Gel nails are the modern woman’s manicure, the only solution for working women like ourselves to keep a flawless manicure. However, if you think there is not a price to pay for this time saving miracle, think again and allow me to share with you the gel nail problems you might encounter and how to fix them.
Sure, applying gel nails is an easy fix that we all turn to in need, however lots of different studies warn against them and associate gel and acrylic nails with the risk of melanoma and cataracts. And if that doesn’t freak you out, then consider the health of your nail beds after being blocked for two weeks under a hard shell.
If you think about it, the only way that super durable polish comes off is when you soak your finger nails in nail polish remover or acetone for 15 minutes. The polish blocks oxygen transfer through the nail, and nails can emerge discolored and thin, thus forcing you to do another gel manicure in order to prevent your nails from breaking or chipping.
There are even cases where a person’s nail has separated from the nail bed, eroded or got infected under the shinny, pretty covers of the nail gel or acrylic.
I’m not trying to scare you into not doing a gel manicure ever again, because I know that those babies look so good you won’t be able to resist. However, I do think it might be a good idea to allow the nail bed to restore itself when your nails are brittle, fragile and prone to breaking.
If you want to avoid gel nail problems, you should never wear them for more than three months consecutively. After that period of time, the best course of action is to allow oxygen transfer to be re-established for the nail bed to strengthen.
Once the polish comes off, the doctors recommend using protective ointments and nail treatments to help them recover.
Gel Nail Problems most frequently encountered
The nail consists of three layers of protein molecules separated by layers of natural moisturizers. The perfect balance is 82% protein molecules and 18% natural nail fluid. This fluid acts as glue for the protein, and as a moisturizer, to keep the nail supple. When the moisture dips below the 18% level, nails often split, peel and crack. This is usually the typical scenario when you use gel nails for a longer period of time, right?
Well, in order to fix these issues, most people turn to traditional nail hardeners, that bond the protein together, leaving no space for the nail’s natural fluid. They harden the nail, but they also make it brittle. They can be damaging when used on dehydrated nails, because they simply dry the nail further.
This explains why some products work well for a while and then suddenly seem to lose their effectiveness. The problem is that by the time you realize this, you’d already be thinking that your nails are all better and you turn to gel nails again. After two weeks, when you remove them, you’ll discover that your nails are in worse shape than before and you start to panic.
What the best possible outcome, since by this time, you’ll already start to grasp the gravity of the matter and search online the gel nail problems you can encounter and how you can fix the issues associated with them. You’ll find this post and all the remedies I use when facing these concerns.
Nail Problems & Remedies: how to fix gel nail problems
Nail problems are a common issue because our nails have a lot to endure every day. Internal and external circumstances influence the condition of the nails and can cause them to lose their elasticity and firmness. Age also plays a role, since after 40, the growth rate of the nails declines and the structure of the nails change, making them drier.
In order to fix the nail problems caused by gel manicures, you should use products that are made from high quality ingredients that provide a visibly better condition of nails, cuticles, hands and feet, without disturbing the natural structure of the nails.
Because an intense recovery treatment is needed to revive your nails, you should find the best products on the market and avoid:
- Protein-based hardeners that add limited durability to the nail;
- Strengtheners with silk, diamonds or fiberglass fibers add strength by forming a protective coating, however it’s just temporary, since the molecules of these added materials are too large to penetrate the nail;
- Infused strengtheners, marketed for their botanical or vitamin properties, increase the durability of the nail short term, but don’t do anything to fortify or strengthen the nail long term.
What you should be looking for is a nail treatment that strengthens the connection between the protein molecules, without altering the balance of the essential moisturizers. This way, the nail becomes strong, flexible and supple because you have that perfect balance between strength and moisture.
Here are the typical gel nail problems your finger nails may suffer from and what I use to fix them:
Slow growing nails
A nail grows from the nail matrix, which is below the “half moon” (at the bottom of the nail). On average fingernails grow 0.10-0.15 millimeters per day, toenails grow less quickly. If your nails grow slowly, it is usually because you suffer overgrown cuticles.
Therefore it is wise to remove overgrown cuticles once a month. Never cut them. This can be painful and cause infection. Instead, use a mild solution which smooths them out.
Our hands come into daily contact with water, cleaning products and all kinds of other outside influences. As a result, the cuticles can become dry and tear, causing dirt and bacteria to penetrate the body, where they may cause infections.
A product that moisturizes cuticles and keeps them supple, prevents dehydration. I use Trind Soft Cuticle Pen, which contains vegetable oils – like jojoba oil, avocado oil and almond oil – and is enriched with vitamins A, C and E to support the moisture balance of the cuticle.
Lack of moisture can cause dry nails, often indicated by a yellow color. Dry nails become brittle and fragile so they break more easily. To prevent that, I use Trind Nail Balsam, a unique water based nail balm that restores the natural moisture balance of the nails, caused by a shortage of nail moisture.
The main ingredients in the formula are Biotin, Panthenol and Phytantriol, which bring moisture to the nails and keep them hydrated for a longer period of time. It instantly makes finger nails feel stronger and has long term positive effects like nail growth.
The brand also carries a keratin treatment nail restorer, that I haven’t tried yet.
Sensitive & Damaged Nails
The use and removal of artificial nails can damage the natural nail. A regular nail strengthener may feel painful on damaged or sensitive nails so I recommend a mild nail strengthener like Trind Keratin Nail Restorer, which also restores the moisture balance, provides the perfect solution for sensitive and damaged nails.
Keratin restores and strengthens the structure of the nail. The moisturizing properties of the nail balsam moisturize and restore the moisture balance in the nail.
It is often difficult to differentiate between dry or weak nails. A dry nail is hard and brittle, with small pieces breaking off the nail. A weak nail tears or splits easily. A nail strengthener like Trind Nail Repair or Trind Keratin Nail Protector makes nails stronger in just two weeks.
Compared to most nail hardeners that are available, Nail Repair creates a perfect balance between the percentages of keratin and moisture in the nail, making the nail both strong and flexible.
The unique formula brings the protein molecules in the nail firmly together, which creates a very strong structure. The natural nail moisture will not be lost, keeping the nail supple and beautiful, until you next manicure. Nail Repair is available in pink, lilac and beige, natural or matte, as well as an anti-nail biting version.
Hope this helped you better understand the risks of using gel nails for more than three months consecutively. The finger nail problems that you may face outweigh the benefits of having a perfect manicure at all times so if you are going to go down this path, please take my advice into consideration and follow these remedies to strengthen your nails. Trust me, gel nail problems are the worst if you don’t fix them right away.