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Rings of fire on nail plates

How to Prevent Rings of Fire on the Nail Plate


Rings of fire, those red semi circles or grooves that appear on the nail plate, are a nightmare for both nail technicians and clients alike. Not only are they unsightly, but they can also be painful reminders of over-filing. But fear not, for with the right techniques and tools, these fiery rings can be prevented. Let’s dive into some common mistakes and expert tips to keep those nails healthy and beautiful.

Understanding the Cause of Rings of Fire: Over Filing

The culprit behind rings of fire is often over-filing. When technicians apply too much pressure or file too aggressively, they thin down the nail plate near the nail bed, creating sensitive spots that resemble fiery rings. It’s crucial to recognise the common mistakes that lead to over-filing in order to prevent this issue.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

1. Filing Technique: Running your bit at the correct angle is essential. Depending on the shape of the nail bit, you’ll need to adjust your technique accordingly. For cylindrical bits, use parallel to the nail plate with light pressure. For flame or football-shaped bits, work at roughly a 45 degree angle to the nail plate, using the bit tip’s ‘cheek’. And for ball bits, avoid the nail plate altogether, focusing instead on the skin and proximal nail fold.

2. Quality of Nail Bits: Using high-quality nail bits is paramount. Low-quality bits often require more force to achieve desired results, leading to over filing. Opt for bits made with real diamond particles for efficient and gentle exfoliation without damaging the nails.

3. Speed Control: The speed of your electric nail file is crucial. Running too slow can result in dragging and increased pressure on the nail plate, while running too fast risks loss of control and over filing. Find the right balance by adjusting the RPM to allow gentle exfoliation without excessive pressure.

4. Passes: Less is more when it comes to filing. Doing too many passes can thin down the nail plate excessively, increasing the risk of rings of fire. Be mindful of the number of passes and aim for efficient filing without overdoing it.

Preventing Rings of Fire: Techniques for Healthy Nails

Preventing rings of fire is all about proper technique and attention to detail. By following these tips, you can maintain healthy nails and avoid the fiery ordeal altogether:

  • Run your bit at the correct angle
  • Use high-quality nail bits
  • Control the speed of your electric nail file
  • Avoid excessive filing passes

Dealing with Existing Rings of Fire

If you encounter rings of fire during a service, don’t panic. There are ways to address the issue without causing further discomfort:

  • Apply product if the ring of fire is not deep: When curing, position the nails slightly outside of the lamp to prevent heat spikes. Gradually move the hand closer to the lamp for a full cure.
  • If the ring of fire is deep, refrain from applying any product: Allow the nail to naturally grow out, avoiding further damage.

Embrace Learning and Improvement

Rings of fire may be common mistakes in nail care, but they don’t have to be permanent fixtures. By following proper techniques and using quality tools, you can prevent them from occurring and maintain healthy, beautiful nails for your clients. Remember, mistakes happen, but it’s how we learn from them and strive for improvement that truly matters. So, don’t let rings of fire deter you from using an electric nail file – you’ve got this!

Rings of fire on the nail plate
Rings of Fire on the Nail Plate
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