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Post in Nailed It
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Transitioning into natural nails

Hii everyone!

 

I really want to stop using fake nails and slowly transition into natural nails. Two years ago I started off with gel nails, but the removal process damaged them so I decided to do shellac as a quick recovery. Now Iโ€™m getting tired of the constant UV lights & want to fully stop. 

im scared if I stop fully that it will break my nails even more. Any suggestions on how to strengthen them before I take off shellac? 

has anyone heard about dip powder? Are they better than gel and shellac ?

Re: Transitioning into natural nails

Dip powder is not the healthiest option. Builder gel is much healthier ( still up lamp has to be used) but dip is worse than the lamp. Lamp is tougher on your skin then nails. Use a to of rich moisturizer after having manicure done

Re: Transitioning into natural nails

Thanks for sharing this, it is very beautiful.

Re: Transitioning into natural nails

@MsMaizel 

The prep and removal process (and the risk of damage associated with them) are exactly the same for gel, dip, and acrylic; none is inherently healthier or better for or easier on the nail. 

 

(Shellac is just another name for gel, BTW; it's the name of CND's gel polish, one of the very first gels on the market, but some folks use the term interchangeably for "gel polish". It's like calling all facial tissues "Kleenex" or all sodas "Coke" or all food storage bags "Ziploc". Based on context, I'm guessing maybe you had gel extensions before swapping to just gel polish, but "gel to shellac" isn't the change you might think it was.)

 

If you have damaged your nails with gel, it will take some time to grow out the damage (it takes 4-6 months for new growth to reach the tip), there's no way around that, and you may have to keep them short while the damage grows out. But there are some things you can do to help build healthier nails for the future ๐Ÿ˜Š

 

1. Cuticle oil is your absolute best friend. My best nails started the moment I gave up on strengtheners and started using cuticle oil daily. You can buy premade or make your own; it doesn't have to be fancy or expensive. A base of jojoba oil is best, as that mimics our own natural sebum, and is the oil most easily absorbed by the nail plate (in fact, it's possibly the only one that the nail itself can absorb). Use it as often as you can remember; I have several scattered throughout the house to help me keep it up regularly. Well hydrated nails are flexible, and that flexibility helps reduce breakage and peeling.

 

2. Avoid water whenever possible. Nails are made up of 50+ layers of keratin, and when water gets in between those layers, it pushes them apart, making your nails weaker overall, leading to peeling. I use gloves for washing dishes and other water-intensive activities. Some folks even shower with them (though I don't go quite that far). After washing your hands or otherwise getting them wet, apply oil and top with a cream/lotion/balm if at all possible.

 

3. Keep them polished at all times. The layers of base coat, color, and topcoat all help provide a bit of thickness, reinforcement, and water resistance. Nails are dead material and do not "breathe", so taking a break isn't necessary. I normally slather on some oil between color changes and let it soak for an hour, maybe longer if I have time, but other than that, I've always got polish on (even if it's just base and top coat if I'm super short on time). 

 

4. Nails are "jewels, not tools"! Be mindful of what you do with them. I use a knuckle to open the microwave or cabinets now, I pull out the box cutter instead of trying to pick the tape off a package, I use the top of my tweezers to pop a soda tab up, and so on and so forth. It takes a little vigilance at first, but becomes second nature over time.

 

5. Tying back in to number 1 above, I generally recommend to avoid strengtheners. Nails should be flexible enough to bend under stress, but many strengtheners can actually make your nails too brittle, where they snap and break instead of flexing. They can make sense for some people in some scenarios, and if your nails are super thin, you may find them helpful for a bit while they grow out, but I avoid them altogether, and my nails are so much better without them.

 

I highly recommend hopping over to YouTube and watching a video from SimplyNailogical titled "How to Grow Long Nails Fast...(Actually Helpful Information)"; it was a turning point for me in growing out my weak nails and getting them healthier and stronger than they've ever been!

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