You may think that we have written this to persuade you to come to us. This may be true to an extent, but not for the reasons you may think.
Nail Bars should be banned. Anyone in the industry with a shred of decency will agree.
We have heard and also witnessed first-hand the horror stories of nail drills burning the nail plate (part of the nail attached to the skin), catching cuticles with drills, acetone being heated in boiling water, solutions being put on top of radiators and razors being used in pedicures to name but a few.
After some investigating we found out why nail bars worked in this way and upon further investigation, we found a few interesting things that we thought we would share with you....
Acrylic Nails and Infills are made and constructed by using two substances - a liquid (monomer) and a powder which when mixed together create the acrylic that is moulded into a nail. The correct liquid used for nails contains a substance called EMA (Ethyl Methacrylate) but there is another liquid that can also be used. This has an ingredient called MMA (Methyl Methacrylate).
MMA products are very similar to EMA but are a lot cheaper. MMA is banned in a lot of US states although only frowned upon for use in Europe.
Why should MMA liquid not be used for nails?
Believe it or not it is used in the dental industry. It is used to make crowns for teeth and it would never come into contact with the skin in its liquid and vapour form.
With use of MMA products you may get serious adverse skin reactions or permanent nail deformities and these are only part of the risks from using MMA. Long term use of MMA may lead to permanent damage to the respiratory system (hence the reason why you see the nail technicians in Nail Bars wearing face masks - these are not for dust purposes or because of an unhealthy obsession with germs).
Nail Bars use drills/electric files to prep the nail and overuse this method to extent they sometimes feel like they burn the nails. The main reason they use the nail drills apart from the speed is they have to take off the top layers of the natural nail plate to get the porous layers below, which you cannot achieve easily with a nail file hence the pain. The reason for this is MMA does not adhere to the natural nail, but does to the layers far below this! That is where the problems occur. You have taken off the top layers of the nail making it thin.
How many times have you heard someone say acrylics ruin your nails? No they don't, nail drills and bad technicians ruin your nails not acrylics.
The MMA is adhered to this over-prepped surface of your nail which is now more porous than the top layers and adheres too well. Which means if you snag the nail the enhancement doesn't come off..... the nail plate does.
New clients come to us thinking acrylics should hurt when they are applied - no pain no gain etc. They are very surprised when there is no pain. If a product using EMA is used, cuticle treatment along with a light buff and use of a good quality primer is all that is necessary.
How can you tell if MMA is used?
Did they use a nail drill is the first question... Also a MMA extension is likely to be harder more rigid and can yellow after a while. MMA extensions resist breaking if accidentally caught or jammed and this can lead to very painful breakages and plate lifting. It can also cause serious nail infections and or nail deformities causing the nail to die.
We are not saying that all Nail Bars are bad but a few simple questions to the people that are going to work on your nails will tell you all you need to know.
Is your Nail Technician using known brands?
CND, NSI, The Edge etc.? If the pot they are using has no branding on it, it may have been decanted from a larger pot - ask to see it - if they cannot tell you what brand they use, walk away as all leading brands do not use MMA products - MMA products will be imported, normally from the Far East.
Is your Nail Technician wearing a face mask?
Dust from nails is a pain but not harmful. MMA products can cause breathing problems for the user is in constant contact with it, hence the mask.
Is your Nail Technician using an electric nail file/drill on your natural nail?
If yes do not use them. If using quality known brands you do not have to use electric drills on your natural nail so even if they are using known brands and are using drills, they are damaging the nail plate for no reason which is possibly even worse as you are just having your nails ruined for speed.
Simple answer is - stay away from these places. They may be easy to drop in but is it worth the risk of the long term damage this can do to your nails. They are a production line and use outdated methods of nail preparation.
Don't just take it our word for it. These paragraphs below have been taken from NSI's website - one of the leading acrylic nail manufacturers in the world. We've heard it all so many times before; women complaining about their damaged natural nails "caused by acrylic nails." As educated nail techs, you know that acrylic (or gel for that matter) is not the issue. A lot of the damage comes from a common malpractice in some nail salons - aggressive filing or drilling on the natural nail plate.
Why Do Some Nail Techs Do it?
The nail plate is made up of about 100 densely packed sheets of flattened cells. It's a super-tough, non-living structure primarily made up of keratin.
It's also a smooth surface, which is why light filing (to remove the shine) is necessary during prep to ensure adhesion.
This light filing only removes 3-5 layers of the nail plate, which is safe and non-damaging.