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Winter Temperatures on UV Gel Nails

The Impact of Winter Temperatures on UV Gel Nails


Have you ever wondered whether the winter cold could be causing your UV gel nails to lift, particularly if your natural nails are brittle and weak? We’ve had reported that some salon customers are experiencing this issue, despite not having problems when using a flexible builder gel.

Understanding the Impact of Cold Temperatures on UV Gel Nail Coatings

Nail professionals have long known that cold temperatures can have a detrimental impact on nail coatings, causing them to lose flexibility, become rigid, and prone to cracking or breaking.

The colder the temperatures, the greater the negative effects. In part, this occurs because toughness and durability are significantly lower as temperatures drop. The nail coating could eventually lose its flexibility and become rigid, even brittle. UV builder gels with higher flexibility also lose some flexibility, but being already highly flexible, these can retain some flexibility even in the coldest temperature. The result is- more flexible nails will remain tougher and more durable at lower temperatures.

Understanding the Impact of Temperature on Nail Adhesion

Adhesion can also be affected by temperature. Here is how that works.

Everything expands or shrinks when heated or cooled and the greater the change in temperature- the greater the shrinkage or expansion will be.  Interestingly, different materials will expand or shrink to different degrees and at different rates.  These variations depend on the chemical composition and molecular structure of the substance.  As a result, the nail plate does NOT shrink at the same rate or to the same degree as the nail coatings.  Because they shrink at different rates, this creates a mismatch that builds stress at the interface between the nail plate and the nail coating.

This stress can pull them apart and will negatively affect adhesion. The reverse is true when these warm up again; one will expand faster than the other and this also causes stress to build up. As the nail plate and nail coating expand at different rates, stress at the junction where they meet will increase. Each time this occurs, there is a weakening of the bond between the nail plate and nail coating. This is true for all nail coatings. When flexibility is lost at the same time the nail coating is shrinking, the forces generated may seem tiny, yet they’re enough to cause lifting.  Tell your clients to protect their nails, always put on warm gloves before going outside and don’t freeze their nails.

Be especially careful to avoid rapid changes in temperature, since this can cause even greater problems that will cause slower, more gradual changes.

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