I’ve never had acrylic nails. What are the pros and cons? —Barbara

Dear Barbara,

I cannot imagine my life without acrylics. They are the savior to my short, thin-nailed, Fred Flinstone fingers! To answer your question properly, I asked my nail guru, Kenneth Ha, co-owner of Carpinteria Nails in Carpinteria, CA what the pros and cons of acrylics are. He explained that acrylic nails are a great option for women that do not have nice natural nails.

Crescent LoMonaco

“Seven out of ten women don’t have nice, healthy nails,” Kenneth said. “Applying acrylics gives women confidence about their hands, since the acrylics look better than their natural nails. The artificial nails can hide problems such as previous damage, old nail injuries, ridges and thin, weak nails. Acrylics also lengthen and slender the fingers and hands.”

Acrylics can be filed into any shape you like. They hold nail polish extremely well, and maintain their shine. Typically, clients do not need to do anything to their acrylic nails between salon visits, freeing up the clients’ valuable time. Some people are even getting acrylics on their toes for the same reasons. Acrylics need to be maintained every two weeks at the salon.

It is important to note that acrylics should never hurt. If they do, it might be a sign of fungus, water mold, or infection. Mention any discomfort to your nail technician so he can check for warning signs. Improper use of nail tools can also make the nail bed and or cuticle area sore. The only time discomfort is typical is when the acrylics are removed: The pressure of the artificial nails on top of your natural nails may, in some people, cause temporary minimal discomfort when the acrylics come off. This only lasts about a day, and clients should not be alarmed.

Kenneth went on to explain that having acrylics is a trade off. While the acrylics look great, you do somewhat sacrifice your natural nail (temporarily) to the process. The natural nail must be “roughed up” for the acrylic to adhere to it properly. Once the acrylic has been removed, he said, it can take “anywhere between 3-6 months to get your nails back” to its pre-acrylic state.

On a personal note, finding a great nail technician is like finding a great hair stylist! It takes time. Ask family, friends, or co-workers for a referral. Not all nail techs are created equal. Once you have found the one you like, stick with him or her. And remember to pre-book your next visit to ensure you maintain your nails properly.


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