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What’s the harm with a water soak?

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Question: What's the harm with a water soak before a nail service?

It used be part of every nail service, soaking the nail to soften the cuticle, but we now know more about the nail plate and water absorption and it is safer to use a cuticle remover. When nails are soaked in water, they absorb it and swell. With thick nail plates, for example on healthy nails or the toes, this swelling won’t make much difference to the shape and size but it can have a greater, and more adverse, effect on clients with thin, weak or highly flexible nail plates, who’s nails may swell and change shape. When a nail covering is applied to a swollen nail plate, it won’t adhere well to the surface, and as the plate dries and the water content level returns to normal, the nail coating will be stretched as the nail plate changes, causing it to lose more adhesion to the natural nail plate. The result can be a service breakdown, with the nail coating chipping, peeling or cracking – safer especially for those clients with thin nails to use a cuticle remover and leave water soaks for pedicures.  

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