‘There are 2 ways out of this scenario,’ explained Michelle; ‘you either remove them and ride it out – or just simply carry on having gel manicures. If you do decided to have your gels removed, be sure to use as many products to help nourish your natural nails as possible – oiling them daily is an absolute must! Your nails will probably feel weaker, but this is due to the gel offering a layer of protection to your nails.’
‘My top product recommendations post gel manicure would be CND Rescue RXX – a treatment enriched with Keratin and Jojoba Oil that helps to rescue nails – apply this at least twice a day to see results.’ Michelle explained; ‘Nails Inc Gel Rehab also claims to rehydrate your nails in 30 minutes, so this is a great product to use between gel manicures to keep your moisture topped up. Finally, I would also recommend wearing CND Vinylux polish, it's long wearing (around 7 days) very chip resistant and infused with Vitamin E, Keratin & Jojoba Oil, so it's like the perfect compromise between care and beauty.’
‘Whilst having gel manicures you can request a treatment called IBX,’ explained Michelle; ‘this is an add on treatment that you can have during the application process. It involves using an LED or UV lamp to cure the strengthener into the nail plate. Not every salon will offer this service so keep your eyes peeled for ones that do as it's a great way to ensure healthier nails during gel services. There’s also a warm oil treatment – a very old school method I learnt at beauty college which involves soaking the nails in heated almond oil. Use 2 bowls, one underneath with warm water in it, the bowl above containing the oil. The heat helps the oil to penetrate dry nails and cuticles giving you a hit of much-needed moisture.’
‘Usually white flecks indicate trauma to the nail plate – people with manual jobs who use their hands a lot tend to get more, and people that suffer with psoriasis can get excessive white specks too – this isn’t always an indication of damage from gels’ Michelle explained.
‘It depends on the severity of the damage’ Michelle explained; ‘some peeling/ridges can be gently buffed out and instantly smoothed, so booking in for a gentle manicure (sans polish) could be a good start to give you the best chance for a speedy recovery. Other issues like cracks may take a few weeks to grow out – the average nail takes between 4-6 months to grow out from the cuticle to the free edge so think of that as your timescale. Medical related nail issues may never go away, or may need treatment.’
‘Not at all!’ Michelle explained; ‘I have personally worn gel polish for years without a break without any detrimental effects to my natural nails and I have clients that have been wearing gels for years without any issues. It's a completely personal preference as to whether you would like to have gels on all the time or space them out. The most important thing is that you maintain them properly (and never ever peel them off!).'
‘A strengthening treatment like OPI Nail Envy may help. Apply 2 coats to natural nails, then apply an additional coat every other day for 7 days, this will help build up a protective barrier over the nail plate. Remove at day 7 and begin the process again. Another good hack is to invest in some L'Occitane Shea butter hand cream – slather on before bed ensuring you rub into nails.’
How to detox your nails this January
It’s January – you’re juice cleansing within an inch of your life and your 2018 skincare regime is officially in check, but have you considered how your nails might be feeling now that party season is well and truly over? We all know if left for too long without a little R&R shellac can hide a multitude of sins, so if you haven’t taken a breather for god-knows-how-long, it might be prime time to give your nails a well-deserved detox too. We sat down with manicurist to the stars Michelle Humphrey (@nailsbymh) to show us just how best to do it…
By Rebecca Hoffnung
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