Acrylic nails are a new fashion in today’s world. Everyone is attracted by the colors, nail art, shapes, and durability that acrylics offer.
But you can not wear these chemically formed artificial nails on your natural nails for so long. Even your nails want fresh air; they, too want to breathe.
How often you should take a break from acrylic nails has always been debatable. For some, it can be a year (with regular gap-filling sessions).
A professional nail tech would suggest you take a break every three to six months.
Do I Really Need to Let My Acrylics Breathe?
Our nails are made up of keratin, and they are dead skin!
So long story short, our nails don’t actually breathe like we humans. They don’t inhale and exhale oxygen and carbon dioxide, respectively.
It’s just that they, too, need a break from manicures and nail polishes to heal themselves.
Acrylic nails contain many harsh chemicals that can lead to discoloration or damage to the nail beds.
Over a period of time, your nails may start turning yellow, or you may even notice a few white spots (patches) on them. These may occur due to regular manicures or nail polish without any break.
An Acrylic Break is a Time of Reflection on the Health of Your Natural Nails
Going on an acrylic nail break can allow you to observe your natural nails. You may check closely for any damage or harm to your nails.
If you generally go to a professional nail technician to get your acrylics done, then you may need not worry about any serious problems.
But if your nail tech is not much experienced, then you may need to worry a bit because even small damage or crack in your nails can lead to a serious fungal infection.
Wait… Are Acrylic Nails Bad for You?
Using a bad-quality product for manicures and over manicuring (opting for manicures more frequently) can damage not only your nails but your skin too.
If done very frequently, gel manicures cause dehydration and thinning of nails.
Similarly, a natural nail plate is filed down before applying the acrylic mixture to them, which makes them weaker and thinner.
Also, most nail techs prefer using a UV curing light instead of an LED curing light. Uv lamps cause great damage not only to your nails but to the skin as well. It is highly advised to use a LED lamp instead.
DO apply sunscreen before undergoing such a manicure that requires to be cured under any such artificial light.
Why You Should Use Only Quality Products on Your Nails?
Regular use of low-quality products, rough nail treatments (manicures), etc., can leave a long-term damaging effect on your nail plate and ultimately on the nail bed.
You may observe redness, pus, or even swelling around your fingernail.
This can cause bacterial or fungal infections that may spread to your hands.
A manicure, when done using a low-quality product, may cause discoloration and chipping and may often lead to brittle nails, white patches, or parched skin.
Why do You need to Keep Your Natural Nails Free From Acrylic and Any Other Harsh Nail Treatments for Some Time?
On the one hand, acrylic manicures done with high-quality products and by expert nail techs can be safe. Similarly, those done using a bad quality product can become a breeding place for bacteria and nail fungi.
The most effective way to reduce them is to ensure no air bubbles are left during the acrylic mixture application.
Keeping your nails free from any acrylic manicure, gel polish, etc., gives your natural nails time and space to heal and maintain nail health.
How Does the Application of Acrylics Impact the Health of Your Nail?
The acrylic application process starts by using a nail file down the nail bed to create a rough surface for the acrylic mixture to grip on and by pushing back the cuticle area.
Similarly, a nail technician who loves perfection may cut your cuticles and buff down your nails using a harsh nail buffer that will erode your topmost protective layer of the nail.
If your natural nails are not given a break from acrylic manicures, they may become thinner and brittle over time.
The Dangers of Not Giving Your Nails Enough Time to Recuperate
How often you should take a break from acrylic nails depends upon the condition and health of your nails.
Imagine having a tattoo on an untreated wound. Can you imagine how painful and harmful it can be for you and your skin?
Similarly, acrylic nails on your untreated nails can worsen the situation.
Give your damaged nails time to heal or else they can become a perfect breeding ground for a large number of bacteria and fungi.
Having an acrylic manicure on unhealthy and weak nails may worsen the situation.
Additional Issues That Can Occur From Excessive Acrylic Use
Not only the application and maintenance of acrylic nails but their rough removal process also led to a large number of nail problems.
