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Client will not let anyone buff her nail ridges?

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Dealing with nail ridges

Addressing a Client’s Apprehensions about Buffing Nail Ridges

We have a difficult salon client that has ridges in her nail plates. She doesn’t allow me or any of the other nail techs to buff them because she says that the buffing will cause them to crack and bleed.  I explained to her that light buffing will not make them bleed. What is a good way to explain to her that buffing is ok?

Navigating the Misconception of ‘Ridges

I agree with your client. It is common for nail technicians to buff the nail plate smooth to remove so-called “ridges”, but surprisingly, there are no ridges on the nail plate to be removed. The nail plate can’t suddenly start growing ridges. That’s not possible due to the way the nail matrix produces nail cells. Instead, the nail plate develops shallow grooves where the ageing or damaged nail matrix isn’t working as efficiently and is now making fewer new nail cells in certain areas.

Preserving Nail Plate Thickness

It is normal to see shallow grooves on nail plates of people older than thirty and is considered a normal sign of healthy ageing. I don’t recommend filing to remove these high points. Why? That just reduces the thickness of the entire nail plate and the nail plate can be sustainably weakened. Buffing away these so-called “ridges” will just thin the nail plate down to be as thick as the bottom of the deepest groove on the plate. The file just strips away the top layer. Yikes! That’s a lot of nail plate being removed.  It is far better to keep the client’s nail plates thick! Nail coatings, including nail polish, don’t adhere well to overly thin nail plates.

Maintaining Nail Coating Adhesion

The reduction in plate thickness often leads to poor adhesion of any applied nail coating. Excessive plate thinning can also cause the nail’s surface to peel excessively and/or crack at the free edge. When the nail plate develops these grooves, rather than filing the surface smooth, it is far better to use an opaque base coat to fill and cover the grooves. This will maintain the thickness and integrity of the nail plate.

The Art of Camouflage: Strengthening and Concealing Nail Plate Grooves

Overlaying the nail plate with a thin layer of any type of artificial nail coating can also camouflage the groove and reinforce/strengthen the nail plate, while improving its appearance without over thinning. In the long run, this is a far superior method for improving the appearance of the client’s nail plates. There is no need to make the nail plate thinner, when it’s relatively easy and better to cover and hide normal grooves that run the length of the plate.

Embracing Healthier Alternatives for a Flawless Look

In conclusion, it is important to address the concerns of the salon client regarding the buffing of nail ridges. While it is a common practice to smooth the nail plate in an attempt to remove these ridges, it is crucial to understand that the ridges themselves do not exist on the nail plate. Rather, shallow grooves can develop as a result of the aging or damaged nail matrix, which affects the production of new nail cells in certain areas.

Filing or excessively buffing the nail plate to remove these grooves can lead to undesirable consequences. It not only reduces the overall thickness of the nail plate but also weakens its integrity, making it prone to cracking and peeling. Furthermore, overly thin nail plates do not provide a suitable surface for nail coatings, such as polish, to adhere to effectively.

Instead of resorting to filing, a recommended approach is to use an opaque base coat to fill and cover the grooves. This method helps maintain the thickness and strength of the nail plate while improving its appearance. Additionally, overlaying the nail plate with a thin layer of any type of artificial nail coating can camouflage the grooves and reinforce the nail plate without over-thinning it.

By understanding these alternatives, it becomes clear that there is no need to make the nail plate thinner. It is far more beneficial to employ techniques that cover and conceal the normal grooves that naturally occur along the length of the plate. Ultimately, embracing these approaches will not only enhance the appearance of the client’s nail plates but also promote their long-term health and integrity.

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