occur with or
without artificial nails. These infections are easily prevented by proper hand washing and sanitizing practices. This salon has a policy of hand washing and sanitizing implements and surfaces between each client.
Nail biters can’t wear artificial nails.
There are nail enhancement services available for the special needs of nail biters. Many nail biters have found wearing nail enhancements very helpful in ‘kicking the habit’! It may be necessary to keep the nails shorter initially, and they may require more maintenance until the nail has recovered from damage caused by nail biting.
You can’t wear nail enhancements when pregnant.
There is absolutely no reason to believe that it is harmful to wear artificial nail enhancements or polish during pregnancy. Artificial nail products polymerize and harden within three minutes. This eliminates the chance of any product penetrating beyond the very topmost layers of the nail plate. Besides, exposure during a service is miniscule. It is extremely unlikely that artificial nails are harmful during pregnancy.
Eating more calcium and gelatin products will strengthen my nails.
Nothing you can eat will make healthy nail plates become stronger than normal, but poor nutrition can certainly make them weaker. To date, no conclusive scientific studies have linked vitamin supplements,
gelatin drinks, or special foods to faster growth of healthy nails.