Nail technicians, how often do you get a client whose nail enhancements or nail polish just can’t last? Although customers may take some blame for things like using their nails as a tool, plucking at their nail polish, or biting their nails, sometimes we just need to address the application issues and admit what we could do better.
Here are 10 reasons why your improvement services might not last as long as they should, along with strategies to fix your application.
1. Improper nail preparation
Any oils, debris or dead skin on the nail bed can cause the product to not adhere properly. It is important to push back the cuticles or cut them off very carefully. Be careful not to cut too much as this can easily lead to bleeding and infection. Remove only the excess dead skin. Then clean the nail plate with a dehydrator or alcohol. Without these steps your product is not liable!
2. Unbalanced Enhancements
When modeling nail enhancements, it is important to construct a tip over the nail’s stress point. The location of the tip depends on the length of the nail. The product should be slightly thicker at the point where the nail is most likely to break, and the overall shape should have a natural curve. This balance makes your clients’ nails less prone to painful breakage. And make sure to fill them up regularly!
3. Forgot to apply primer before the acrylic
Acrylic does not adhere well to the natural nail, so we use primers to prepare for acrylic applications. The primer consists of monomers that bond to the nail below and the acrylic above. Just don’t apply too much! Excess primer can also reduce adhesion.
4. Apply thick gel nail polish
Applying thick coats of gel polish can cause it not to fully cure, resulting in flaking. Make sure your layers are thin and apply two coats for opacity and cure in between. The three stroke method is helpful: one stroke down the center of the nail, then two on each side.
5. No C-curve pinching
If the nail enhancement you create is too flat and doesn’t have a C curve, it may look uncomfortable. To create a nice C-shape, pinch the side walls of the nail with your fingers or special tweezers when the product is almost set. Don’t press too hard or you risk damaging the extension.
6. Incorrect acrylic ratio
A liquid acrylic bead is too wet and a powdery acrylic bead is too dry. You want a smooth, round bead that releases quickly and easily from the brush for flawless application. A good pearl is easy to shape.
7. Neglecting to replace the UV lamp bulbs
If you notice a thicker sticky layer, cloudiness, or air pockets after your gel has set, it’s probably time to replace the bulbs in your UV lamp. How often you should change your UV bulbs depends on how many gel clients you see each week. 30-40 gel customers per week? Change lightbulbs every four to six months. 20 or less? Once a year should be enough.
8. Do not cover the free edge
Gel shrinks during the curing process. If the free edge is not covered, the gel can go back over the top of the nail. Make sure to run your brush along the tip and free sides of the nail to seal it.
If you file too much, your client will leave a thin, weak nail bed that is more prone to fracture and breakage, even with improvement. Thin nails can also cause the product to seep through the nail plate, which can cause allergic reactions. Always be careful how much you file, especially when getting close to the client’s natural nail.
10. Improper Product Storage
Product that has gone bad makes for bad improvements. Store all nail products in a cool, dry place with lids tightly closed. Do not expose your gels to sunlight to prevent them from hardening. Acrylic lids should be closed particularly tightly so that no moisture from the air gets into the powder. If you find your polish has become difficult to work with, throw it away.
If you find yourself guilty of one of these mistakes, don’t beat yourself up. Whether you’re a brand new or seasoned nail technician, it’s easy to make mistakes. Try to implement the appropriate fixes and your applications will surely last longer. And your customers will definitely thank you!
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