Why Do my Nails Suck?


| 6 Comments

          Over the summer I had acrylic nails (fake nails). I loved them. Although they sometimes broke and were expensive, I paid the $25 every three weeks because they made my nails look perfect. They were thick, long, and painted with minimal chips. If you're a girl, you know what I'm talking about.

As the summer came to an end, I was forced to face reality; without Mom's credit card, I knew it was going to be difficult to pay for fake nails with a student budget, so I ripped them off. It's been about six weeks since I said goodbye to my perfectly manicured nails, and now I'm forced to stare at my chipped stubs all day. I expected my nails to be in some bad condition fro about two weeks, but six is pushing it. So the questions I'm facing are as follows:

What did these acrylics do to my poor nails? Livestrong.com explained that when you remove acrylics, you also remove multiple layers of your natural nails. The results are truly devastating. Nails become weak, thin, and dry immediately after removal. They are also more likely tip and tear, which may cause some bleeding. I've actually experienced this first hand. You can trust me when I say that it's not a pleasant feeling.

Honestly, I predicted this, but I didn't know it was to such an extent. Obviously if you glue nails onto your fingernails and then rip them off, they're going to be damaged. What surprised me was that the only true recovery to such an act is the complete regrow of your nail from cuticle to free edge. Nails aren't like skin. They don't just repair the layers they lost.

So how long does it take for new nails to grow? In my head, I'm guessing a month or two. It's safe to say my estimation was a little off. Dermatology.about.com states that fingernails grow at a rate of 3mm per month. (Don't put acrylics on your toenails because toenails grow at a rate of 1mm per month). When you do the math, you'll see that I'm looking at six months for my nails to grow back to normal.

Well isn't that wonderful? For the next four and a half months my nails will look as terrible as they do now. There must be something that I can do so that my nails aren't this bad.

What can I do to make my nails look better? Nail Recovery gives their readers a 10 Step process on how to strengthen fingernails after the removal of acrylics.

"Step 1: Rub an acetone- soaked cotton ball over your nails to catch any acrylic residue left over from removal- do not pick or tear at the residue.

Step 2: Wash your hands with a moisturizing soap (not dish soap) and pat dry.

Step 3: Apply some moisturizer to your whole hand, rubbing your palms and fingers to help circulation.

Step 4: Gently trim your cuticles, or just push them back with a stick, so you have a clean- looking nail to work with.

Step 5: Cut or poke a tiny hole in a vitamin E capsule, the kind that are a translucent gold color and full of a thick oil.

Step 6: Gently squeeze the capsule to apply it to all of your cuticles, just a small dab will do.

Step 7: Gently rub the vitamin E into your cuticles and into the fingernail itself. This will help fill in the flaky ridges that remain after many acrylic fills.

Step 8: If your nails don't feel too sensitive, buff them with a fine-grit nail buffer with the oil still coating the nail. The oil serves as a protective layer and helps shine the nail.

Step 9: When the nails are buffed smooth, wash your hands again and lightly file each nail tip in one direction so you don't further weaken the nail.

Step 10: Apply a light oil to your nails daily, and DO NOT paint them with any sort of polish for at least a week."

- How to Help Your Nails Recover After Acrylics (WikiHow)

Why do I use Vitamin E? NewsMax.com says that Vitamin E oil reduces the dry and dullness of the nail surface. Vitamin E is known to help any healing processes. Whether it is used for skin, hair, or nails, the oils are absorbed and strength what remains.

With all of this in mind, I realized what I have done to my nails. Acrylics seriously damage them. Unless I'm willing to spending over $25 a month to maintain them, I'm better off saying goodbye to them forever. I'm going to try out the 10 Step process and hope that it works wonders. Wish me luck.


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6 Comments

I can definitely relate to this because I also used to have accrylic nails. Although, I stopped this months ago when I realized the effect this could have on your nails. My mother always told me that we have really strong nails and I should appreciate it and just paint my natural nails. It took MONTHS for my nails to return back to normal. This past year, I started doing OPI gel manicures, which I heard are better for your nails. It turns out they still do, in fact, weaken my nails. I need to get over this fake nails!! Here is an article if the OPI gels are even any better....http://www.theindychannel.com/lifestyle/health/are-gel-shellac-manicures-safe-for-your-nails

Though I never had artificial nails myself, I do agree with you that they look very nice. You bring up the point that it makes your nails look ugly when you eventually take the artificial nails off, but have you looked into why it makes your nails look so decayed and unhealthy? I think it is important to know the reasoning behind why this is happening to your nails. When applied, Acrylic nails give off chemicals that are immediately absorbed into your skin and nailbeds. These chemicals not only affect your nails but also enter into your bloodstream. Therefore, there are more health risks than just unappealing nails.
Check out this website for more information!
http://www.wqmagonline.com/forum/topics/what-your-nail-salon-may-not

I am so happy to have read this article, finally I have an explanation! I am a living, breathing example of this negative effect with acrylic withdrawal. I rarely even get acrylic tips considering I am far too lazy to drive myself to the salon- so instead I slather obnoxious colors onto my fingernails only to have them chip the next day. But when prom comes around, I am far too anal to rely on my own manicure so that is when I normally get the acrylic tips. The most recent time I had them was last May, which is about 5 months ago. Not only were my nails thin and flaky, but there also was an imprint of where the fake nail was once glued. This dent is STILL seen on my nails. So I can be proof that it does take at least 6 months for the new nail to fully grow in. But, you can also remove the fake nail by having them soaked off! Here's an article that elaborates more on the process that I highly recommend...

http://nails-beauty.blogspot.com/2007/06/how-to-remove-acrylic-nails.html

I completely feel your pain. I had acrylic nails for my senior prom and also had to wait months after taking them off for my nails to be even remotely close to normal. If you remove them properly your nails are in much better shape than if you rip them off yourself. Here is an article that explains how to remove acrylics at home with acetone..
http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/how-to-remove-acrylic-nails-with-acetone/

Although your nails may not be perfect after this, they won't be as thin as if you just ripped them off. Soaking them in acetone causes them to become softer, which makes it easier to remove them, causing less damage to your actual nails. In the future, maybe try this out!

I love this blog! I completely know what you're going through. I always get fake nails during the summer, I feel like acrylic goes perfectly with my summer outfits. Imagine how the polish just shines in the sun on the acrylic rather than your fake nails, it's lovely!I try to give my nail beds a break during the winter and my nails look horrible! I also hate the process of taking them off, sometimes it hurts really bad. I always heard that the best way to take off your nails was to soak them in acetone, I've personally never tried it because it takes up too much time but one day I will. Here's a pain free way to take off your nails http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhGtcsfHhfg

This is the reason why I will never do acrylics! So damaging, but I have taken biotin pills for a long time now and a benefit is that it will strengthen your nails! so I would definitely recommend it to you. Here is a link with more information http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-313-BIOTIN.aspx?activeIngredientId=313&activeIngredientName=BIOTIN

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