York city-based dermatologist Ms. Dana Stern states that harsh chemicals present in 100% pure acetone make nails brittle and weak(may get more vulnerable to breakage), and also cause their discoloration.
You must reduce the use of acetone, and switch to other alternatives for acrylic nails.
What You Stand to Gain When You Pause on Acrylic Use
Apart from nail health, there are several other things that get invested while opting for acrylics.
Money: Acrylic nails drain your earnings a lot. A basic acrylic set starts from Rs. 2000. Cutting off acrylic nails saves a lot of money.
Time: Getting acrylics done costs you so much time that you may have to sit in the nail salon for about one or two hours, depending upon nail length, nail art, the material used, and the experience of your nail technician.
Healthy Nails: Your nail health is the most important thing that you may need to preserve at the peak. This would give you time to get over the nail damage caused by nail enhancements.
Boost Confidence: When you take a break from acrylics, you start embracing your true self and beauty. This reduces your dependence on artificial nails.
In Case of Damaged Nails, What Can You Do?
There are a lot of signs that indicate that your natural nail has been damaged.
These can include discoloration, white patches on nails, split nails, nail surface becoming thin, and easy breakage of nails.
List of a few things that you can do to take proper care of your nails when you notice any of these problems:
1. Buff your nails. This will improve blood circulation in them and will help in healing faster.
2. Take a good nutritious diet and drink plenty of water.
3. You may also apply a natural topical treatment to your weak and damaged nails.
4. Give your nails a break from any type of manicures. Let nails breathe.
5. Use medications and supplements. Intake biotin supplements.
6. Always visit a professional technician so that you can get proper guidance on what is to be done next.
7. You can also opt for a keratin treatment to speed up the healing process.
Can I Remove Fake Nails Myself?
While it is always advised to get your fake nails removed by a professional, you can also remove them at home.
Cut your acrylics or fake nails as short as possible.
Soak cotton balls in 100% pure acetone and put them on your nails and cover it with foil.
Let sit for 10-15 minutes. Repeat the same process if needed.
How Can I Strengthen My Nails After Acrylics or Gel?
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK FROM ACRYLICS!
The best way to strengthen your nails is to give them a break and let them rest for some time.
But there are a few external products or practices that can help you.
Keratin treatment is a great option to protect your nails. This treatment prevents and stops your nails from splitting, peeling, and breaking because this treatment works on rebuilding your nail’s structure.
During the treatment, nails are cleaned and treated with two serums. Low heat is provided to let the serum get completely absorbed in the fingernail. Then cuticle oil is applied to finish the process. This takes hardly 10 minutes to get done at any nail salon. This treatment helps repair weak, brittle, or damaged nails super quickly.
Silicium serum is another treatment that is hardening and protective and prevents nail loss and the appearance of any discolored spots on nails(black, brown, yellow, or bluish spots). It also helps in treating rigid nails.
This serum is made up of Silicone, B12, and Organic Ricin.
Silicone is one of the minerals that compose our natural nails. Hence, soft brittle nails can be treated by using this treatment.
For a hydrated person, 18% of the nail plate is made up of water. If your cuticles are dry and peeling, then this is a sign of dehydration of nails.
Dehydrated nails often lead to splitting and fragile nails.
Do not forget to keep your nails moisturized after every wash.
You may also use lotions that contain lanolin or alpha-hydroxy acids. These lotions lock in the moisture and make your hands feel hydrated.
If none of the above-mentioned methods works, do not hesitate to visit a dermatologist to seek proper treatment.
Acrylics are in great demand nowadays. But at the same time, they do damage your nail bed and plate to a large extent which is a red flag for your fingernail health.
Fingernails do require a gap of about three to four weeks after every manicure removal session.
This break prevents discoloration, fading, and thinning of your natural nails.
Other less damaging options are available, such as gel nail polish, press-on, etc.
But even though they are damaging in one sense or the other.
Your natural nail does need time to breathe and repair itself. You must take a break from acrylics.
Cuticle oil can also reduce the risk of any such damage.
Also, if applied and removed professionally, such manicures do not cause any long-term loss.