A common MYTH: Nail coatings are bad for the natural nail
This is NOT correct.
Nail coatings don’t harm the nail plate and any nail damage is usually a result of improper application and/or removal. If the nail plate underneath the enhancement is much thinner than the area of new nail growth, this strongly indicates excessive filing with a manual or electric file. Overly aggressive filing causes the majority of nail plate damage seen in salons. This isn’t done just in discount salons, it happens even in high-end salons and is indicative of an improperly trained nail professional.
Nail coatings increase the moisture content
If upon removal the nail plates are not any thinner but feel like they are overly flexible, this does NOT indicate the nails are “weaker”. Instead, this is a temporary effect created by an increased moisture content of the nail plate. Nail coatings increase the moisture content of the plate by 10-15% and this can last up to 12-24 hours after coating removal; after which the moisture content returns to normal, as will the nail plate’s normal level of rigidity.
Improper removal – things to look out for
When the nail surface is covered with dry-looking white patches, this is usually due to improper removal, e.g. scraping or peeling nail coatings from the nail plate. Soaking the natural nail for even a few minutes in acetone or water will temporarily soften the surface making it temporarily more susceptible to damage from wooden or metal implements that pry, push or force the remaining residual nail coatings from the nail plate. Instead, a good rule to follow is, “Use the utmost care for 60 minutes after immersing natural nails in any liquid for more than 60 seconds.”
Other damage, e.g. onycholysis, is also usually caused by improper filing or removal techniques
Infections do occur, but they are relatively uncommon and can be easily avoided by practicing proper cleaning and disinfection. The facts are, when artificial enhancements or coatings are carefully and properly applied, maintained, and removed by a trained, skilled, and knowledgeable nail professional- they will not cause nail damage! The vast majority of damaged nail plates are caused by improper use- over filing and/or scraping the nail plate to remove products or by client nail abuse, e.g. picking or prying off nail coatings.