Nail Care & Manicures/How to Strengthen Nails from Gel's
I had acrylic nails for about 8 years and tried the natural nail approach, that only lasted for about 8 months. I didn't have the knowledge on how to strengthen my nails after the acrylics and jumped right into manicures, and soon into the gel/gelish trend. Once they started breaking every week even with the gel polishes(spending $50 a week), I turned to the "Permanent French", LCN gels because I know they are at least healthier than the acrylics.
I'm getting married in October and I am begging for the proper knowledge of how to strengthen and grow my own natural nails prior to my wedding, please!
I know some of the basics, like having to apply cuticle oil, Vitamin supliments (which ones are best?), strengthening polishes (which ones are best?).
Also, I'll probably have my LCN's soaked off from the salon by the time I get a response, but can you also explain an at-home soak off for the gel's? I wasn't able to find one on here (only for acrylic).
PS- Do you have any North Jersey salon recommendations?
I understand that you have had a number of issues with your nails over the years, I have a few things I need to say up front, I do not use LCN or Gelish products so I can't answer to any specifics about what the product does and doesn't do. I am a 17+ Licensed Nail Specialist in Florida and use CND and OPI products. As to gel being healthier than acrylic that is a misnomer because gel is an acrylic, just processed differently, one of the main reasons clients have issues is because services are done improperly(operator error).
I will try and address each area as best as I can, since I can't see your nails it is a little hard to see exactly what is going on. When you took your acrylics off the first time and had manicures on a weekly basis, used cuticle oil, nail strengthener, depending on if there was damage to your nails, they should have come back to there normal condition.
When you went in the gel polish route if your nails where in a healthy state they should have done well if the service application and removal was done properly. You know the basics very well, your nails should do great if you apply cuticle oil daily, used strengthener if really need on a limited basis as it will over dry the nail out, oil will give the nail strength if used daily. Eat as healthy as possible that will provide the vitamins that the nails needs inside your body, but outside is all in the way they are treated since they are non living at that point.
Rubber gloves when in water or cleaning, do not use your nails as tools, and manicures weekly. If you try the gel polish or acrylic route again, in most cases you have to remove the shine and a lot of tech's become over aggressive filing or drilling, this weakens the nail layers and breakage occurs. As to recommending an at home gel product, I would highly recommend that you get your nails in proper shape with a professional, if you still have issues with them and it is done improperly it could make them worse.
I know this is very general but without seeing your nails first hand, it is hard to recommend a proper course of action.
When I do gel polish I use CND Shellac it is the only hybrid out there meaning it is half polish/half gel, no ruffing the nail in application/removal and comes off in 10 mins or less, no soaking in acetone.
Since I am not sure when in the northern part of the state you are, here is some tech's in NJ in a Facebook group I belong to:
BOUND BROOK, NJ.
440 W Union Ave
Bound Brook, NJ.
Lounge Hair Studio
Denville, NJ 07834
Capelli Hair Salon
443 So. Washington Ave.
Piscataway, NJ 08854
International Salon and Spa
25 Sparta Ave
Sparta, NJ 07871
Amy Murphy's Salon & Spa
300 West Dewey Ave.
Wharton, NJ 07885
If you think you might like to try Shellac go to their website, put in your zip code and it will tell you salons in your area. http://www.cnd.com/find-salon
Good Luck I hope your nails and congratulations on your up coming wedding. If you still feel you have more questions you can message me on my Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/SpaTouchLLC