You just had your brand new set of nails done! What now?
Caring for your nails at home will play a major role in how well your enhancements hold up, whether you just had a brand new set applied or if you just had a maintenance service done, (fillin).
Your natural nails will grow out underneath your enhancement services, (gels or acrylics), and will be exposed underneath. The natural nail is porous. The exposed portions of the natural nail plate underneath the enhancement will still absorb water every time your hands get wet; i.e., hand washing, showers, washing dishes, etc.
In the process of getting wet .. then drying out.. then getting wet.. then drying back out... the natural nail plate has the tendency to dry out underneath the enhancement, making them more brittle. This is what causes the natural nail to separate from the product underneath the service, usually at the free-edge or end of the nail.
Therefore, it is very important that you purchase a professional quality cuticle oil to use several times weekly to help prevent this from occurring. Massaging cuticle oil around the cuticles and over the entire nail plate helps prevent lifting and separation issues with your enhancements. It is particularly important for you to apply the oil UNDERNEATH the nail to rehydrate the natural nail plate that is exposed to the daily stress your hands are under during the normal activities of your day.
Follow up with a concentrated cream on hands after applying the cuticle oil. Massage the cream into the cuticles and nails as well. Regular practice of this five-minute process will help prevent lifting, separation and other types of service breakdown that causes broken or chipped enhancements between fillins.
Please remember it is important to get your fillins every two to three weeks to insure proper balance of the enhancement. Nail enhancements are specifically CONSTRUCTED so that proper reinforcement is placed in the stress areas of the nail in order to ensure your enhancements are protected from impact breakage. In two weeks, your natural nails have grown out one-eighth of an inch. Therefore, the constructed reinforced areas of your enhancements have also grown out of place the same amount, rendering your nail at higher risk of breakage.
Melody C. Montgomery
Nails Specialist, Artist, Educator