What Manicure is Least Damaging to Nails?
Beautiful nails are essential, yet many options available can damage natural nails over time. In this post we explore which manicures are least damaging and provide strategies for how you can protect them.
Gel polish can be particularly harmful if not removed correctly; its UV rays contain carcinogenic substances which may damage nails, cause skin cancer and even affect DNA.
1. Natural Manicure
Now more than ever, with so many choices of nail polish colors, designs, and extensions on the market available to consumers, getting a manicure may end up damaging your natural nails or even placing your health at risk. But this doesn’t have to be the case; all it takes is knowing which manicure types are safe for your nail health.
Basic manicures offer a quick and painless solution for maintaining strong nails or seeking a polish-free look at home. This approach works particularly well if your nails naturally possess great strength or you prefer easy care in maintaining an unpolished look.
A French manicure is an elegant classic style that works on virtually all nail colors–from emerald green and neon yellow neon yellow, all the way through classic red hues. Knight emphasizes how great this design looks on shorter nails as it elongates your fingertip; just make sure that prior to getting one done you buff the tops of your nails with a fine-grit file so they don’t become ridged and weak!
Dipping powder is similar to acrylics in many respects, yet with one major distinction: instead of applying liquid nail polish directly to the nails, your nails are dipped into finely milled pigmented powder that has been colored, then sealed off with top coat for durability that lasts up to three weeks.
Once your base coat has set, your nails are then dipped into jars of pigmented powder (which may also be brushed or poured on to them), until every nail has the desired hue. However, this process may be somewhat unsanitary as this powder is shared among multiple clients and could become contaminated with bacteria and germs.
Dip powder manicures should only be performed every so often to prevent your natural nails from weakening over time. If brittleness becomes an issue, consult your dermatologist for a prescription nail strengthening product to help with it. Also, applying and removing this type of manicure requires long soaks in acetone solution which can cause serious harm to natural nail health.
3. Press on Nails
Press-on nails have come a long way since their humble roots at Claire’s in middle school; now available as quality fake nails that look both professional and expensive. However, to achieve natural-looking results it is crucial that a quality set is used when applied correctly.
Frank suggests washing both hands and fingernails with soap and water before applying press-on nails, and selecting sizes that best match the actual nail beds of her clients. She advises picking out press-on nail sizes centered and not overlapping onto their sides for optimal fit.
Apply press-on nails using a pea-sized amount of nail glue on each fingernail and at an downward angle onto natural nails. She suggests holding each press-on nail for 30 seconds before lightly buffing its surface to improve adhesion and shine; typically press ons will last five to 10 days when used alone but using top coat and cuticle pushback could extend their wear up to 2.5 weeks.
4. Acrylic Nails
Acrylic nails are an instant way to make your nails appear long and thick in an instant, made out of a mixture of liquid monomer and powder polymer that can be applied directly onto natural nails and then shaped and formed as desired. Although strong and long-term durable, refills must be done every 2-3 weeks in order to keep the acrylics looking their best.
Dixon and Mazz Hanna of Nailing Hollywood agree that an acrylic manicure done by a professional should not damage natural nails. Just be sure to moisturise twice daily with an oil or cream that provides nourishment to both your cuticles and nails to maintain optimal hydration levels and health of them all!
If you are considering getting acrylics, consider opting for polygel acrylics versus traditional ones, which are less porous and easier to soak off with acetone than their counterparts. According to Ventura, it is also important to follow the same soaking process and take breaks between manicures to give your nails time to recuperate.