Gel manicures and shellac revolutionized the beauty industry when they first hit the market. These semi-permanent gels and acrylic paints give a polished look to your nails, and you don't have to worry about you nail paint getting chipped. These gels, lacquers, and acrylic paint protect your fragile nails and prevent them from breaking. Though gel manicures make your nails look attractive, there is a negative side to it as well.
If done incorrectly, the peeling of a gel manicure can result in cracked and brittle nails. In this blog, we will discuss some of the common problems with gel manicures and how can we fix them.
Common Nail Problems With Gel Manicure
Just like a bad hair colouring job can damage your hair, frequent gel manicures can lead to damaged nails. Keratinocytes are the cells that form the outermost layer of your nails. When you peel off a gel manicure, you damage the outer layer of your nails, resulting in uneven surfaces and white patches on the surface. Let's have a look at some common brittle nail causes.
1. Uneven Nail Plate
The removal process usually causes post-gel damage to the nails. The wrong tools can cause damage to the tip and the topmost layer of your nail. The gel removal process should be carried out by experts, or else you will end up damaging your nails.
Pro-tip to do it in the right way: You should first break the gel layer with a nail file. Next, apply pure acetone to your nails using a cotton ball and secure the cotton with foil bandage. The gel will start to fall off after about 10 minutes with the help of a nail file. Do not use a metal cuticle pusher during this step as the acetone soak softens the nails plates, and even gentle scraping can damage the outer layer of the nail plate, creating white spots and uneven nail surface.
2. Nails Are Prone To Breakage
Gel manicures can make your nails fragile and more prone to breakage. Your daily activities can cause breakage, snipping at the tip and corners of the nail.
3. Nail Peeling
Nails are made up of dead cells and improper removal of the gel polish can cause damage to the topmost layer of your nails, resulting in peeling and flaking. As per a renowned manicurist, the nails are susceptible to extreme dryness because they lose moisture very quickly. Every time you peel off the gel, you scrap off one or more layers of your nail plate.
How To Repair Nails After A Gel Manicure
Gel polish weakens the nail plate, which is a major cause for brittle nails. Your nails can regenerate and grow back in approximately three to four months. This is the time when your damaged nails need a bit of TLC. Here are some expert-recommended tips on how to repair damaged nails and help them grow faster and stronger.
1. Apply Cuticle Oil Or Cream
One of the easiest and most effective ways to repair damaged nails is to apply cuticle oil followed by a hand cream. Cuticle oil gets absorbed easily and provides essential nutrients and vitamins to the nails as well as the underlying tissues, healing the damaged skin cells. The application of hand cream ensures that the moisture is locked inside. Cuticle acts as a barrier, protecting your skin from infection. A healthy cuticle ensures the growth of strong and healthy nails.
2. Almond Oil Nail Soak
This is the best nail treatment for damaged nails that can be done at home. This pocket-friendly DIY treatment is very effective in repairing your damaged nails. Simply soak your nails in almond oil for 10-15 minutes. Do this daily, and you will notice a difference in the texture of your nails. Your hands and feet will become softer and smoother over time with continued use of almond oil.
3. Increase The Hydration Level
Focusing on improving your body's hydration level is beneficial for your skin, hair, and nails. Lack of hydration can give rise to various nail problems such as peeling, cracking, breaking which are brittle nail causes. Apart from taking a balanced diet, make sure that you are consuming a minimum of 8-10 glasses of water to maintain your body's hydration level. This will keep your nails strong and healthy.
4. Massage Your Fingers
Who doesn't love to be pampered with a luxurious massage? Massage helps to improve blood circulation and ensures the uninterrupted supply of essential nutrients to all the cells, thus maintaining healthy skin cells. Massaging your fingers with cuticle oil such as jojoba oil, almond, or coconut oil helps keep your nails and cuticles in good shape.
5. Give Your Nails A Break
It is always good to give your nails a much-needed break by keeping them free from heavy polishes and gels. Harsh chemicals in nails polishes, lacquers, gels, and acrylics can damage your nails, making them look weak and pale. Experts recommend going au naturel.
6. Cut Your Nails Short
As pretty as they look, long nails can be a major nuisance when it comes to performing daily chores. From washing dishes to typing, they come in the way of everything. Therefore, it is advisable to keep your nails short. This allows them to grow out in shape and remain healthy. It is beneficial to file your nails two-three times a week to promote nail growth.
7. Apply A Nail Strengthener
A protein-based nail strengthener can help with brittle nails. Like the hair and skin, nails are also made up of keratin. The top coat of a nail strengthener encourages the growth of healthy nails, especially when your nails become weak due to post gel removal damage.
8. Strengthen With Collagen
Experts recommend adding supplements such as collagen and biotin that strengthen your nails. Collagen is an essential protein that helps to improve the texture and appearance of your skin, hair, and nails. It strengthens your nails, making them more resilient. Biotin or Vitamin B is also known for nail strengthening. You can take collagen and biotin supplements while adding biotin-rich and collagen synthesizing food to your diet. Food such as avocados, salmon, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds are known to improve your nail health.
Gel manicures and shellac certainly add to the beauty of your nails, but don't forget the downside as well. Use proper tools and techniques for gel removal. You can always seek help from a pro to get the best result.
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