10 Myths Regarding Artificial Nails

1. Our nails need to breath

They absolutely do not! Nails do not have the capacity to absorb air into the nail plate. Nails are made up of keratin, a protein made up of dead cells, which is also the same protein that is found in our hair. The oxygen that is required by the nail is located underneath the nail plate in the matrix. Our bloodstream provides the matrix with the oxygen needed to allow our nails to grow or develop a new nail plate when required.

2. My nails need a break from enhancements!

This is simply not true. There are no advantages to removing nail enhancements for a few weeks or even a number of months before applying a new set. As discussed above nails don’t need to breath so why take a break?! However, generally speaking if the surrounding skin or nail plate shows signs of damage or infection, artificial nails should not be applied. If this is the case you should have your doctor advise further as to what may be occurring and how to treat your condition.

3. Nail Enhancements will permanently ruin my natural nails

False! It’s not possible to permanently ruin your natural nails however, “temporary damage” can happen, this will be explained further.
Artificial nail enhancements don’t ruin nails, people do!

Having a knowledgeable nail technician and taking proper care of your nail enhancements will ensure that your nails remain healthy. We grow a new nail every 3-6 months therefore it is not possible for artificial nails to permanently damage your nail plate.

The “temporary damage” that some individuals may have experienced is usually the result of one of the following reasons:
• Over filing by a technician
• Going too long between fills
• By picking, biting, or prying at or off the enhancements

Only dead cuticle tissue that is attached to the nail plate should be removed from the natural nail. The nail plate should only be lightly etched to remove the shine in order to promote adhesion of the artificial nail. The surface of the nail plate should absolutely NOT be “roughed up”. This practice will compromise the structural balance of the natural nail and will leave them feeling thin and sensitive.

So as you can see artificial nail enhancements don’t ruin nails, people do!

4. UV gels are much better for your nails than acrylic

This is a myth that is heard quite often! All nail enhancements, including gel, are all made from acrylic ingredients. Other than how they are marketed and the application process, the only real difference between the two is in the way they harden. One is cured and the other isn’t!

UV gels (acrylic) use a UV curing agent to harden the nail coating, while liquid/powder (acrylic) use heat sensitive curing agents to achieve the same result. Both of these are very similar, one is not any better or safer than the other. Both UV gel systems and liquid/powder systems are safe when following manufacturer instructions are properly applied and maintained by professionals. If you do not wish to continue having nail enhancements it’s imperative to have them removed correctly by a certified nail technician.

5. Nail coatings (i.e. gel polish) are bad for our nails

Nail coatings such as gel polish, or shellac, as most people refer to it as does not harm the nails. Any damage that may occur is directly caused by incorrect application and/or removal of the product. If after removal the nail feels more flexible this doesn’t mean that the nails are weaker or damaged. This is a temporary effect caused by the increased moisture content of the nail plate, it can last 12-24 hours after the gel polish has been removed at which point the nail will return to its normal rigidity.

6. Artificial nails cause fungal infections

This is not true! We touch many different surfaces in a day all of which have bacteria on them. Fungal infections can occur with or without nail enhancements on. These types of infections are easily prevented by proper sanitation of all nail implements as well as equipment. Proper hand washing practices is also imperative. If you have any concerns about the nail salon’s sanitation practices you should voice your concerns in advance. Ask any questions that you may have in order to ease your mind before you receive any services. They should be more than happy to answer any of your questions and walk you through their sanitation practices. All implements and equipment MUST be properly sanitized in between each client.

7. Nail biters can’t have nail enhancements

Nail biters can absolutely wear nail enhancements. It is a little more difficult to apply them, however many nail biters say that having artificial nails has stopped them from biting and/or picking at their nails! Initially they will require more frequent nail visits until the natural nail has recovered from the damage that was caused from the biting.

8. Artificial nails are hazardous to your health

Many people think that artificial nails are hazardous to their health because at times the products, depending on the type, can smell. Dust is released into the air from filing and some think that toxins may enter into their bloodstream.
It is true that many of the products used for nail enhancements have an odour to them, what is NOT true is that they are dangerous. What we perceive to be a foul smell simply means that our brain does not like it. This does not mean that the chemicals are more toxic or dangerous.

The dust that a client is exposed to during a filing session is not on a frequent basis and the amount of dust would be minimal. If you are concerned as a client or a technician you should take precautions and wear a mask. There should be proper ventilation such as a fan on the technicians’ desk to suck in the dust that does occur.

As far as leeching is concerned, artificial nail enhancements polymerize and cure within 2-3 minutes. This eliminates any chance of the products permeating past the topmost layer of the nail plate.

9. My nail enhancements have to be square shaped in order for them to be the strongest!

The strength of the nail actually depends on the upper arch (aka apex). This is where the product should be at its thickest. The technician should then taper it down at the cuticles and lastly the sidewalls of each nail.

10. The UV light that cures the enhancements cause cancer

This is absolutely false!! The bulbs that are used to cure gel and gel polish have an extremely low dose of UV rays. As a client your hands and nails are only exposed to these rays once every 2-3 weeks.
Our hands get more exposure to UV rays holding the steering wheel of our car our outside doing gardening than they do from the use of UV lamps for curing gel products.

Interesting fact: 250 years of weekly visits to get your enhancements done would equal 1 tanning bed treatment!!!

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