Treat your nails like jewels, not tools!
Wearing nail enhancements involves a trade off: In exchange for having consistently beautiful nails, you must visit your nail technician regularly and you must use greater care to protect your nails than before you had them applied. Here are a few pointers to help you care for your nails at home.


Nail enhancements are strong but they are susceptible to damage if they are misused and abused. Protect your investment by wearing gloves when gardening or exposing hands for a long period of time. Do not put upward pressure on your nail tips, use a soda can opener to pop tops, and dial the phone with the end of a pencil or pen. If you are hard on your hands, longer nail enhancements may not work for you. Decide with your nail technician what length will work for you.


Your new nail enhancements need regular maintenance to keep them looking good and performing well. Plan to see your nail technician every two weeks, but your nail technician will determine a schedule appropriate for you. Going too long between appointments will increase the likelihood for breakage or lifting and create more work for your nail technician when you come in.


Your nail technician may recommend that you apply topcoat every other day (or daily, depending on your exposure to the sun) to prevent chipping or yellowing. Cuticle oil is a daily necessity for clients with acrylic enhancements as it keeps cuticles supple and the acrylic product moisturized and flexible. Apply cuticle oil once or twice a day.


If you crack or damage a nail, schedule an appointment with your nail technician. Improper gluing down of a loose nail can cause moisture to become trapped between the nail and the enhancement and possibly cause an infection. Do not bandage a broken nail. Bandages may also trap moisture. Do not over file your nails as this will break a seal and may cause lifting.


Very few clients will develop allergic reactions to an ingredient in some nail products. Redness, itching, and swelling, or irritation around the eyes and mouth characterizes allergic reactions. If you develop any of these symptoms, call your nail technician. She will try to determine which ingredient you are having a reaction to and will take steps to avoid them. If necessary, consult your dermatologist. Do not ignore a condition that develops around the nail.


If you decide that you no longer want to wear nail enhancements, do not take them off yourself! Picking and pulling the nails will damage your natural nail, rip layers from your nailbed, and make re-growth a long and painful process. Enhancements can be safely removed without further damage to the nailbed by your nail technician.