Most of us know that one of the best ways to take beauty and wellness to the next level is by receiving a professional manicure or nail enhancements. A trip to the nail salon is always rewarding, but it can also be a substantial expense. For that reason, it is always important to make sure you are going the extra length to take care of your nails once you have had them done by a professional. Just as there are many ways to make your nails beautiful, there are also many ways to protect them in between manicures. Here are several nail-care techniques and practices that you can utilize to protect the investments you make in your nails:
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1. Use moisturization products
The first step you should be taking is the regular application of cuticle oil and hand moisturizer. The application of cuticle oil should be performed at least once, ideally twice, a day. Cuticle oil helps keep your nails clean, healthy, and sealed by preventing several issues. The skin around your nails can become negatively affected by cold, heat, salt, and other factors, ultimately causing dryness and cracking. Cuticle oil can help prevent this. A good hand moisturizer can also help keep the skin around your nails healthy and attractive. Be sure to look for products that contain Vitamin E and Jojoba Oil, as these are both known to be incredibly useful aids in skin health. Be sure to avoid products that contain lanolin or mineral oil, as these can cause some nail enhancements to lift.
2. Keep nails clean
Be sure to regularly keep your nails clean from any dirt or substance that they might come in contact with. The materials used on your nails can have different reactions with different substances, so be sure to pay attention to anything your hands come in contact with. When in doubt, wash your hands immediately after your nails come in contact with any kind of dirt or grime. Also, be sure to regularly brush underneath the free edge of your nail (the white tip of the nail that grows) to prevent debris from potentially damaging your nail, nail bed, or enhancement.
3. Protect nails from trauma
Nails are very vulnerable to brute contact. Be careful any time you are using your hands to perform tasks, such as opening car door handles, opening lids or cans, or prying something apart. Always wear gloves when you’re doing any form of physical labor or activity. Your nails basically become your new fingertips, so anticipate that they will be in contact with many things throughout the day. Nails of any length can become snagged on things like clothing and accessories, so keep them free of any jagged edges. Never use your nails as tools as there are always alternatives nearby, and you would not want to risk ruining your beauty investment. Do not pick at your nails or cuticles, as this can completely ruin them, result in bleeding, and ruin the health/appearance of your nails.
4. Protect nails from chemicals, heat, and water
Chemicals found in cleaning products and pools can have negative effects on your nails and nail enhancements. Always wear gloves when using cleaning products and avoid letting your nails soak in pools or hot water. This is due to the fact that chlorine, heat, and moisture can threaten the integrity of your nail enhancements. This can cause lifting, cracking, or fading in your nails. The few days immediately after you receive new nail enhancements will be very important, as this is when the nail enhancements fully cure and bond to the nail. Be extra attentive in the 24 to 48 hours after your nail salon visit.
5. Don’t let nails overgrow
In between regular visits to the nail salon, your nails will naturally grow and become longer. Your nail length should suit your lifestyle, which means that a big part of protecting your nail enhancements will be keeping them from growing too long. When nails become longer, they become more vulnerable to the many forces that can damage them. Make sure you are regularly using a 240-grit nail file to keep the nails at the length that is suited to you. Use only a clean, personal nail file; other peoples’ nail files can contain bacteria and fungus that could potentially infect your nails.
6. Always consult a professional
If there is any evidence of an issue with your nails or nail enhancements, do not hesitate to contact a nail salon professional. Infections of bacteria and/or fungus can occur under lifted nails, so it will be important to address any cracks, lifts, or chips as soon as possible.
Should you decide to remove a nail enhancement, it is a good idea to have it done by a professional. Abrasive removal of nail treatments can cause substantial damage to your nails, themselves, which you will certainly want to avoid. Certain nail enhancements require specific procedures in order to be properly removed, and these can vary from product to product, brand to brand. For example, the very popular nail powder from SNS Nails must be removed by careful abrasion against the Gel-Top coat followed by a 10-minute soak with acetone. To avoid issues, and the potential of damaged nails, it is recommended that these processes are performed by professionals.
Regular trips to the nail salon are one of the best ways that you can ensure the health of your nails, and the long-term beauty of your nail enhancements. These regular trips will make it easier to prevent problems, keep things groomed and maintained, and ultimately help you figure out what works best for you and your personal nail needs.
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