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Misconceptions on Nail Care.

Fact & Fiction on Nail Care

In today's society with all of the information out there, where do we find the facts about nail care?  Old wives tales, medical journals, local library, internet?  We want our hair, skin, and nails to look there best and we are constantly looking for the quick fix. sorry ladies & gents there is no magic solution for growing healthy hair & nails, we need to have a balanced diet, watch the toxins that we are exposed to, protect our nails from damage by wearing gloves when doing heavy cleaning, drink plenty of water to keep our body healthy and hydrated.

Here are some common misconceptions pertaining to nail care to watch out for.

10 Nail Myths to Stop Believing

1.  Myth.  Eating Gelatin will strengthen weak nails. While it is true that nails are made of a protein called keratin and that gelatin too is a protein, there's never been any scientific proof that gelatin does anything to strengthen nails. Overall good nutrition, including a adequate protein, is the way to strong nails.

2.  Myth.  Enhancements should be soaked off every so often to "give nails a break".  As long as your nail tech is using high-quality products and correctly applying them, there's no reason to remove your enhancements.  In fact, this should be avoided, as removing artificial nails can be potentially damaging.  Ask your technician how to properly maintain your enhancements between visits, so you don't get any cracks or other signs of service breakdown.  If you do decide to remove your enhancements, try a month of regular buffing and applying cuticle oil to add moisture and seal the nail.

3.  Myth:  Avoid nail products that have chemicals in them.  This would be literally impossible to do, because virtually everything you see and touch is a chemical (even purified water).  There is no such thing as a chemical-free nail product, we need preservatives to keep products from going rancid. That being said, improperly used chemicals can cause harm, so seek to understand the ingredients in the products your tech is using, but don't avoid them altogether.

4.  Myth: Enhancements ruin natural nails.  Today's nail products are dramatically advanced and don't require your nail tech to damage your natural nails.  If you experience pain, discomfort, or thinned or damaged nails, it's most likely due to nail tech mis-step.  Look at your natural nails after your tech files them, they should NOT look noticeably thinner.  Also, don't pick, chew, bite or mistreat your enhancements, they should be used as jewels not tools.

5.  Myth.  Store nail polish in the fridge to make it last longer.  If you constantly remove the polish from the fridge, use it, and put it back, the shelf life will be the same as not refrigerated, however, if you seldom use your polish you can store it in the fridge to add to the shelf life, but please make sure you let the polish return to room temperature before you use it, or water condensation will affect its quality.  The BEST WAY TO INCREASE THE SHELF LIFE OF POLISH IS TO make sure it is resealed properly after use and to prevent the solvents from evaporating - do not add polish remover to polish it will ruin the product completely, and turn a high end polish into a useless polish.

6.  Myth. That green stuff on some people's nails is mold.  Mold is not a normal nail pathogen. It rarely appears on nails, but it will appear brown or black, not green.  The vast majority of nail infections are actually caused by bacteria, including pseudomonas, which show up as green discoloration of the nail.  It's illegal for your nail tech to make a diagnosis, he or she is not a doctor, as the nail tech should refer you to to a doctor for medical treatment.

7. Myth.  Plunging wet nails into ice water will make them dry faster.  Your nail tech does not do this in the salon, because it does not work!  To get the polish to dry requires the evaporation of solvents.  This is why the tech will put you in front of a warm fan or light.

8.  Myth. Never file back and forth on the natural nail.  Filing back and forth in its self won't harm the nail plate, however, when using too much pressure, friction and the improper file grit, anything below 180 will cause excessive damage and peeling of the nail fiber.  If nails are brittle I suggest an application of a nail oil prior to filing, this will help to lubricate the nail and help with splits and peeling.

9.  Myth.  Cutting cuticles is good for nail health.  What you're calling "cuticle" is actually the eponychium, cuticle is the dead skin that's on the nail plate, whereas the eponychium is living skin.  Cutting the eponychium isn't recommended, and is actually illegal in some states, because too often the living skin that protects the matrix is cut and infections occur.  Plus, over time cutting eponychium can lead to thickened scar-like tissue. Instead, soak your nails in a warm water solution for 10 minutes and push back with something soft like a towel, or use a liquid cuticle remover to dissolve the dead skin on top of the nail.

10.  Myth.  I should bring my own implements to a salon to keep myself from contracting an infection.  Let's face it, the environment in your purse, (where you're probably storing your nail implements) is much less sanitary than the environment of the nails salon that complies with Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology rules and regulations. Ask your nail tech or cosmetologist questions about her sanitation practices.  If you feel uncomfortable about the salon's cleanliness, then leave without getting a service.  Remember it's your health at risk.  For more information about sanitation in the salon, see our article Safety and Sanitation in the Salon.

I hope you find this information useful, and your next visit to the salon enjoyable.



Penny Miller started her cosmetology career in 1982 in Oklahoma. After a few years in the business she purchased a small barber shop in Pauls Valley known as Phase II Hair Design. With a passion for the Beauty Business, she grew her business, expanded her technical skills and her business skills and then later went back to school to learn the best methods to mentor others in the beauty field. Penny has worked and trained with several wonderful cosmetology professionals through the years, and has a true working knowledge of the Salon Business. Once she graduated with her instructors license, she tested her methods, and then opened what is now known as Penny Miller Cosmetology Academy - Phase II. She offers cosmetology training in several different courses as well as intense Salon Business Building practices. Penny still has a passion for the Beauty Business and enjoys helping others to find their path in Cosmetology. Her methods of teaching have been tried and true, as she still hold a 100% pass rate with her students at the state testing level.

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