Different types of nails and their benefits - i.e. gel, acrylic
by Karli Geoghegan
Women worldwide use a number of nail treatments to keep their nails looking attractive. Some women wear false or gel nails to stop them from biting or picking at nails or for special occasions such as weddings, birthdays or trips overseas. Today there are a range of artificial nails or nail enhancements treatments from which women may choose.
Acrylic nails are created by combining polymer, a powdered acrylic product, with monomer, a liquid acrylic product. The mixture is applied to the natural fingernail using an acrylic brush. The mixture hardens within a few minutes. A polish of your choice is then applied. Acrylic nails are strong and thick. The nails are durable and easy to maintain. When applied correctly, they can closely resemble the natural fingernail.
Gel nails are created using an ultraviolet gel, which contains pre-mixed polymers and monomers. The appearance is natural and glossy looking. The gel is applied to the surface of the natural nail, and is set under an ultraviolet light. The gel nails are set by brushing a gel activator onto the nail, or dipping the fingernails into water. The benefits of gel nails are that they are non-lifting, flexible and non-yellowing. This process can also be used to fix split or broken nails.
Shellac nail polish
Shellac polish is a fast growing beauty trend. Shellac is a resin to which colourant is added to create a form of nail polish. There is a three-step process to applying shellac polish involving a base coat, colour and top coat. After each coat is applied, the fingernails are immediately put under a UV light to ‘set’ the polish, which dries very quickly. The nail polish remains set for up to 14 days. This is beneficial for people who want to keep the appearance of a natural nail, without damaging the natural nail.
Natural fingernails can be enhanced by getting a professional manicure. This process involves cleaning the hand and nail area, checking for any fungal infections in the process. The cuticle area is tidied using a cuticle pusher. Products such as cuticle oil are applied to help the problematic areas around the nail. The nails are buffed, trimmed and shaped to your preference. Moisturiser is applied to soothe and relieve the skin of any dryness, and also to help improve circulation in the hands. Application of the polish is a 3 step process, with the base coat applied first, secondly the colour, and finally the top clear coat. A manicure can last between 2-3 weeks. Regular maintenance of the fingernails can help promote steady growth, and healthy looking hands.
Airbrushed nails offer a great variety of pictures and patterns to enhance the appearance of your nail. A stencil of your choice is chosen, a base coat is applied, and an airbrush tool is used to paint the nail. This treatment is durable, and can last up to two weeks. Care is to be taken with the nail and any chemicals or harsh activities should be avoided in order to keep the appearance for longer.
To learn more about artificial nails and nail treatments, contact your local nail technician or nail salon.