Monday, February 25, 2013

Shellac...our second choice

Shellac...our second choice

In the last blog, we talked about Why Natural Nail care is better than using any artificial enhancement.  This time, I want to address our newest service offered in the salon, Shellac manicures.  Shellac is a type of long wearing gel polish.  While it is still recommended to get natural nail manicures, at Natural Nail Care Salon, we recognize there may be occasions when a longer wearing polish is needed.(weddings, vacations, etc...)  

There are many types of gel manicure products on the market.  All of these require curing (hardening) the polish under a UV lamp.  The time under the lamp varies with each brand.  Some brands require the nail to be "gently filed" to remove shine and rough up the nail plate.  Others require the use of a primer or nail dehydrator.  The filing of the nail thins the nail plate, weakening the nail.  Primers can dry out the nail making it weaker.  All gel nails have to be soaked off.  Some gel nails require filing off the top layer prior to soak off.    Others require the nail to be buffed after soak off to remove any remaining gel polish.  Soak off time for most gel nails is usually at least 10 minutes.  As stated in previous blog post, soaking off artificial enhancements can dry out the cuticle and weaken the nail plate.

Shellac is one of the least damaging of all gel nails.  Total time under the UV lamp for Shellac is 6 minutes 10 seconds while most other brands require about 8 minutes under the UV lamp.  Soak off time for Shellac is around 5-10 minutes.  Shellac does not require any pre-filing of the nail to rough up the nail bed.  Primer or dehydrator is not required prior to application.  Post removal buffing is not necessary.  Shellac is also formaldehyde free.  

All of us at Natural Nail Care Salon want to stress that we still believe natural nail care is still the best way.  After much research, we chose Shellac as our long wear gel polish because we found it to be least damaging to the natural nail. If you do get a Shellac manicure, we recommend a full natural manicure after removal of the Shellac.  Our goal has always been and will remain to help your natural nails be healthy and beautiful.  

Friday, January 11, 2013

Why Natural Nails

At Natural Nail Care Salon, we believe natural nail care is the right way.  The health of our nails, cuticles and hands can have an affect on our over all health.  Torn or ragged cuticles, damaged fingernails, and dry or chapped hands are all entrance points for bacteria or other contaminants that may negatively affect our health.   Our hands are a continuous source for the transmission of germs.  Artificial nail enhancements can compound the risk of harboring those germs and can create occupational safety issues.  We believe that  proper care of your nails, hands, and feet can play an important role in the quest for better health.  

 The average person washes their hands 6-9 times a day, more if they work in food service or in the medical field.  Washing your hands can strip them of their natural moisture causing dried out skin.  Often ,over scrubbing  while washing can further damage the skin by causing redness, irritation, blisters or peeling.  Then we add the over use of alcohol based hand sanitize-rs  and our skin becomes even more dry and irritated. When the skin becomes overly dry, it may crack or bleed.  Any of these leave our hands vulnerable to contaminants or bacteria.  Getting regular manicures  help keep the hands hydrated, allowing the skins moisture barrier to remain in tact.  Our nail technicians assist and educate to ensure our clients use the products and home practices that will keep their hands healthy.

There is a lot of differences in professional opinions about artificial nail enhancements.  Artificial nail enhancements are typically acrylic nails, gel nails and wraps.  Nails are built up either on the natural nail, by gluing on a tip or by using a form.

 Acrylic nails, whether done as an overlay or a tip is used, requires the nails be "roughed up" prior to application.  This process thins the already fragile nail bed.  The nail bed must then be dehydrated to permit proper adhesion of the acrylic nail.  Dehydrating the nail bed can leave it brittle and prone to breakage.  If a tip is used, it must be glued on then buffed to create an even surface.  This further thins the nail bed.    Gaps or air bubbles in the acrylic provide a moist, warm environment ideal for bacteria to flourish.  This is sometimes referred to as a fungus, but is usually bacteria which causes unsightly discoloration and possibly complete loss of the nail.(which may or may not grow back)  It is also possible to have an allergic reaction to the chemicals used in the acrylic nail application resulting in redness, pain, swelling or other permanent damage to the nail.  Removal of the acrylic nails involves soaking the nails in pure acetone and then filing off debris.  Acetone is a harsh solvent which is even more drying to the cuticle and the nail bed.  Inhalation of acetone can cause irritation of the throat and eyes.  

Another artificial enhancement would be Gel Nails.  Gel nails are applied as an overlay with or without a tip.  They use UV (ultraviolet) light as a catalyst to harden the nail.  While the UV exposure is minimal, it can still cause photo aging to the hands as well as have the potential for causing melanoma.   There has been some debate about the harmful effects of UV light. With the rise in the popularity of tanning beds, many argued that UVA bulbs were less harmful than UVB.  In truth, UVA, UVB, and UVC all are capable of breaking down collagen in the skin causing premature wrinkling.  UVA and UVB destroy vitamin A causing even more damage.  UVA is sneaky in that it does not cause any immediate symptoms of damage.  Its longer wave lengths penetrate deeply, yet do not cause sunburn.  UVB bulbs are shorter wavelengths, but are more intense.  This causes the skin to produce more melanin to protect itself resulting in tanned skin, freckles, and hyperpigmentation spots.  Artificial enhancements may hide possible melanoma under the nails making early detection more difficult.  Gel nails, depending on type, are either soaked off with pure acetone or filed off layer by layer.

Nail wraps are done using pieces of fiberglass or silk to fit the surface of the nail, then sealed with resin or glue.  This form of enhancement is used by Natural Nail Care Salon only as a patch on nails that are split or broken to prevent further damage to the nail and  to allow it to grow out on it's own.

At Natural Nail Care Salon, we use exclusive Mavala nail care products.  We have a variety of treatments and conditioners to help your nails become healthy and beautiful.  The majority of our products are formaldehyde, toluene, DBP and camphor free.