Anyone who knows me, knows how into my education I am as a nail technician. I regularly make instagram posts, ramble on stories and chew my clients ears off. I'm often asked questions due to misconceptions being published else where. This got me thinking, there's a lot of blog posts already available on this subject, HOWEVER many are incorrect. So here I am, writing this to help you understand our industry a little bit better and bust the myths surrounding it!
Gel and Acrylic ruins your nails
WRONG. Gel polish, hard gel and even acrylic does not ruin your nails. What ruins your nails is usually improper application or removal of the products. Many brands and systems require little to no buffing before hand and will soak off. If you are using a file off system, your tech should be competently trained in doing so. To ensure you keep your nails looking fabulous under as well as on top of the nail coating, ask your technician what aftercare you should be doing. Using a good cuticle oil as well as regularly reapplying/rebalancing your nails will keep them looking fabulous.
White spots indicate a calcium deficiency.
This has been on the grape vine ever since I can remember. White spots can be one of three things. The deep embedded white spots usually indicate trauma that has happened to the matrix and will grow out just like a bruise. It can also be a sign of dehydration to the nail plate. This is usually if you have kept your nail coating on for too long without proper aftercare, this is commonly seen on the big toe nails. Lastly, if they are rough to touch and a little gritty, then perhaps your Gel polish/enhancement has been incorrectly removed, this is usually down to picking/catching the coating.
Nails need to breath
Nail plates are made up of Keratin, this is the same as our hair. It is dead cells. If it was living and needed to breath, it would hurt to have them cut. to keep them in tip top condition follow your aftercare. You wouldn't wash your hair without conditioning it, so the same should go for your nails. In doing so, you shouldn't need to take a break or "let your nails breath", you'll be able to consistently wear your favourite nail products without damaging the nail plate.
File your nails in one direction
This is another one that has been about for years, It isn't true however you do need to take some care when filing your nails. As long as you use the correct file you are able to go both ways continuously. For a natural nail, you should use a 240 grit nail file or above. a 240 is great for shaping, use clippers to take length down. To finish with a smooth surface, be sure to use the file from side to middle, then smooth it out using a bevelling technique and lastly gently file under the edge to remove any nail that has gotten trapped underneath.
Wet manicures are better
As a general rule, I only offer a dry manicure unless its a spa treatment. Nails shouldn't be soaked in water for too long. Think of them as tiny little sponges, if you immerse them in water, they will expand, this will weaken them for filing and if you're applying a gel coating, the nails will be larger than usual, over time they'll dry out and the coating will lift as the polish won't fit!
UV lamps cause cancer, LED are better for you.
This has been proven several times there is no link to gel manicures and skin cancer. The exposure you get from having a gel manicure is about the same as walking from your door to your car. The standard lamp produces less then 1/30th of UV needed to redden hands and the most harmful UVA Wavelengths are filtered out. I have seen a few blogs like this mention that to reduce the risk you should use LED. LED is a form of UV just a different type of bulb that is usually more spotlighted to give a faster proper cure. Doug Schoon has written about this many times and has lots of useful information here.
So the next time you hear anything scary about our industry, ask your favourite nail tech or seek out proper information from one of the leading educators. Awareness and education is a game changer to anybody no matter the industry. It puts you on top of your game and installs faith in you, your knowledge and your capability.