October 04, 2013

Artificial Nails: Damage Caused by Nail Enhancements

Are artificial nails harmful?

This is a topic surrounded by plenty of debate. Many nail technicians and fans of wearing nail extensions would like to convince you there is no harm in having fake nails and some will go as far as to claim that artificial nails are are beneficial, for reasons such as protecting the natural nails, curing nail-biting or improving self-confidence.

As a top professional nail technician I have seen, first-hand, the extent of damage that can be caused by wearing artificial nails- both gel and acrylic types alike. For many years I've helped countless clients and customers who were desperate to relieve and repair the damage caused from these "harmless" treatments.

Why should artificial nails be avoided?

  • Incorrect techniques are the leading cause of damage caused by artificial nails. Improper nail preparation, excessive filing and "roughing" leads to increased sensitivity and can lead to inflammation. Incorrect nail adhesion can lead to serious nail breaks, resulting in the painful loss of a fingernail.
  • Risk of fungal infection in the space between the artificial and the natural nail. Moist and deprived of oxygen, this is an exceptional environment for fungus to thrive. Fungal infections due to artificial nails may be difficult to treat and have a tendency to reoccur.
  • Splitting of natural nails occurs when the natural oils of the fingernail is removed or prevented. Artificial nails will simply not adhere to a slightly oily surface (I'll bet you didn't think of your fingernails as an oily surface, did you?) Before applying artificial nails all natural oils must be removed and the nails are sealed to prevent the artificial nail lifting due to the presence of oils. Your own nails, underneath, become extremely dry and brittle, as they lack the critical nourishment and conditioning the natural oils provide.

Do the chemicals in artificial nails have negative effects on my body?

FACT: Fingernails are even more permeable than the skin.
Although our nails are often thought of as a strong barrier, fingernails- a layer of keratin protein- are less of a barrier than our skin. They permit applied cosmetics, chemicals- even water - to penetrate and enter the bloodstream. Think carefully about what you apply. (source: International Journal of Cosmetic Science) 

Another area of infinite controversy, this question will continue to bring conflicting responses until research finally proves what common sense already dictates: The skin is the largest human organ and whatever comes in contact with our skin is, to some degree, absorbed by our body's largest organ. 

At Heidi & Company, we don't think it's a good idea to apply chemicals such as acetone, resins, formaldehyde and even Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) which is still being illegally used in some US salons. MMA has been classified by the FDA as a "poisonous and deleterious substance."



Louise Fields said:

I stop using artificial nails about ten years ago because of the damage they did to my nails. I tried everything possible to correct the damage but nothing seemed to work until I found Heidi Nails. I purchased several other products for my feet and hands. Everything I used was a great improvement for me. Especially my finger nails. I look forward to my nails growing long and healthy the way they did before my trip with the artificial nails.

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