Artificial nails have changed considerably since the first ones were available. There are new products now available and a range of techniques.
The products used revolve around Light-cure gels, Liquid and powder systems, wraps and no-light gels. They are all related, however create slightly different looks and are slightly different in application.
The three basic types are known as:
Natural nail overlays, Tips and overlays and finally a sculptured nail.
Professional products take skill to apply, not all nail products are alike and some are more compatible with the nail plate than others. Cheaper treatments may use inferior products which require rougher treatment of the nail plate.
High quality service and products will cost but this will be worth it in the long term. It is essential to listen to the advice given to you for home care and it must be understood that the regular maintenance treatments help to lengthen the life of the nails as well as prevent from the risk of infection.
All artificial nails require Non-acetone nail varnish remover, as acetones will remove the surface of the nail. Re-education will need to take place concerning the wearing of gloves for housework, gardening, washing etc, to protect the nails from unnecessary knocks and stress.
Tips and Overlays
Tips are applied to the nail plate by nail adhesive. There are a variety of shapes and thickness' available to suit different nails. The match of the tip to the nail shape is important as the tip will not hold if there are any spaces. Tip adhesive is sensitive to water and clients should be aware that wetting of the hands unnecessarily might shorten the life of the tips.
Tips are blended into the natural nail at the seam. Overlays are normally applied to strengthen the tip and prolong the life of the artificial nail.
UV Gel Nails
These are very popular and have been available for many years. The original type were not So successful, however more recently they are proven to be far more sophisticated and effective. Gels may be used directly onto the natural nail without the application of a tip for protection purposes. Gels can also be used for repairing broken or split nails.
UV Gels are a fairly straight forward application. However, removal is not so easy and tends to take long soaking and buffing.
As with all nail products there is a risk of allergies. They appear to be hard wearing if treated correctly regular maintenance treatments are received.
These can be used to coat the nail plate or to add strength to thin weak nail extensions that sit beyond the free edge (end of the finger). Nail wrapping can be achieved with 4 fabrics, paper, fibreglass, silk and linen. The fabrics provide support and add strength to the nail. Silk and fibreglass tend to produce a thin, strong natural looking nail, whereas linen tends to be slightly thicker. Paper is used for patching and repairing but it is only temporary.
Linen is the strongest of the 4 with fibreglass following behind. Silk is third and paper last although not really used for complete wrapping.
This tends to consist of a powder and liquid, which are mixed together to make a paste. The paste is applied to the nail with a brush. A structure called a form is placed around the nail providing a support for the sculptured free edge. The final product is transparent provided it is applied correctly. These sculptured nails can be used directly on the natural nail as a protection or a tip (free edge) may be sculptured.
Sculptured, acrylic nails are very strong and flexible. They can be worn for long periods of time as long as the natural nail remains healthy. Maintenance is also required to fill in the growth area. These acrylic nails are not suitable for those nails that are thin and / or fragile. Acrylic does not adhere well to skin therefore it would not adhere well to this type of nail.
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