After having gel polish on for a few months and several removals, you notice your natural nails are weaker than before you had them and you wonder why.
Gel polish itself does not cause natural nails to be weak or thin. Nails become weak or thin after repeated gel polish applications are the result of over-buffing the nail surface during preparation and improper removal of gel polish.
Gel polish is a liquid solution that can be brushed on the nail surface and these chemicals do not interact with human nails.
Let us look at how over-buffing and improper removal can do to the natural nails and how you can take care of them.
Over-buffing will thin out nails
Over-buffing is the number one mistake that the majority of people doing gel polish make. This includes people who do it at home and even nail techs.
They do it because a few light passes of a nail buffer seem not enough. The nail surface needs only a couple of very light passes using the fine side of a buffer to remove the shine on the nails.
People tend to think that buffing the nail surface a few more times will create a good surface for the gel polish to bond. However, this extra buffing will do more harm than good: nails will get weaker because they are thinned out.
Improper gel polish removal will damage nails
Many people have a bad habit of peeling off the gel polish.
When gel polish is being peeled or pulled away from the nails, the bond between gel polish and the top layer of the nail is still strong.
If this bond is stronger than what holds layers of natural nails together, the top layers of the nails will be peeled or pulled away as well.
This makes the nails thinner and will be weaker.
What happens when nails are weak after gel polish?
After removing gel polish, nails tend to be thinner and weaker than before gel polish.
They are susceptible to breaking, peeling, or chipping because the person who has gel polish before is accustomed to the extra thickness and strength gel polish provided.
Now with gel polish removed, even a simple use of the nails like scratching, hair washing, or putting on clothes can cause these thin nails to peel or tear. If the tear goes deep into the nail bed, it could cause bleeding.
How to care for weak nails after gel polish?
Do not over-buff your nails
After you clean your nails with alcohol, the nail surface is already free of oil.
Use the shorter edge of a buffer, gently brush away all the dust along the cuticle line and sidewall using no pressure. This simple and short action adequately removes shine and roughens up the nail surface.
Do apply dehydration and/or PH-balance solution on the nail surface and let it dry completely.
Now your nails are ready for gel polish.
You can enjoy your gel nails until it is time to take off.
Do not peel or pull gel polish away
There are several ways of removing gel polish that do not damage the nails. You should know how to do them and pick an appropriate method depending on your situation.
- Remove gel polish by soaking in acetone
- Remove gel polish with foil
- Remove gel polish with warm water
- Remove gel polish with oil
- Remove gel polish using finger cots
- Remove gel polish using finger clips
My favorite one is how to take off gel polish without acetone naturally.
Each method will take some getting used to but when you get a hang of it, you will save time and prevent your nails from thinning out. This article will show you how to remove gel polish properly.
How to strengthen nails after gel manicures at home
If you already have your gel polish kit, you can use your gel base coat and gel top coat as a nail strengthener and do not have to buy any extra nail hardeners.
Gel base coat has a superior bond to natural nails, the gel basecoat, and gel topcoat combination will strengthen your nails and make them as hard as any nail hardener product available.
You can learn more about this simple hack in this article.
If your gel base coat and gel topcoat run low or getting old, you can purchase Gelish brand, my favorite gel base and top coat kit since I started using it in 2012 and made thousands of happy customers.
This high quality gel kit costs under $40 and can last more than one year if you use it at home and know how to store gel polish properly. You can check out the latest price on Amazon.
Now you know why gel polish makes your nails weak and how to prevent it from happening again.