To those who have not heard of the possibilities for artificial nails in the beauty industry, they are missing out. While there are pros and cons to all things, synthetic nails are many salon clients’ choice. They are available in a variety of materials whether the desired effect is simply tips, or the entire nail, which is known as a “form” . Although these tips and forms can be made of everything from fiberglass to a gel like polish, three of the most common materials imitation fingernails are made from include acrylic, gel and fabric wraps.
When dealing with acrylic nails, most users fear not using a nail station they will harm their natural fingernails; however, this is a myth. The most common reason artificial nails cause damage to the existing nail is because of improper removal, infection or infrequent removal. Acrylic nails should be removed approximately every two to three months for the natural nail underneath to breathe either in a salon, or by soaking the fingers in polish remover for 15 minutes. The liquid/powder mix is brushed on and meant to be long-term, but should be maintenanced in a professional salon every two to three weeks due to the rate the artificial nail is growing out with the natural nail. When the manicurist performs the maintenance on the nail, it is a simple procedure. He or she will file down the acrylic edge closest to the existing nail bed, then fill in with a fresh coat. If the client is looking for a more natural look, or a more sturdy nail, there are also alternatives.
One alternative long-term artificial nail treatment, gel nails, has recently become much more popular than the acrylic process. The gel itself has the consistency of polish and is brushed onto the nails in multiple layers. First, a clear base coat is applied, which is followed by the desired color. Next, the nail is brushed with a clear, top coat. Once all coats have been applied, the nails are placed under a UV light to complete the chemical process and harden. For the reaction to take place under the light, it will take approximately two minutes. Along with acrylics, gel nails need maintenance, such as filling down and being filled in, every two to three weeks as they grow out with the natural nail.They are more expensive than acrylics and occasionally shatter, however, gel nails are more natural looking, known to hold their color longer and chip less often. To remove gel nails, it is advised to return to the salon. Although, if that is not an option, soaking the fingernails in nail polish remover works as well.
While long term acrylic and gel nails are beautiful, there is another type of artificial nail that is meant only for short-term; it is known as the fabric wrap. Fabric wraps are most commonly made from silk, linen, paper or fiberglass and are worn to strengthen weak nails or to support a cracked nail while it grows out. To apply the wrap, it should be done in a professional salon or with an at home kit. Once the nail has been buffed and filed, the material will be applied. It is during this application that the material is placed on the nail, trimmed and shaped. Lastly, glue is brushed on and left to dry. Removing the wraps will come with time due to the short effects of the adhesive. In less than two to three weeks, the glue will loosen itself and the wraps will fall off, leaving the nail stronger and repaired.
Artificial nails are growing in popularity, and with the popularity comes advancements in the product. While the choices were limited in the past, acrylic and gel nails are available in a variety of colors, textures and patterns. Whether dealing with a damaged nail, or just wanting long-term nail art, artificial nails are the way to go.