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Long, strong fingernails are the result of a genetic lottery -- the same one that gives boys eyelashes to die for. So you if your nails are less than beautiful, your gene pool may be to blame. Acrylics and gels aren’t for everyone, but silk wraps can help you grow your own nails to fabulous lengths.
Your nails are made largely of a protein called keratin, which also makes up your hair. Fingernails grow out from the cuticle, which is the base of your nail right above your first knuckle. That’s why acrylics have to be filled; your nails grow from the base, not the tip. Genetics, poor diet, exposure to water or harsh chemicals can all weaken your nails, making them peel, split and break.
Silk Wrap Facts
A silk wrap is exactly what it sounds like. Your nail technician cuts a piece of paper-thin silk or other material – just a little larger than your nail. She paints your fingernail with a clear top coat, soaks both sides of the paper in the top coat, and applies it to your nail. The wrapping happens when she tucks the free edges of the paper around the sides and over the edge of your nail, holding it in place with a few more dabs of top coat. Once the top coat is dried, the manicurist buffs it to a smooth sheen, and puts on another top coat.
Silk wraps are less expensive than acrylic wraps or UV gel top coats. They don’t damage your nails the way acrylic wraps or enhancements can because they don’t require the top layer of your nail to be sanded off -- and they contain no harsh chemicals. Silk wraps are simple to repair at home. Generally, you remove and re-do silk wraps rather than filling them, which means that you have a completely fresh manicure each time.
Silk wraps can have an odd, textured appearance if they are not applied correctly. A professionally done silk wrap should look natural. Silk wraps are not as strong as acrylic wraps or gel top coats -- and they'll lift if you spend a lot of time with your hands in water. Unless silk wraps are buffed to perfect smoothness, you can’t get a sleek and flawless finish when using nail colors on them.