Photo Credit: Gracie J

Photo Credit: Gracie J

Now that I’ve got your attention, you can relax a bit. There are many concerns clients bring to the table when it comes to the health of their nails, and the most talked about is GELS RUINED MY NAILS! And when that topic comes up, my first reaction is to:

a. Give them the side eye, &

b. Ask, “Did you peel or pick them?”

And 9 times out of 10 the answer is. . . You guessed it, YES! And the 1 out of 10 will tell me no, but their nail beds tell me otherwise. You’re not fooling anyone!

To put your mind at ease and to help you better understand how to prevent damage from gel manicures, I’ve put together some pointers to avoid leading your TEN mini canvases astray.

  1. Don’t let your gels overstay their welcome: Gel manis are meant to last up to 2 weeks. Depending on your nails, lifestyle and maintenance, that window can be more or less than 2 weeks. Do not extend their stay! When they’re ready to come off, you have to let them go with a proper removal.

  2. DO NOT pick or peel your gels!: Clients with damaged nail beds will tell me, “My gels never last”. Well sis, when you peel your gels, you’re taking layers of your nail with it. When your nails are thinned and damaged, it makes it harder to keep and maintain a gel mani long enough to enjoy it.

  3. Your nails are jewels not tools: Using your nails like hardware from your tool kit will surely leave a chip or two, and we want nothing less than a flawless mani.

  4. Protection is key: If you live with a partner, get bae to do the heavy duty cleaning. I mean, priorities! But if that’s not the case, please wear gloves when using household products and when washing dishes etc.

  5. Be consistent: Finding a great nail tech and artist is like looking for a needle in a haystack. So when that special someone does fall ever so gently onto your lap, keep regular appointments and allow them to train your nails. Your talons will appreciate a consistent routine.

  6. Know what products are on your nails: When it comes to new clients, I always ask about the current products on their nails, and often times they won’t know what their last tech used. Your stylist should always communicate with you while educating you about the products being used. While your stylist should be well versed, if you haven’t learned anything since day 1, chances are, you’re like me with a very limited memory or they’re not keeping you knowledgeable.

  7. Get your money’s worth: Cheaper isn’t always better, sometimes you need to spend a few extra bucks for quality, meaning, quality service, quality products and quality care.

  8. Vacations and Staycations: Yes, pools, sand, rigorous activities, and more rigorous activities can take a toll on your mani. From extended moments soaking in the pool to erosion from sandy beaches, those are some things that can affect the longevity of your nails. Have a great time, but keep those expectations at the back of your mind.

  9. Put a cap on it: Are the free edges of your nails being capped? Like, that little side to side swoop motion your stylist will do with the tip of the brush. Capping your free edge helps the product to scoop a bit under the nail holding the color in place. This may also help avoid chips that come with wear and tear.

  10. Health is Wealth: Of course we can’t do the hard work without you! At home maintenance is super helpful. Regularly pushing back the cuticle after a bath or shower and routine cuticle oil application goes a long way in improving your nails.

If you find this list overwhelming, just remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your nails. But what I can guarantee is with patience and consistency you’re well on your way to hearing from anyone giving you a compliment, “OMG, are those your real nails?!”.

Have you ever picked and peeled your nails? Don’t be shy, release your shame below.