How To: Care for Artificial Nails

10/08/2013

If you're a nail biter, you have thin, flimsy nails, or if your nails don't grow fast enough for your liking, acrylic nails may very well become your new best friend. Getting nail enhancements is one of the easiest ways to improve the length and strength of your nails, and they even help prevent nail biting in many women! But if you don't take proper care of your nail enhancements, sometimes they can be harmful to your nails. As long as you abide by the following guidelines to care for your acrylic nails, you will have a healthy relationship with your fake nails.

 

1. Keep Biweekly Appointments

First things first: do NOT skip maintenance appointments. With acrylics, it is important to take a visit to the salon once every two weeks. Your nail technician will fill in the area of the nail closest to your cuticle that has grown out since your last appointment, as well as trim your nails to your chosen length. Skipping appointments might cause your nails to break and crack, and possibly contract fungus due to water getting stuck in areas where the acrylic lifts off your nail plate.

 

2. Keep them Clean and Dry

Keeping your nails clean and dry will prevent infection from forming and keep your natural nail nice and healthy. That's why it's important to wear gloves during housework, whether you are gardening, washing the dishes, or anything else involving the use of chemicals and cleaning products. Gloves will also help you avoid unwanted snags and chips in the nails. Naturally moist hands might benefit from a little baby powder to absorb moisture, and using antibacterial soap will keep the bacteria away. It might also help to wipe down your nails with alcohol to keep them free of dirt and bacteria.

 

3. Don't Use Nails as Tools

Do NOT use your nails as tools in everyday life. Prying open cans, packages, or key rings with your nails can cause significant damage your acrylics (and natural nails for that matter). Putting enough pressure on the nail enhancement will cause the acrylic to lift off the natural nail or cause chipping, breaking, or splitting. No one wants that!

 

4. Get Immediate Repairs

Waiting to repair chipped or broken acrylic nails is never a good idea. The damaged nails give bacteria and fungus an entryway into the nail, so going to the salon for a quick fix is your best and safest option. Chipped and split nails can also catch on things and end up causing much worse harm to your acrylic as well as your natural nail. Your nail tech will be able to repair the nail or remove and reapply the acrylic. This is a much safer option.

 

5. Don't File Yourself

Refrain from filing your nail enhancements on your own in between appointments either to reshape or to shorten them. Filing your acrylics will cause the natural nail and the enhancement to separate from one another. The bond that seals the two together is essential because once it is broken, the enhancement will lift from the nail or possibly cause the nail and the enhancement to break. It's best to just leave the filing up to your nail tech!

 

6. Don't Remove Yourself

Taking off your own acrylics is a NO-NO! This is the main cause of damage to natural nails when it comes to nail enhancements. When you go to the salon for the removal, the nail tech will file the acrylic down to a very thin layer, not snap it off the nail completely. Complete removal of the acrylic with the use of your teeth, other nails, or nail tools will cause harm to the surface of the nail and could possibly cause permanent damage to the nail bed.

 

A few helpful tips:

- When removing polish in between appointments, use non-acetone nail polish remover in order to prevent the acrylic from deteriorating. Prolonged exposure to the acetone will cause your acrylic to shrivel up and lift off the nail.

- If you've never worn acrylics before and are used to having short nails, you might want to give plastic glue on nails a test drive to see if you are comfortable with the extensions.

- Don't use nail glue or tape of any sort to hold down a lifting acrylic. This will trap bacteria, dirt, or oils in between your nail and the acrylic, which could cause infection.

 

For more information:
- Follow Incoco on Pinterest to keep up with all our blog posts
- Read our blog on How to Stop Nail Biting

Thanks for reading and have a great day!
The Incoco Team

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