What you need to know about acrylic nails

Your fingernails grow up to 3.5 millimetres per month. You can’t really change their growth rate, but you can cheat a bit and improve their appearance and length with artificial nails. If you love having a glamorous look, or if you’re a nail biter who just wants normal-looking hands, here is a bit of information to help you make an informed decision about acrylic nails.

Are they for me?

Applying fake nails over your own is a way to have long nails without needing to wait for yours to grow or get stronger. Each acrylic nail is moulded and glued to your natural nail with an adhesive and then finished off with liquid acrylic and acrylic powder. The end result is impeccable: the nails are long, hard and can be painted in many ways. Acrylic nails are suitable for most women. However, nail technicians can recommend other nail solutions that may better suit your work or lifestyle.

Cheaper nails for a better deal? Beware!

There’s no need to sound any alarms, but you should know that glued-on fake nails can lead to complications in some women. Sometimes the adhesives and acrylic mixtures can cause allergies and bacterial or fungal infections that could require medical treatment. Before having any kind of manicure, enquire about the nail technician’s training and certification. Ask about the hygiene measures they take to prevent fungal infections. Observe carefully to make sure the manicurist disinfects her tools after each client and washes her hands and yours with antibacterial soap. Make sure the nail salon and work table are ultra-clean.

Health Canada warns of the dangers associated with a substance called methyl methacrylate (MMA), a powerful and toxic adhesive that has been banned from cosmetic use in Canada. If a boutique is offering acrylic nails at a hard-to-believe price, make sure they’re not using imported MMA-based glue. Ask to see their product containers and refuse any product whose label isn’t legible or available in English. Do note, however, that Health Canada allows the more expensive but much safer ethyl methacrylate (DEA).

Let your nails breathe

In between having your old acrylic nails removed and new ones put on, let your natural nails breathe for a few weeks. There are two reasons for this: First, having acrylic nails put on requires filing the surface of your natural nails. This can make them weaker and more fragile. Secondly, their removal could further damage your nails, especially if it’s not done properly. In fact, why not keep those glamorous-looking acrylic nails for special occasions, when it really counts to put your best hand forward?

Healthy nails

Having acrylic nails put on is one way to have elegant hands, but there are some home remedies to help with that too. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as proteins and minerals. Moisturize your hands and nails regularly with a vitamin B5 cream, and wear protective gloves for dishwashing and housework chores.

What you need to know about acrylic nails
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