Product lifting from nail blog post part 1

Product lifting – Part 1

Product lifting from the nail sounds simple, right? We all have some ideas for what may be causing it but, I promise you, there is so much more! Let’s take a look at some of the reasons for product lifting.

Cuticle on the nail plate 

Cuticle on nail plate
Cuticle on nail plate

The cuticle is made of non-living elastic tissue & gets stuck onto the nail plate cells as they come through the eponychium. It is one of the 4 guardian seals. It protects the nail matrix from pathogens that we come across in our daily lives, and that’s a good thing. However, when it comes to our artificial nail products, it can cause real problems. We need to remove it with care! It doesn’t need aggressive removal with a drill bit rotating at 20.000 RPM. If you think that’s ok, try it on the bonnet of your neighbor’s (new) car, and see what happens! Use your favorite good-quality nail oil & a curette, and you’re done in a couple of minutes. 

Figure 2a shows a nail plate with cuticle on. There is no light reflection in the cuticle. We all work with lights so seeing it should be no problem. If you can’t see it, buy a loupe or some glasses 😊

Figure 2b shows a nail plate without cuticle – the light reflects through the whole length of the nail.

Light reflecting on nail comparison - with and without cuticle
Light reflecting on nail comparison – with and without cuticle

Oil, minerals, or dirt (still) on the nail plate

During the Covid-19 lockdowns, we were all thrilled that we could go back to work. In many countries, groups of nail experts gave up their time for free to help salons to find ways to work following safe practices. Hygiene practice was high.

Washing hands with soap & water is one of the most effective ways to remove oil, minerals, and dirt from hands (feet) and nails. It takes almost no time at all – we should always do it, especially at the start of our service.

When you have finished removing the cuticle, and shaped the free edge with your file, let your client wash their hands again with soap, water, and a soft nail brush, dry them well, and continue with your favorite nail plate cleanser. 2 minutes now save 30 minutes of problem-solving in about a week’s time! Allow yourself those couple of minutes. I promise that you will be rewarded with much less product lifting – good for you, good for your client.

Dirty nails can cause product lifting
Dirty nails

*Don’t forget, nail dust or dust from filing off artificial nail products can cause lifting problems at the free edge too! All the more reason for a quick wash after filing.

Nail file dust under free edge
Nail file dust under free edge

Recontamination of nail plate after cleansing

This is an interesting one that we don’t always realize is happening. 

Sometimes working with artificial nail products takes time. Maybe you need to place forms and you’re not fast at that yet. Or the form got stuck on the nail plate. Maybe you are taking your time creating the right structure with a builder base coat. Whatever it may be, it does not matter. We don’t all work at the speed of light, and all of us work hard to improve our speed. Maybe our client is having an emotional day, maybe they rubbed their face after all your prep work. All these things can re-contaminate a nail plate after you have prepped it. If things take you a little longer, do one hand first. When it is complete, start the second hand. That way you greatly reduce the chances of it happening.

*There could be another reason, hyperhidrosis, we will cover that later at #15.

Excessive use of primer

Primers have a function in the nail world, they help to adhere products to problem nail plates. Some artificial nail products need them to adhere properly, as a matter of fact. It all starts with the condition of the natural nail

  1. Removing the upper layer of the nail plate before primer application will make the nail plate unstable & contribute to possible allergies.
  2. ALL primers contain acrylates or cyano-acrylates of some kind.

The problems get worse if we cure primers incorrectly or if we overuse them.

Some primers air dry and some primers are cured in a UV/LED lamp. Be sure to always read the instructions from the manufacturer before using them.

Using too much primer or more than recommended, doesn’t improve adhesion:

  1. Floods the nail plate which then becomes too wet for proper adhesion.
  2. Can cause burning.
  3. Contributes to allergies.

Important: If we remove the upper layers of the nail plate all of the time instead of just removing the shine, we start to place our product on the ‘unstable’ nail plate cells that are the middle layers of the nail plate. This will always result in product lifting.

Part 2 is coming soon!

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