Nail Care & Manicures/gel nails

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Question
I had acrylic nails for 15 years & changed to gels. I keep them short but the gels are not protecting my soft nails. at the slighted touch they chip. help. I am at my wits end. I live in Las Vegas. what do you sugest

Answer
Gel is softer than acrylic, and I often see people who transition to gel have trouble adjusting the fact that their nails will no longer stand up to the abuse they put them through with acrylic.

Gel, however, should NOT be chipping "at the slightest touch." That's an indication that the gel is too thin or isn't curing properly. Too thin is simple to fix-- just add another coat or two. Not curing properly requires your nail tech to understand the curing process well enough to go through the trouble shooting process to fix the problem.

However, if your nail tech has several clients and others are not experiencing this same problem, there's a good chance that what you consider "the slightest touch" is actually more than natural nails would hold up to.

As I said, this is pretty common, especially for people who have worn acrylic for a long time. You simple get so used to how strong the acrylic is, that you forget how delicate natural nails are. Transitioning to anything more prone to chipping than acrylic leaves you feeling like you're barely touching things and still breaking nails.

Some people never make the transition well, acrylic is simply the only thing that holds up to their life style. That's ok. There's nothing wrong with acrylic when it's applied by a conscientious professional and maintained properly.

Talk to your nail tech about using a couple more coats to build up the overlay and see if that helps.

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Maggie Franklin

Expertise

Professional Nailcare: nail enhancement chemistry and technique, mancuring and pedicuring. I am not qualified to give medical advice or make medical diagnoses.

Experience

I am a professional nail technician with 17 years experience in the professional beauty industry. I am licensed in the states of California (license #M120766) and Colorado (license #8611.) I have been an active member of the online mailing list at Beautytech.com since 1999 where I network with 100s of nail industry professionals around the world. Over the last 15 years I have accumulated several advanced training certificates, including the coveted Creative Nail Designs Master Nail Technician status, and personal training by Tammy Taylor, Tom Bachik, and Tom Holcomb. I briefly joined the competition circuit in 2002, taking first place in the second annual Strut Your Stuff Online competition in the Enhancement 2 category. In 2009 I have decided to make time in my schedule to get back into competition by joining "Team Pink," the competition team captained by current world champion nail technician, Lynn Lammers. I boast several contributions to articles that have appeared in both Nails and Nailpro magazines, including a brief stint as a Nails Magazine Help Desk contributor and now I write a semi-weekly blog for Nails Magazine while continuing to attend tradeshows and continuing education events.

Organizations
Nail Tech mailist list at Beautytech.com

Publications
Nails Magazine. Nailpro Magazine. Blogging for Nails Magazine since September, 2008: http://blogs.nailsmag.com/maggie/

Education/Credentials
CA license #M120766. CO license #8611. CND Master Nail Technician. Tom Holcomb Academy. Personal training with Tom Bachik. Two day advanced training with Tammy Taylor. AEFM certified for use of electric file. HRTE (High Road to Education) in San Jose, CA 2009.

Awards and Honors
2nd Annual Strut Your Stuff Online competition, 1st place in Enhancement 2. Member of "Team Pink" competition team 2009. 3rd place, Novice tip-and-overlay relay at IBS Las Vegas, 2009.

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