Back to Basics for Hygienic and High-Performing Nail Services

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Effective and hygienic product adhesion for nail enhancement services is one of my favorite topics because it involves managing contradictory factors. The nail plate is filled with oil and moisture, which naturally repels adhesion, but product can be applied to a dry and perfectly cleansed surface for lasting adhesion. These two opposing factors makes the process tricky, but the solution is quite simple. Let us break it down.

Factor and Balance

First, let us review some facts about the fascinating substrate called the nail plate. Most people have twenty of them, and they are all quite unique. The nail matrix, affectionately called the “mother of the nail,” incubates new nail cells, which begins the growth process of the nail plate. These new nail cells start as squishy pods that push past the proximal nail fold and then open and harden into layers that form the nail plate. The thickness of the nail matrix determines the thickness of the nail, and the shape of the matrix determines the shape of the nail. This is all passed down genetically. For example, I inherited ski-jump nails from my father’s side. My father and grandfather both had them and even our first-born niece was born with ski jump fingernails and upturned toenails. While there is no reversing it, you can change the illusion of the nail shape with the use of transformational nail-enhancement products and special sculpting techniques. I started wearing liquid and powder enhancements when I was 18 and continue to wear them to this day.

Another challenging factor is managing the oil and moisture running through the nail plate that helps lubricate the nail and surrounding skin. Oil is absorbed into the spaces and voids throughout the nail plate from the nail bed to plasticize, helping balance the oil/water ratio to prevent brittleness and breakdown. Too much water in the nail will push the layers apart, leading to peeling and breakdown.

Maintaining a correct balance requires daily replenishment of oil, which is absorbed slower than water into the nail. It is recommended that clients apply a lightweight Jojoba-based blend of naturally derived oils before bedtime. This will penetrate the nail layers, helping to push out excess water and replace the voids with conditioning oil instead. Applying oil regularly will have a cumulative effect, eventually driving deep into the nail bed.

To learn more about preparing and cleansing the nails, check out Nailpro's January/February 2022 digital magazine

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