Maintenance Tips

While nail extensions can look very natural, anyone considering nail extensions should keep in mind that they do require regular maintenance—every two to three weeks—at the salon. In addition, certain precautions need to be taken at home to ensure their maximum life span.

AVOID products that contain lanolin or mineral oils, including hand creams, body lotions, baby oils and shampoos.

WEAR protective gloves when washing dishes, using bleach or harsh cleaning chemicals and cooking over high heat. But don't keep gloves on too long; moisture in the gloves can negatively effect nail enhancements.

USE non-acetone nail polish remover.

APPLY cuticle oil and massage your cuticles regularly to stimulate blood circulation and keep cuticles soft.

DON'T use your nail enhancements as a screwdriver or to pry open soda cans. While they're fairly strong, they won't take abuse.

VISIT your nail tech for routine maintenance every 2-3 weeks (depending upon the type of artificial nails applied) or as soon as a problem occurs to prevent further damage from occurring.

NEVER try to remove nail extensions yourself. You run the risk of damaging the nail plate. Have a reputable salon do it and finish with a restorative manicure.

Nail Enhancement Know-How
For beautiful nails, acrylic or gel extensions may be right for you!

Knowing that your nails look well groomed and polished boosts self-confidence and can make you feel more professional, prettier, even sexier! While most of us can easily beautify our natural nails—at the salon or at home—many women who wish for beautiful nails have trouble growing their nails, or have weak or brittle nails. For them—and for anyone who wishes to have a chip-proof manicure—nail extensions can be a great solution.

Acrylics vs. Gels
Most women who opt for nail extensions desire a natural look. Amongst all the materials used for artificial nail enhancements, acrylics and gels provide the most natural finish. Even better, they can be filled in as the natural nail grows without looking artificial. There are both similarities and differences between acrylic and gel nail enhancements:

Both are quite natural looking, but acrylic nails are a bit thicker and more durable, while gel nails are slightly thinner, lighter and, therefore, a little more natural looking.

Both acrylic and gels have an acrylic base and are applied in a paste-like form. However, acrylic nails consist of a powder and a liquid that start drying as soon as they are combined, while gel nails can be worked on until they are placed under a special UV light.

Gel nails are clear and will not yellow like acrylics. However, today many of the acrylic liquids contain a UV inhibitor.

Gel nails are flexible and resist lifting.

Both acrylics and gels can have color mixed in, which means no waiting for polish to dry or having it smudge, chip or wear off the tips of the nail enhancement. French manicure looks are very popular, but there are endless possibilities.

Acrylic nails tend to be slightly less expensive than gel nail enhancements.

For ten fingers, the industry average is about an hour and a half for either procedure.

Both acrylics and gels require regular salon maintenance every two to three weeks. It is important to have regular fills because if the enhancement lifts away from the natural nail, moisture and bacteria can accumulate between them, leaving nails vulnerable to fungus and infection.

Finding a Salon
Because proper hygiene is key to healthy nails with nail extensions, it's advisable to choose a salon with care. The best bet is to try a salon recommended by someone you trust who has nail extensions. If that's not possible, prior to undergoing extensions, visit the salon and talk to a nail tech about the salon's hygiene standards, and spend a few minutes watching extensions being applied. Ultimately, the skill of the nail tech, as well as proper hygiene and maintenance, will determine the outcome.

Note: Although nail enhancements are an aesthetic fix for weak or unattractive nails, if achieving strong natural nails is your goal, nail extensions may not be right for you. Try a nail strengthener, such as Nail Life Nail Revitalizer Treatment.