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Manicures and pedicures are like bananas – the only bad part is the peel. That’s where gel nails come in. This increasingly popular method is a go-to treatment for ladies who want to look "polished" long after they leave the salon.
The name’s bond. Synthetic gel bond. Sounds complicated, but this technique is more straightforward than you’d think. Nails are lightly filed and then brushed with a special gel solution made of durable ingredients that adhere easily to nails. You can choose clear gel (which doesn’t need to be painted), or opt for one of the colourful options now available at many salons. Next, your hands go under an ultraviolet lamp, which sets and hardens the gel, ensuring a long-lasting result. If necessary, after nails are dry, the technician will remove any remaining residue.
When it comes to time for removal (which should ideally be done in the salon), the technician files the gel off without damaging your natural nails underneath.
If your manicure has more bald spots than your grandpa, it might be time to give this a shot. A gel manicure is one of the longest-lasting treatments available, so unless you’re a professional rock-climber, you can expect it to last about two or three weeks.
Even fans of acrylic nails are now making the switch to gel, which has zero odor (thanks to fewer harsh chemicals) and a natural look. Gels require little maintenance, and when they’re removed, you’re left with healthy nails that have been protected from damaging elements.
In general, gel manicures or pedicures won’t do any damage or harm (unless looking great is a crime). There are, however, two issues to be aware of. The manicure can be potentially dangerous when technicians aren’t trained to do the procedure correctly, or when nail salons pass off other techniques as gel manicures.
Play it safe by keeping an eye out for the warning signs. The technician shouldn’t mix glue and powder to create the gel solution, or soak your fingers in any kind of solution. Also, make sure the products used come in marked containers and don’t have a chemical odour. If you start to feel any pain during the manicure (or if your skin has been cut or scraped), speak up.