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No matter how hard they try, some ladies just can’t grow their nails. In fact, cracks, splits and peeling seem to sabotage the quest at every turn. If this sounds like you, artificial fingernails can turn the tables on your frail natural nails. Artificial nails tend to get a bad rap, but you can defy the odds by following a meticulous maintenance plan that supports natural nail growth.
Embrace the Acrylic Extension
Your manicurist can achieve an acrylic extension in one of two ways. The most common way is to attach a plastic tip with glue to a short, torn or broken nail, then paint acrylic overtop to blend the two, or by simply lengthening the nail with several layers of acrylic. Acrylic is a two-part system that sets within minutes, creating a rock-hard finish. The acrylic protects your natural nails that are flourishing and growing underneath.
Keep Your Appointments
Whether you maintain your artificial nails yourself or rely on the help of a licensed manicurist, consistency is key. On average, human fingernails grow at a rate of .012 inches per week. As they grow, the artificial nails sitting on top move with the nails leaving a gap between the cuticles and artificial layer. This gap must be filled with new acrylic to prevent lifting. Any air or moisture between your natural nail and the acrylic can result in infection, harming your natural nails in the process.
A gel manicure is another option for any women that wants to give artificial fingernails a whirl, while allowing natural nails to grow underneath. Much like acrylic, the gel is painted over the natural nail, alone or with a tip, hardening overtop with the assistance of a ultraviolet lamp. The same premise applies when it comes to gels – maintain, maintain, maintain or the artificial treatment will do more harm than good.
Soak Don’t Peel
Once the artificial nails do their job, removal will reveal longer nails underneath. Artificial nails should never be pulled, picked or torn from the natural nail, purposefully. Doing so damages natural nails. A soak in a bowl of acetone softens the artificial nails to such a point that they can be wiped away with a paper towel or clean washcloth. Keep your newly grown nails healthy, strong and looking their best with a few coats of clear protein nail polish.