Have you ever gone for a manicure and had a horrible burning sensation when you have your hands in the lamp? I often get comments regarding my CND LED lamp and how fancy it is, even though my clients have had many "shellac" manicures before. Do you know if your salon is using the correct lamp for the system they're using? Are they using several brands but always the same lamp? You could be having under or over cured product on your nails for weeks at a time!
Gel polish solidifies at 50-55% cured. Just because your gel polish is hard, this doesn't mean that it's cured. under cured product could lead to staining of the nail plate, discolouration, lifting, breaking and increased sensitivity to your nails. Over time you could become allergic to the product that is being applied and no longer be able to use it.
On the other end of the spectrum you can also over cure a gel polish. Over curing can cause to heat sensitivity and burning to the nail bed. Some clients feel heat spike in the nail bed when they are having their gel polish cured. This can also lead to service break down.
Many manufacturers have their own lamps that are designed to work with their branded gel polishes. They work for years in labs to ensure that their products and lamps work seamlessly together to ensure a proper and safe cure.
So next time you go to the salon, if you're having a Gel polish manicure, check the lamp before you go ahead and have the treatment. You are well within your rights to ask as many questions as you like!
If you want to read more in depth about lamps, gel polish, nail anatomy etc, have a look at Doug Schoon. He is the brains in our industry and is a fountain of knowledge!