Did you see the viral story a few years ago of Amelia Perrin’s acrylic nail damage?
Taking to Twitter, Amelia revealed some extreme damage to her natural nails as a result of incorrectly removing her acrylics herself.
It’s enough to make anyone worry about the damage they could be doing to their natural nails!
But, there is no reason why acrylic nail extensions can’t be worn safely, so long as you know the signs of damage to look out for…
Do acrylics really damage nails?
Acrylics shouldn’t ruin nails. But, a poor application and removal process of nail acrylics – or any type of nail enhancement- can seriously damage nails.
When properly applied by a trained technician, with the right aftercare advice and regular upkeep, acrylics nails shouldn’t cause any serious damage.
So, it’s vital to remember how important a good consultation is with any client who wants nail extensions. If they have come to you from another nail tech, you might not know what condition their nail is in until you remove the last set.
If you see any signs of damage, it’s important you address them before applying another set of nails.
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What causes acrylic to damage nails?
Nobody wants their client to experience any type of nail damage! But, when applying acrylic nails, they are at risk of problems such as:
- Thin, weak or brittle nails
- Dry or irritated skin around the nail
- An infection of the nail
What causes this? Well, there are a few key causes that can easily be avoided…
The nail was removed incorrectly
More often than not, this happens because the client attempts to remove their acrylic nails themselves.
The removal process for acrylic nails requires a lot of filing and use of chemicals. If the nails are filed down too far, the nail is likely to become very thin and weak. Poor quality or unsuitable removers can also dry out or irritate the skin around the nail. You might see the nail layers or surrounding skin peeling away.
What to do about it…
If your client tried to remove their acrylic nails themselves, try to gently educate them on the damage they can cause. Offering nail removal as part of the application price might also help encourage them to come to you.
An infection occurred
You can’t underestimate the importance of hygiene in any type of salon.
A nail infection can often be identified by discolouration, swelling, pus and redness. This should be treated by a medical professional before you apply the nail.
When applying acrylic nails, keeping all of your nail tools as clean as possible is essential to avoiding infections occurring. After every client, every piece of equipment you used should be washed, disinfected and dried before your next client’s appointment.
It’s not only in the salon an infection can occur, though. As the acrylic grows out, the gap created with the nail bed can trap moisture. This creates ideal conditions for dryness and infections to set in.
If the nail breaks, this can also leave a gap where dirt and bacteria can get in to breed.
What to do about it…
Always make sure you give your client the best aftercare advice. Encourage them to book in for their next appointment before they leave the salon so you can properly maintain the nail before infection or any other type of damage sets in.
If your client is repeatedly breaking nails, you could recommend a shorter length that suits their lifestyle better.
Their nails need a ‘break’
Sometimes, even immaculately cared for nails can begin to show damage from acrylic nails.
As acrylic nails require you to roughen up the surface of the nail to apply them, the nail surface can wear away over time.
So, it is often recommended that after 3 months of continuous wear, clients should take a break from acrylics. This gives the nails a chance to strengthen and reduces the risk of more serious or long term damage occurring.
This is particularly important if you notice any white patches, yellowing or peeling on the natural nail. Fix the damage now, and your client will have a strong, healthy base that will allow them to enjoy acrylics for the months ahead!
What to do about it…
With the acrylics safely removed, file the nail edge down to neat and healthy length. Apply a nail strengthener such as OPI Soft & Thin Envy. Some clients choose to take Biotin supplements to help strengthen their nails – though they should always check with a doctor before making changes to their diet.
Looking for professional nail supplies? Explore our full range online of acrylic powders and acrylic liquids online today!
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