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Question: Does Shellac do damage to your nailbeds after a long period of time?

Asked by annachowcat

5 answers

I've heard that Shellac does damage to your nail beds and makes your nails brittle, is this true?

Gel Nails

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Dear Anna,
as a CND trained Shellac and Brisa Lite technician I would say that from my experience Shellac does not damage your nails. Your nails are affected by your general health, diet, genetics, and how well you look after your nails. If you go to a CND qualified technician who is trained in the correct process of Shellac application and removal, there should be no damage. If you choose a salon where they are not properly qualified, sometimes there is over filing, buffing or drilling of nails to remove gel overlays or gel polish, which may thin the nail bed. You should nourish your nails by using CND Solar oil daily - which is part of Shallac after care. You are meant to apply solar oil to your cuticles daily to provide nutrients, hydrate the nails and prevent them from becoming dry or brittle. I have had a client for almost a year whose nails were flaky, always breaking and never grew. She started coming to me for Shellac and I recommended Brisa Lite as well to strengthen her nails. She has these treaments every 3 weeks and her nails are strong and grow very well with no breakage. I myself wear Shellac all the time as a therapist, and change the colour every 2-3 weeks with no adverse reaction to my nails. With appropriate care from both the therapist and the client, you can have healthy nails. You can find a bonafide CND trained Shellac technician near you on the link below. CND only sells products and equipment to technicians who have been certified by them. A CND technician should have a genuine CND lamp and CND products for preparation and CND Shellac to ensure the service is of a professional standard. If it doesn't say CND it is not Shellac!

best wishes


Other answers (4)


At our salon we use OPI Gel from which the product outcome last longer than shellac and the clients nails are not damaged after removal.Whereas from personal experience i have used shellac many times and have seen damage to my nails after i have used it ,my nails became very dry and thin.


Dear Anna,
Damage & weak nails can be cause by various reasons ie diet, using of drill, bitten nails and much more. Shellac in particular can spoil your nail only if you are going to remove them incorrectly and wrong preparation of nail before applying it. Go to a qualified and proper technician to do you nails and also when you remove them. I have been doing Shellac polish awhile now and none of my customer has had any problem with damaged nails because of it.



Any nail coating that is removed without care can damage the nail bed however, if applied professionally, maintained well by the customer by using cuticle oil daily, the product will remain flexible and nails hydrated throughout the service. At removal point, the correct remover (the one manufactured specifically for CND shellac), should be used and the coating will desolve allowing for easy, safe removal). Any scraping of the nail bed, can cause damage to the nail bed and if your Technician is using force to remove, I would ask for the nails to be re wrapped with foil and the correct remover until the coating is falling away from the nail bed.

Sources: CND Shellac Training & Nail Harmony Gelish Gel Polish Training


Hello Anna,

No Shellac (or any other gel polish) which is applied correctly by a fully trained nail professional and maintained correctly by the client does not damage your nail beds and/or make your nails brittle.

I have found that when people have said Shellac / Gelish / gel polish etc has damaged their nails it is because they are not following the aftercare advice such as cuticle oil twice daily and more importantly getting their manicure removed by a professional. Some people tend to pick their Shellac or gel polish off themselves which of course will cause damage to the nail bed. To avoid brittle nails stick to the cuticle oil but yes brittle nails can also be caused by other factors.

IBX Repair is a good system to wear under Shellac / gel polish for those who have split, brittle or damaged nails as it helps to really repair the damage and get your nails into a good healthy state.

Hope this helps - bottom line is make sure you goto a nail professional who has trained in Shellac and knows the correct application and removal procedure and follow all aftercare advice!

Kind regards,