Having manicures is not only about polishing nails, its about taking care of your hands and nails. There are many myths about nails so I will try and cover a few popular ones as well. I have many tips to share so I'll do it in parts. This is part 1.
1)Never peel nail polish or gel polishes off your nails. It does severe damages on nail plates. Not only are you peeling off the product on the nails, but also top layers of the nail plate is being peeled off as well, thus making them weak and brittle. Please follow proper removal procedure to remove products from nails.
2)Prior to product removal, apply cuticle oils around skin of nails to prevent removing solvents from drying out surrounding skin. Dry skin = hang nails...hang nails are not our friends!
3)Prior to polishing nails, clean nail plate with 99% alcohol, it removes all oils/lotion residue from nails. There are many different nail cleansers sold, but they all consist of alcohol, if you can afford to purchase a nail prep, by all means do, but 99% alcohol works just as fine. A clean nail plate is responsible for a longer lasting manicure.
4)Dry nails before polish. Nails are porous, they absorb water like a sponge. When its absorbs water, it swells, not visible to the naked eyes, but it does. As it dries, it goes back to its normal size, if polish is put onto a swollen nail, it chips much faster as it reduces in size. So to prevent chipping from the start, polish dry nails. Alcohol not only cleanse the nail, but it also dehydrates the nail, so again I stress to prep nails with alcohol.
5) Humans have nails not claws, we are not animals so we should not use our nails as animals use their claws. Use finger tips to pick up stuff rather than nails. Gloves should be worn when there is excessive water exposure (due to the nail being porous as mentioned above)
6)Clean under nails. Many people neglect under their nails. They look at the well polished top and thinks its perfect. Dirt and bacteria tends to accumulate under the free edge quite quickly and usually goes unnoticed when nails are polished. Many times that dirt ends up in our mouth,due to having hands in our mouth when we eat finger foods, or bite our nails. Having bad bacteria in our stomach cause various gastro-intestinal diseases. Use a nail brush or orange wood stick and clean under nails with soap and water daily.
7) File nails correctly. Filing from side to side can weaken nails, when filing, go from corner to center, in one direction. In my opinion, a glass file is a very good tool to use since it files very smooth, unlike emery board files. It is also better to sanitize since I wash the dust off then pop it in my sanitizer. Paper files are disposable since cannot be washed or soaked in any disinfectant liquid.
8)Nails dont breathe. It is made up of keratin (like our hair) and dont require oxygen. The nail is made up of different parts, the living tissues are not visible as its under our skin and the only part we can see is our nail plate, which is dead. This is why some suffer from weaken nails, because once we remove a layer of that nail plate, it will not grow back. As the nail grows out, the new growth area will be stronger than the already weaken exposed area of the nail plate.
What about nail hardeners? I will discuss that next time.
Hope you found my tips to be helpful :)
You can see more of Tricia's work and tips on her facebook at Tricia's Nail Artistry. I am so looking forward to Part 2 in this series.